October 8-14, 2012


October 8, 2012

Faculty News


Prof. Philippe Bardet (MAE) was awarded a one-year, $75,000 contract with Argonne National Laboratory for the project "NEAMS Reactor IPSC PATHWAYS: Flow induced vibration in two-phase flows and new diagnostics development." Through this project, he and his students will study flow induced vibration in steam generators, and will also explore Infrared laser absorption spectroscopy to measure temperature distribution of steam in ducted flows.

Imagine fast-flying robotic vehicles avoiding leaves and branches while navigating through dense moving vegetation; or a troupe of running robots traversing soft, pliable terrain, such as mud, sand or snow-all while estimating, modeling and predicting complex ground interactions. If robots are to move quickly and confidently through such highly-dynamic and deformable environments, then we need to devise better perception, planning, and control algorithms. To this end, Prof. Gabe Sibley (CS) has received a $73,000 NSF grant to investigate fast, agile mobile robots operating in dynamic environments with deformable objects.

Books & Papers:

Prof. Howard Eisner (EMSE) has had his most recent book, "Topics in Systems," published by Mercury Learning and Information. The book "is designed for engineers as well as all readers who are interested in the systems around them." It emphasizes ways to "increase the help we get from the systems we build, and also reduce the number of systems that are not working for us."

Prof. Matthew Kay (ECE) and his collaborators-Ara Arutunyan, PhD, and Narine Sarvazyan, PhD.-have published a paper highlighting important technical aspects to consider when using dissolved substances to study cardiac electrical activity. The citation is: Swift LM, Asfour H, Posnack NG, Arutunyan A, Kay MW, Sarvazyan N. "Properties of blebbistatin for cardiac optical mapping and other imaging applications," Pflugers Archiv: European Journal of Physiology, 2012 September 19. [Epub ahead of print]. Prof. Kay is a co-mentor for the first author; the second and third authors, respectively, are his former graduate student and a post-doc working in his lab.

Prof. James Lee (MAE) and his students published the journal paper: Jiaoyan Li, Xianqiao Wang and James D. Lee. "Multiple Time Scale Algorithm for Multiscale Material Modeling," Computer Modeling in Engineering & Science, Vol. 85(4), pp 1-18, 2012.

"Fundamentals of Wastewater Treatment and Engineering," a book authored by Prof. Rumana Riffat (CEE), was recently published by CRC Press, of Taylor and Francis Group, Boca Raton, FL. The book is designed for a course on wastewater treatment and engineering for senior level undergraduate and early graduate level students. The layout of the book is similar to the manner in which Prof. Riffat teaches CE 4530: Environmental Engineering II.

Conferences and Presentations:

On September 30, Prof. Sameh Badie (CEE) delivered a keynote presentation in the plenary session of the National Bridge Conference, held in Nashville, TN, and sponsored by the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute. The presentation addressed the "State-of-the-Art Report on Full Depth Precast Concrete Bridge Deck Panel Systems," of which Prof. Badie is a co-author. Dr. Myint Lwin, director of the Office of Bridge Technology, FHWA, and the state bridge engineers of TX, TN, OR, CA, FL, VA, NE, MA, LA, WA, GA, KA and many other states, were among the audience. At the same conference, Profs. Badie and Majid Manzari (CEE) and Dr. Amir Arab (CEE alumnus) presented their paper, "Monitoring End Zone Reinforcement of Phase I of the Alaskan Way Viaduct." The paper discusses the results of their analytical and experimental research conducted on the longest precast, prestressed concrete girders fabricated in the U.S. These super girders are 205 feet long and 100 inches deep, and they weigh approximately 120 tons. Video tapes on production and shipping of these girders are available at:

On October 3, Prof. Shelly Heller (CS) presented a poster, "Cybersecurity: Where are the Women," at the Grace Hopper Conference in Baltimore, MD. Five SEAS students, (Nima Bari, Maya Larson, Roxana Leontie, Nadezhda Radeva, and Shabnam Tafriedi) joined her and 3,000 women in CS and IT for the annual conference.

Prof. James Lee (MAE) and his former student, Prof. Xianqiao Wang of the University of Georgia, organized the mini symposium "Nano, Bio, Multiscale and Multifunctional Materials -- Modeling and Characterization" at the 22nd International Workshop on Computational Mechanics of Materials, held in Baltimore, MD, September 24-26. Prof. Lee and his students, Jiaoyan (Jenny) Li and Zhen Zhang, presented the following: 1) Jiaoyan (Jenny) Li and James D. Lee. "Application of Nonlocal Theories to Dispersion of Wave Propagation" (keynote); 2) Zhen Zhang, Xianqiao Wang and James D. Lee. "Fracture Mechanics of Graphene at Atomic Scale;" and 3) Xianqiao Wang and James D. Lee. "Heat Wave at Nano Scale."

