May 24-30, 2021


May 24, 2021


Faculty News

Honors & Awards:

Dr. Ahmed Louri

Congratulations to Dr. Ahmed Louri (ECE), who was selected by GW’s Office of the Vice Provost for Research to receive its 2021 Distinguished Researcher Award. The award is given annually to just one GW faculty member.


Dr. David Broniatowski

Dr. David Broniatowski (EMSE) has received a seven-month $37,800 grant from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace for the project “Measuring Valence in Information Operations Supplement to Understanding How Influence Operations Across Platforms Are Used to Attack Journalists and Hamper Democracies.”

Dr. Samer Hamdar

Dr. Samer Hamdar (CEE), who leads the GW Transportation Program (GWTP), and his colleagues from Texas A&M University, University of California - Davis and University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign have received a four-year, $7 million US Department of Transportation (USDOT) Automated Driving Systems Demonstration Grant. Their project, titled “Automated Vehicles for All” (AVA), has been cleared administratively by the USDOT and the Texas Department of Transportation. The research activities in the project are divided into annual tasks related to demonstrating the risks and opportunities associated with autonomous Level 4 vehicles in an urban multi-modal environment. The AVA team is led by Texas A&M University; the GWTP's share in this project is $1.24 million.

Photo of Professor Luyao Lu

GW has awarded two grants to Dr. Luyao Lu (BME). Dr. Lu has received an $18,000 GW University Facilitating Fund grant to work on the project “Novel self-healable, stretchable, and transparent microelectrode arrays” and a $44,996 GW Cross-Disciplinary Research Fund (CDRF) grant to work on developing wireless, minimally invasive, multifunctional all-optical recording and modulation biointerfaces for in vivo behavioral studies. He will work with co-investigator Dr. Hui Lu (Department of Pharmacology & Physiology) on the CDRF project."

Dr. Danmeng Shuai

Dr. Danmeng Shuai (CEE) has received a $17,000 GW University Facilitating Fund grant to support his research on developing indoor-light-powered self-cleaning photoreactive coatings to prevent SARS-CoV-2 transmission via fomites. 

Dr. Peng Wei

Dr. Peng Wei (MAE) has been awarded three grants. He and his collaborators from West Virginia University (lead) and Honeywell Aerospace have a two-year, $400,000 Federal Aviation Administration award to focus on the design and implementation of a Safety Verification Framework for Learning-based Aviation Systems. The team will integrate two novel methodologies: offline mixed-fidelity verification for AI/ML-enabled decision-making systems onboard aircraft, and reachability and statistics-based online monitoring and safeguard for a deep reinforcement learning decision making model to complement the offline verification methods. Working with collaborators from University of Virginia (lead) and George Mason University, he also has secured a one-year, $250,000 grant from the Virginia Commonwealth Cyber Initiative. This project, “Smart City Infrastructures for Safeguarding Autonomous Vehicles Against Cyber Attacks,” will address threats from autonomous vehicles as they become victims of emerging cyber attacks. The project integrates two novel mechanisms: city-scale video intelligence for detecting attacks, and multi-agent reinforcement planning for reacting to attacks and non-cooperative vehicles. Finally, he has received a six-month, $125,000 NASA SBIR Phase I award to work with Intelligent Automation, Inc (lead) on the project “UAM Demand Capacity Modeling through Ensemble Learning,” to support the emerging large volume of urban air mobility traffic by mitigating the potential congestion in airspace. The team will focus on how to enable the high arrival and departure rates at vertiports, which will be the major bottlenecks of traffic throughput.


Dr. Tim Wood
Dr. Gabriel Parmer

Drs. Tim Wood (CS) and Gabriel Parmer (CS) have received $99,429 in funding from the Semiconductor Research Corporation to support their work over the next year on “High-density, Latency-Sensitive, Serverless Runtime for the Edge.” CS PhD student Xiaosu Lyu will do an internship with collaborators at ARM Research to initiate the work.



Dr. Danmeng Shuai

Dr. Danmeng Shuai (CEE), his colleague Dr. Yun Shen (University of California, Riverside), and CEE graduate students Hongchen ShenZhe ZhouHaihuan Wang, and Mengyang Zhang have published the following research article: H. Shen, Z. Zhou, H.Wang, M. Zhang, M. Han, D. Durkin, D. Shuai, and Y. Shen, “Development of Electrospun Nanofibrous Filters for Controlling Coronavirus Aerosols,” Environmental Science & Technology Letters. Published May 17, 2021. Both the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control have now recognized that the airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is an important mechanism for spreading COVID-19. The study revealed that commercial masks, such as surgical and cotton masks and neck gaiters, have limited efficiency in removing coronavirus aerosols. The researchers developed electrospun air filters that can capture almost all coronavirus aerosols (up to 99.9%), which can have broad applications for face masks and indoor air filtration. This study was supported by National Science Foundation RAPID grants.

