November 14-20, 2011


November 14, 2011

Faculty News

Books & Papers:

Prof. Tianshu Li (CEE) has published the following paper with his collaborators at UC Davis: Tianshu Li, Francois Gygi, and Giulia Galli, "Tailored nanoheterojunction for optimized light emission," Physical Review Letters 107, 206805 (2011). Employing quantum simulation method based on density functional theory (DFT), Prof. Li and his collaborators have discovered new insights into the electronic origin of photoluminescence in Silicon nanocrystals embedded in amorphous silicon oxide matrix. The new findings suggest that the opto-electronic properties of Si nanocrystals can be tailored so as to optimize their performance in optoelectronic devices and solar cells.

Prof. Mona Zaghloul (ECE chair) and her former doctoral student, Tom Farmer, had the following paper published recently: T.J. Farmer, A. Darwish, B. Huebschman, E. Viveoros, H.A. Huang, and M.E. Zaghloul, "Millimeter -Wave SiGe HBT High Voltage/High Power Architecture Implementation," IEEE Microwave and Wireless Components Letters, Vol. 21, No. 10, pp. 544-546, October 2011. Dr. Farmer is currently doing post-doctoral work at the Army Research Laboratory. The published paper is part of his doctoral dissertation.

Conferences & Presentations:

Prof. Azim Eskandarian (CEE) and his former doctoral student, Dr. Damoon Soudbakhash, published and presented the article "A Neighboring Optimal Controller for Disturbance Rejection During Vehicle Evasive Maneuvers," by Damoon  Soudbakhsh, Azim Eskandarian, and David Chichka, at the ASME 4th Dynamic Systems and Controls Conference 2011, October 31-November 2, Arlington, VA. At the same conference, Prof. Eskandarian served as the local chair and a member of the organizing committee. He also co-chaired a contributed session in vehicle dynamics and controls.

Prof. Taeyoung Lee (MAE) gave a talk titled "Computational Geometric Mechanics and Control" at the University of Maryland’s Mathematics Colloquium on November 4.

Prof. Thomas Mazzuchi (EMSE) presented an invited lecture titled “Use of Expert Judgment in Risk Assessments Involving Complex State Spaces” at the Rutgers University's Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science Workshop on The Science of Expert Opinion, October 24-25. Also present was SEAS alumnus, Jason Merrick (D.Sc., Operations Research ‘97), who is a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University. Prof. Merrick’s talk was titled “Overlapping Expert Information: Learning about Dependencies in Expert Judgment.”    

On October 21, Prof. Zoe Szajnfarber (EMSE) gave an invited talk at the MIT Systems Engineering Advancement Research Initiative annual summit. The theme of the event was "Ingenuity, Innovation and the “-Ilities”: Creating Capabilities for the Long Run." Prof. Szajnfarber shared insights from her work on managing technical innovation in government markets.

Prof. Timothy Wood (CS) presented a paper at the Symposium on Cloud Computing in Lisbon, Portugal, October 26-28.  The paper, titled "PipeCloud: Using Causality to Overcome Speed-of-Light Delays in Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery," describes how to use cloud computing platforms for high performance disaster recovery.

Other News

Biomedical Engineering/Science Undergraduate Research Fellowship: The GW Institute for Biomedical Engineering is looking for undergraduate students who are interested in participating in biomedical research projects over Spring and Summer. The deadline for application is December 1 at 5:00 pm. Application and more information

On November 3-5, Brittany Wright from the Office of Graduate Admissions attended the NAFSA: Association of International Educators, Region 8 conference in Philadelphia, PA.  At the conference Brittany and Alison Grimsland, assistant director of International Education and Programs for the School of Business, presented a session titled "Online Solutions for International Education."  Brittany and Alison shared valuable online tools and resources that can be incorporated into communication plans for incoming international students with more than 70 conference participants.  Their presentation received high praise from participants and is a nominee for the Region 8 Highlight Presentation at the NAFSA Annual Conference in June. 

Student News

Jose Umanzor-Alvarez (MAE graduate student) recently gave an invited talk titled “Development of a Biomimetic 3D Nanostructured Tissue Engineered Bone Construct” on behalf of Prof. Lijie Grace Zhang (MAE) at the 2011 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AICHE) Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, MN.

Guest Vignette

Prof. Yongsheng Leng and his postdoctoral scientist Yajie Lei recently had a paper on the friction of lubricants published in the journal Physical Review Letters. A short description of the research follows:

Stick-slip friction between solids, which produce the squeaks heard in our daily lives, can also happen in lubricated contact. For example, engine oil lubricates our car engine, but if the gap the lubricant sits in is too tight, the lubricant will get stuck or solidified, leading to stick-slip motion and high friction. Many physicists believe that this stick-slip friction is associated with the alternate changes in the physical property of the lubricant. For example, during the stick the lubricant changes to a solid, and during the slip the solidified lubricant changes back to a liquid. However, our new studies by molecular dynamics computer simulations show that during the slip the solidified lubricant in very tight pores does not change back to a liquid. Instead, it simply undergoes molecular slips inside the films. Through the time variations of the frictional force and energy changes during the stick-slip cycle, this study further revealed how the friction energy is lost during the different stages of the stick and slip. This new discovery will help us better understand and design new lubricants to improve our fuel economy. (Provided courtesy of Prof. Yongsheng Leng of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering)

SEAS Events

GW Engineering Networking Night
Friday, November 18
5:00 - 7:00 pm
Marvin Center, Grand Ballroom (3rd Floor)
Sponsored by Alpha Omega Epsilon Sorority and Theta Tau Fraternity
Light refreshments will be provided. Business attire required.
RSVP to: or

MAE Seminar: “An Interdisciplinary Study on Fluid Dynamics and Chemistry: Application of Functional Molecules for Global Pressure/Temperature Measurement and Flow Control”
Dr. Hirotaka Sakaue, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
Monday, November 21
2:00 pm
640 Phillips Hall
More info . . .

CS Seminar: “Using Program Analysis to Understand and Debug Configuration for Cloud Services”
Ari Rabkin, Ph.D. candidate, UC Berkeley
Tuesday, November 22
10:30 am
736 Phillips Hall
More info . . .

GW Institute for Biomedical Engineering Seminar: “Implications of Nanotechnology in Regenerative Medicine: What Have We Learned and What’s Next?”
Prof. Thomas J. Webster, School of Engineering and Department of Orthopaedics, Brown University
Monday, November 28
1:00 - 2:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall
More info . . .

Dissertation Defenses

Name of Student Defending: Stephen Fields
Title of Dissertation: “An Analytical Paradigm for Comparing Technologies for the Remediation of Leaking Underground Storage Tanks”
Advisor: Prof.  Jonathan Deason
Friday, November 18
1:00 pm
663 Rome Hall