July 16 - 29, 2012


July 16, 2012

Faculty News


The National Science Foundation's Sustainable Energy Program (SEP) has awarded a four-year, $1.69 million grant to five GW faculty members for their project, "Sustainable co-synthesis of cement and fuels." Prof. Stuart Licht (Chemistry, CCAS) is the project's principal investigator, and Prof. Tarek El-Ghazawi (ECE) is one of the four co-principal investigators, each of whom has nearly equal shares in the funding. The others are Prof. Henry Teng (Chemistry, CCAS) and Profs. Peter LaPuma and Sabrina McCormick (Environmental & Occupational Health, School of Public Health). This grant is the first federal money for GW's new solar energy process.

Conferences and Presentations:

Prof. Ken Chong (MAE) was invited to participate in a National Science Foundation workshop on converging technologies that was held June 25-26 at the NSF. The workshop, chaired by Prof. George Whitesides of Harvard University and others, drew more than 70 participants. The theme of the workshop was NBIC (Nano-, Bio-, Information Technologies and Cognitive Science) for societal benefit. A report is planned for release in the fall of 2012.

On June 27, Prof. Royce Francis (EMSE) presented a peer-reviewed conference paper at the joint meeting of the Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management and the European Safety and Reliability Association (PSAM11/ESREL12) in Helsinki, Finland. The paper, titled "Bayesian Networks for Predicting Drinking Water Distribution System Pipe Breaks," was co-authored with Seth Guikema and Lucas Henneman of Johns Hopkins University.

Prof. Taeyoung Lee (MAE) presented the following papers at the American Control Conference (ACC12) in Montreal, Canada, June 27-29: 1) "Relative Attitude Control of Two Spacecraft on SO(3) Using Line-Of-Sight Observations," T. Lee; and 2) "Nonlinear Robust Tracking Control of a Quadrotor UAV on SE(3)," T. Lee, M. Leok, and N. H. McClamroch. Prof. Lee also served as the chair of the session "Spacecraft Control."

Prof. Taeyoung Lee (MAE) participated in the National Science Foundation CMMI (Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation) Engineering Research and Innovation Conference in Boston, MA, July 9-11. He presented his research, "Computational Geometric Uncertainty Propagation for Hamiltonian Systems on a Lie Group," related to his project supported by NSF.

Prof. Zoe Szajnfarber (EMSE) attended the Third International Engineering Systems Symposium in Delft, the Netherlands, June 18-20. She led a doctoral consortium session on qualitative methods in engineering systems research, and presented a paper titled "Architecting for Evolvability: A Study of the Evolution of the Military Tactical Communication System" that she co-authored with her student Amanda Rohrbach. On July 2-3, she participated in a conference honoring the 10th anniversary of the European Space Agency's Advanced Concepts Team (ESA-ACT), also held in the Netherlands.

On July 12, Prof. Zoe Szajnfarber (EMSE) gave an invited lecture at the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA, as part of the center's ongoing "Innovation Experts" series. The public talk was titled "Managing Complex Technology Innovation: The need to move beyond stages and gates," and was followed by a closed discussion session with center leadership.

Prof. Robert Waters (EMSE) presented a paper titled " Evolutionary Economics: A Framework for Organizational Decision-Making" at the 14th World Congress for Social Economics, held at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, on June 21. He suggested that omitting the impact of technical change in traditional economic models is a serious flaw invalidating their use.

Prof. Hoeteck Wee (CS) visited Microsoft Research New England during the week of July 9-13 and gave a talk at the MIT Cryptography and Information Security Seminar.

Other News:

Prof. Morton Friedman (MAE) has accepted an invitation to join the newly formed Science and Research Committee of the Katzen Cancer Research Center. The function of the committee is to support and help guide the research initiatives of the Katzen Center in the context of a developing research culture across the University.

Effective July 1, Prof. Thomas Mazzuchi replaced Prof. Julie Ryan as the chair of the EMSE Department.

Students News

Jiaoyan (Jenny) Li, a doctoral candidate working with Prof. James Lee (MAE), was awarded a National Science Foundation fellowship to attend the NSF Summer Institute on Nanomechanics, Nanomaterials, and Micro/Nanomanufacturing, which was held in June at MIT. The theme of this year's summer school was Materiomics-Merging Biology and Engineering in Multiscale Structures and Materials.

Sheng Yu received his doctoral degree this summer after studying with Prof. Enrique Campos-Nanez (EMSE). He has been offered, and has accepted, a post-doc position at Harvard University.