March 31-April 6, 2014


March 31, 2014

Faculty News


The following SEAS faculty members have received one-year University Facilitating Fund (UFF) grants from the Office of the Vice President for Research:

  • Prof. Joost Santos (EMSE) has received a $10,000 grant to formulate disaster preparedness models for coupled workforce-infrastructure systems.
  • Prof. Danmeng Shuai (CEE) has received a $15,000 grant to develop electro-reactive micro- and ultra-filtration membranes with enhanced contaminant rejection and destruction.
  • Prof. Volker Sorger (ECE) has received a $15,000 grant to investigate the interplay between adoption of electric vehicles and the power grid.

Prof. Lijie Grace Zhang (MAE), collaborating with Dr. Robert Siegel (Division of Hematology and Oncology) and Dr. Joseph O’Brien (Department of Orthopedics), received a $70,000 Katzen Cancer Research Center Innovative Cancer Pilot Research Study Grant for the proposed research “Development of Innovative Nano Dual Drug/Gene Delivery and Biomimetic 3D Printed Bone Model Platforms for Metastatic Breast Cancer Treatment and Analysis.”

Media Mentions:

The paper “Lift and wakes of flying snakes,” by Prof. Lorena Barba (MAE), her doctoral student, and collaborators, has received more media attention recently, in particular on Scientific American blogs

Allan Friedman (visiting scholar, Cyber Security Policy and Research Institute) was interviewed on CCTV on March 25 about cyber security and Huawei. (video)


Profs. Sameh Badie and Majid Manzari (both of CEE), together with their former graduate student Dr. Amir Arab, have published the following paper: A. Arab, S. Badie, M. Manzari, B. Khaleghi, S. Seguirant, and D. Chapman. “Analytical Investigation and Monitoring of End Zone Reinforcement of the Alaskan Way Viaduct Super Girders,” Journal of the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, Spring 2014, Vol. 59, No. 2, pp. 109-128.

Prof. Chunlei Liang (MAE) and his doctoral student Andrew DeJong have published the following journal article: A. DeJong and C. Liang. “Parallel Spectral Difference Method for Predicting 3D Vortex-Induced Vibrations,” Computers and Fluids, 2014.

Prof. Joost Santos (EMSE) has co-authored the following journal article with his doctoral student Amine el Haimar: A. Haimar and J. Santos. “Modeling Uncertainties in Workforce Disruptions from Influenza Pandemics Using Dynamic Input-Output Analysis,” Risk Analysis, March 2014, pp.401-415.

Conferences & Presentations:

Prof. Lorena Barba (MAE) gave a talk titled “Raising the Roofline on GPU Applications with Stacked Memory” at the GPU Technology Conference, held March 25 in San José, CA.

On March 25, Prof. Greg Shaw (EMSE), EMSE graduate Craig Harner, and EMSE graduate certificate student Keith Domerese presented two sessions on faith-based organizations' emergency preparedness and continuity of operations planning in support of the Fairfax County Community Collaboration Summit for Disaster Resiliency. The event was attended by more than 250 participants from the Fairfax County government, volunteer organizations, faith-based organizations, and private sector businesses.

Prof. Danmeng Shuai (CEE) attended the ACS 2014 Spring Conference, held March 16-20, in Dallas, TX. He presented a talk titled “Development and Application of Piezocatalysts for Advanced Oxidation Processes and Disinfection in Water Treatment.”

Other News:

On March 26, a group of EMSE faculty and students hosted a delegation of faculty members from the South Ural University of Chelyabinsk, Russia, which is a 50,000-student institution. Prof. Jonathan Deason (EMSE)Elvin Yuzugullu, and graduate students Ira Payosova and Benjamin Heras conducted a two-hour symposium on innovative developments in energy conservation and energy efficiency for the 14-member Russian delegation, as requested by the GW Graduate School of Political Management. During the seminar, the EMSE group described relevant research activities and academic programs underway at GW and discussed matters of mutual interest and potential collaboration with the Russian colleagues.

On March 25-26, GW hosted the First International Workshop on Plasmas for Cancer Treatment to establish a forum where researchers can meet and exchange their latest results on the effects of plasma on cancer cells. The multidisciplinary field of plasma medicine has recently undergone impressive advances in various medical applications including wound healing, dentistry, and cancer treatment. And of all the possible applications of low temperature plasmas in medical therapy, none is expected to have as important a scientific and societal impact as cancer treatment.