Media Mentions:

Dr. Lorena Barba

Dr. Lorena Barba (MAE) was cited on the topic of computational reproducibility in the feature story “Decoding Science: Repeat After Me.” The story was published as a New Resource on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine website.

Dr. Aylin Caliskan

On May 10, the Brookings Institution published the article “Detecting and mitigating bias in natural language processing,” authored by Dr. Aylin Caliskan (CS). The article was published as part of Brookings’ “AI and Bias,” a series that explores ways to mitigate possible biases and create a pathway toward greater fairness in AI and emerging technologies.

Conferences & Presentations:

Dr. Lorena Barba

Dr. Lorena Barba (MAE) was one of four keynote speakers at the 35th IEEE International Parallel & Distributed Processing Symposium (IPDPS), held May 17-21. Her talk was titled “12 Ways to Fool the Masses with Irreproducible Results.” Her talk slides are available online.

Dr. John Helveston

Dr. John Helveston (EMSE) gave a pre-recorded, virtual talk, titled “The {logitr} R Package: Obtaining Willingness to Pay Estimates from Preference Space and Willingness to Pay Space Utility Models,” at the Sawtooth Software Conference Turbo Choice Modeling Seminar, held April 19-23 in San Antonio, TX. During the talk, he demonstrated a software package he wrote. A recording of his talk and the slides are available on his website.

Dr. Volker Sorger

Dr. Volker Sorger (ECE) organized and moderated the workshop “Analog vs. Digital Photonic Information Processing,” hosting three plenary speakers at the 2021 CLEO, the world-renowned peer-reviewed program that unites the field of lasers and electro-optics by bringing together all aspects of laser technology organized by the Optical Society (OSA). At the workshop, Dr. Sorger also gave an invited talk titled “Photonic TPU & Memory for Machine Intelligence” and the contributed talk “Massively-parallel Amplitude-Only Fourier Optical Convolutional Neural Network,” highlighting the first optical CNN prototype offering 10^6 channel parallelism. 

Student News

GW's 2021 AIAA Design-Build-Fly Team

Congratulations to GW’s AIAA Design-Build-Fly team for placing 6th worldwide in the 2021 Design-Build-Fly Competition! The field of competition in the 2021 contest included 92 teams. The 15-member GW team—which comprised students from MAE, EMSE, CS, and ECE—worked in subgroups to tackle aerodynamics, structural analysis, payload design, propulsion, controls, requirements analysis, and flight data recording. During Fall 2020, the team worked on conceptual design, preliminary design, and modeling and simulation, and in Spring 2021 they completed the detailed design, manufacturing, and flight tests. The team received, and is very grateful for, support from external advisors and sponsors, including current and former Navy personnel, Aurora Flight Sciences, and Northern Virginia Radio Control. This year's team videos are available online.


Upcoming SEAS Events

EMSE Seminar: “Assessing Human-Autonomy Interaction in Driving-Assist Settings”

Speaker: Dr. Mary (Missy) Cummings, Duke University

Friday, June 11

12:00 – 1:00 pm (ET)

Zoom link


External Events
Security and Sustainability Forum Webinar Series: “Sixty Minutes with Plug Power CEO Andy Marsh”
Friday, May 28
11:30 am – 12:30 pm (ET)
Join Andy Marsh for a discussion on the hydrogen revolution and its implications the future of fuel cells. The discussion is part of the Security and Sustainability Forum’s Leadership in Our Time webinar series, co-hosted with GW. Ambassador András Simonyi, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, will interview Mr. Marsh.


Walsh Group 2021 Faculty Summit Series

Thursday, June 10: Water Division

Thursday, September 30: Transportation Division

12:00 – 1:30 pm

RSVP for either/both event(s)

The June 10 summit will include the topics “Preserving History: Bringing old buildings back to life (panel discussion),” and “Reality Capture: How we utilize drones for our Water & Heavy Civil projects.” The September 30 summit will cover the topics “Federal Projects: Come hear the federal division explain the challenges to build back military installations in the wake of natural disasters (panel discussion),” and “Reality Capture: How we utilize 360 photos and laser scanning for our projects.”


Human Resources News
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Find updates on benefits, employee resources, and more at the HR Corner. Please visit the HR Corner to get the latest news and information.