Prof. Michael Keidar (MAE) co-chaired the workshop, which hosted more than 40 prominent scientists working in this field from the US, Europe, and Asia. Old Dominion University co-organized the workshop. GW was represented by two oral talks and six posters. Prof. Keidar chaired one of the sessions and is a co-chair of the international scientific committee. Prof. Jonathan Sherman (GW's MFA) is another member of the international scientific committee. The next workshop will take place in Nagoya, Japan in 2015.

Prof. Chunlei Liang (MAE) has received a 2014 Air Force Summer Faculty Fellowship Program award to work at Wright Patterson Air Force Base for eight weeks this summer. The award is administered by the American Society for Engineering Education.

Prof. Joost Santos (EMSE) spent two weeks in the Philippines (March 10-21) as a visiting professor at De La Salle University. He co-advised a Ph.D. candidate, Krista Yu, who successfully defended her dissertation after spending a year at GW as a visiting scholar. During Prof. Santos’ stay in the Philippines, he gave a seminar on micro- and macro-level resilience of interdependent infrastructure systems, which will eventually be submitted as a grant proposal to USAID’s Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER).

Kevin Topp (lecturer, ESME's Newport News program) was certified on March 11 as an Expert Systems Engineering Professional by the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE). Kevin is one of nearly 200 systems engineers to be selected worldwide since 2010 as an ESEP.

Student News

EMSE doctoral student Emmanuel Donkor has published the following paper:  E.A. Donkor. “Empirical Tests of Stochastic Dominance in Capital Investment Planning: A Spreadsheet Framework,” The Engineering Economist, 59(1), 55–78.  In this paper, Emmanuel shows how to use spreadsheet modeling and simulation to compute the p-values required for making dominance inferences when comparing risky capital investments. The paper and its supplemental spreadsheet model can be downloaded for free.

Guest Vignette      

Sustainable Energy Technology Investments and Policy Design

Billions of dollars of energy capital are sitting on the sidelines waiting for clarity with respect to climate change regulatory policy. Regulatory uncertainty has also led to an increase in litigation as actors pursue their goals through the courts in the absence of legislative action. The green community is challenging regulators to expand their boundaries of control. In opposition, industry challenges regulatory efforts limiting greenhouse gas emissions.

To provide an example, consider the electricity industry, where power generating infrastructure continues to age. In the absence of regulatory clarity, the industry's default response is to concentrate investment in natural gas technology. Although the use of natural gas leads to lower carbon emissions and hedges against uncertain carbon policy action, such investment concentration has the unintended consequence of increasing system exposure to sharp commodity price risk, as was seen in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina, when natural gas prices doubled abruptly.

Given this prevailing regulatory gridlock and uncertainty, Prof. Ekundayo Shittu is studying how firms might make decisions in an environment where assets have extremely long lifetimes (30-50 years) and where emissions abatement is increasingly important, because of climate change concerns, the adoption of sustainable practices, and corporate social responsibility. He is exploring firm-level investment decisions in conventional technologies such as coal and gas versus non-fossil technologies such as photovoltaic, wind, geothermal, and biomass under uncertainties in regulatory policy.

Some of the interlinking questions he is addressing with his Ph.D. students, Ilka Deluque and Nima Veiseh, include: What role should deployment policies play in moving emerging technologies to market? To what degree should emissions be constrained, through policies, without jeopardizing firms' profitability margins? How should the learning phases of emerging energy technologies be managed for their smooth penetration into the existing landscape? How does Cournot competition influence the strategic behavior of firms in the electricity sector? This research stream aligns with the goal of decarbonizing the economy by aiming to: 1) deliver a decision support system that incorporates climate change uncertainties and provides an efficient allocation of R&D investments into emerging technologies;  and 2) provide a guide for the management of the capacity additions, or substitutions, of energy systems and understand their impacts on societal welfare.

Ekundayo Shittu is a lead author on chapter 2, “Integrated Risk and Uncertainty Assessment of Climate Change Response Policies” for the forthcoming 5th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). (Provided courtesy of Prof. Ekundayo Shittu of the Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering)

SEAS Events

ECE Colloquium Series: “Performance Debugging Support for the Many-Core Era”
Speaker: Dr. Milos Prvulovic, Georgia Institute of Technology
Monday, March 31
2:00 – 3:00 pm
771 Rome Hall

ECE Colloquium: “Coding Theory and Access Control for Distributed Wireless Networking”
Speaker: Dr. J. Rockey Luo, Colorado State University
Tuesday, April 1
11:00 am – 12:00 noon
569 Rome Hall Room

ECE Colloquium Series: “How Can Data Centers Save Water For 'Free'?”
Speaker: Dr. Shaolei Ren, Florida International University
Tuesday, April 1
2:00 – 3:00 pm
565 Rome Hall

EMSE Seminar: “Emergence and Consequences of Modularity in Autonomous Networked Systems”
Speaker: Prof. Babak Heydari, Stevens Institute of Technology
Thursday, April 3
12:00 pm
EMSE Conference Room

MAE Seminar: “Statistical Analysis and Simulation of Random Shock Waves in Burgers Turbulence”
Speaker: Professor Daniele Venturi, Division of Applied Mathematics, Brown University
Monday, April 7
1:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall

MAE Seminar: “Modeling Inelastic Behavior of Metals at Multiple Scales for Multiple Purposes”
Speaker: Dr. David L. McDowell, Georgia Institute of Technology
Tuesday, April 8
11:00 am
736 Phillips Hall

SAVE THE DATE: SEAS Faculty Awards Presentation
Thursday, April 10
3:00 – 5:00 pm
307 Marvin Center

CEE Seminar: “Origami-Inspired Deployable Shelters with a Novel Erection Strategy”
Speaker: Prof. Ashley Thrall, University of Notre Dame
Friday, April 11
11:00 am – 12:00 pm
640 Phillips Hall

CS Colloquium: “Latent Variable Models for Tracking Illness Severity in Infants”
Speaker: Dr. Suchi Saria, Johns Hopkins University
Friday, April 11
12:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall

MAE Seminar: “Enabling Faster, Better Medical Device Development and Evaluation with Modeling and Simulation:Regulatory Perspective”
Speaker: Dr. Tina M. Morrison, Advisor of Computational Modeling Center for Devices & Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration
Monday, April 14
2:00 pm
771 Rome Hall

SAVE THE DATE: Frank Howard Distinguished Lecture
Speaker: Dr. Mario Livio, Internationally Renowned Astrophysicist & Prize-Winning Author
Thursday, April 17
6:30 – 8:30 pm
Marvin Center, Continental Ballroom
More info and registration
After the lecture, Dr. Livio will be available for a book signing. Copies of his book will be available for purchase. A reception follows the lecture.

MAE Seminar: “On the Damping-Induced Self-Recovery Phenomenon in Mechanical Systems”
Speaker: Prof. Dong Eui Chang, The University of Waterloo, Canada
Tuesday, April 22
2:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall

MAE Seminar: “Nanogenerators as New Energy Technology & Piezotronics for Functional Systems”
Speaker: Dr. Zhong Lin Wang, Georgia Institute of Technology
Thursday, May 8
11:00 am
736 Phillips Hall

MAE Seminar: “Microfluidics Assisted Bio- and Nano-materials Synthesis”
Speaker: Prof. Amy Shen, University of Washington
Monday, May 19
1:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall

MAE Seminar: “Geometry of Collectives: Control, Dynamics, and Reconstruction”
Speaker: Dr. P. S. Krishnaprasad, University of Maryland College Park, Institute of Systems Research
Thursday, May 22
2:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall

Dissertation Defenses

Name of Student Defending: Juzi Zhao
Title of Dissertation: “Impairment Aware Resource Allocation in Translucent Optical Networks”
Advisor: Prof. Suresh Subramaniam (ECE)
Monday, March 31
10:30 am
Gelman Library, Room B04

External Events

Alumni Outstanding Service Awards
Thursday, April 3
6:30 pm
JW Marriott Washington DC
1331 Pennsylvania Ave NW
SEAS alumnus Will Alexander (BS '04, GWSB MBA '06) will be one of the six recipients of this year's awards.

USA Science and Engineering Festival Expo
Saturday and Sunday, April 26-27
Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.
More info
Over 750 leading STEM organizations will present hands-on science and engineering activities for people of all ages. The event is free of charge.