Other News

Members of the MAE Department attended the World Affairs Council-Washington, DC (WAC-DC) luncheon at the National Press Club on September 18, to honor NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden, Jr. Attendees included: Profs. Michael Plesniak, Elias Balaras, Andrew Cutler, Megan Leftwich, and Adam Wickenheiser; post doctoral scientists, Drs. Kartik Bulusu and Kelley Stewart; and graduate students Ms. Kenan Cole, Mr. Samudra Haque, and Ms. Tabitha Smith. At the luncheon, GW President Steven Knapp presented Administrator Bolden with WAC-DC’s International Public Service Award. Administrator Bolden delivered an address on The Future of US Space Exploration and International Cooperation and answered questions. WAC-DC is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to expanding the American public’s awareness of our global and interconnected world through public and education programs.

The GW Institute for Nanotechnology (GWIN) is pleased to announce the call for proposals from University faculty interested in nanotechnology research. This competition is primarily for junior faculty to help them establish an active research program. Funds may be requested for faculty summer support, equipment, supplies, and salary for postdoctoral researchers and research assistants. Funds must be used by June 30, 2013. Award can be up to $10,000. GWIN expects to fund one proposal. Proposals are due to Prof. Michael Keidar, GWIN director, by 5:00 pm, Thursday, November 8, 2012. Electronic submissions are required.

Student News

Graduate students in the EMSE crisis, emergency and risk management (CERM) concentration, along with students from the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration who are taking CERM courses as electives, have established the GW student chapter of the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM). Due to the efforts of graduate students Mike Manetti, Kim Schwing, Keith Hunter, and Spencer Schargorodski, the student chapter received GW approval and conducted its first organizational meeting on October 1, with 20 students in attendance. The student chapter will focus on personal and professional development opportunities for its members, who will be ambassadors of GW to the IAEM. Profs. Joe Barbera and Greg Shaw (EMSE) are supporting this effort as co-advisors to the chapter.

Guest Vignette

Researchers in the Department of Computer Science are working to investigate the suppression of sensitive aggregates over web databases. A web database is usually hidden behind a proprietary form-like web interface. It allows users to specify the desired values for one or a few attributes, and the database responds by displaying a small number of satisfying records on a web page. Such "hidden" databases are widely prevalent on the Web, and they range from databases of government agencies, to databases that arise in scientific and health domains, to databases that occur in the commercial world. While owners of hidden databases would like to allow individual search queries, many also want to maintain a certain level of privacy for aggregates over their hidden databases. This has implications in the commercial domain (e.g., to prevent competitors from gaining strategic advantages) as well as in homeland-security related applications (e.g., to prevent potential terrorists from learning flight occupancy distributions). The research group led by Dr. Nan Zhang, in collaboration with Dr. Gautam Das from the University of Texas at Arlington, has pioneered a number of aggregate suppression techniques for web database owners. Assisted by graduate research assistant Mingyang Zhang, the research team is currently exploring the retrieval and suppression of aggregate information over web search engines that expose only a keyword-search interface. This research has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation. (Provided courtesy of Prof. Nan Zhang of the Department of Computer Science)

SEAS Events

GW Institute for Biomedical Engineering Seminar: "Biomaterials and Bioreactors in Bone Tissue Engineering"
Prof. John P. Fisher, University of Maryland, College Park
Monday, October 8
1:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall

ECE Colloquium: “Nanofabrication for Research and Development”
Dr. Jason E. Sanabia, President & CEO, Raith USA, Inc.
Tuesday October 9
10:00 - 11:00 am
640 Phillips Hall

CS Colloquium: “The Battle for Control of Online Communications”
Prof. Nick Feamster, University of Maryland and Georgia Tech
Wednesday, October 10
2:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall

ECE Colloquium: “GTID: A Technique for Physical Device and Device Type Fingerprinting”
Prof. A. Selcuk Uluagac, Georgia Institute of Technology
Wednesday, October 10
2:30 - 3:30 pm
640 Phillips Hall

GW Theta Tau Chapter Panel Discussion: The Orion Project and Private Space Exploration
Friday, October 12
4:00 pm
1957 E Street, Room 113 (Elliott School)

MAE Seminar: DGEN 380: The Smallest Two Spool, Unmixed Flow Turbofan Jet Engine on the Market"
Martin Vivies, Price Induction
Monday, October 15
2:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall

Seminar: “Energy Multiplier Module (EM2) - Advancing the Nuclear Fuel Cycle through Technology Innovations”
Robert Schleicher, Senior Physicist, General Atomics
Wednesday, October 17
2:00 - 3:00 pm
1957 E Street, Room 505 (Elliott School)
Submitted by Prof. Philippe Bardet (MAE)

MAE Seminar: “Turbulence Production by Nonbreaking Waves”
Ivan Savelyev, Research Physicist, Remote Sensing Division, US Naval Research Laboratory
Thursday, October 25
2:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall

Entrepreneurship and Other Events

GW Dolphin Tank: A Pitch-Practice Event
Thursday, October 11
5:00 - 7:00 pm
255 Duques Hall

Pitch George: Key Dates
"How to Write THE Executive Summary" Workshop
Thursday, October 25
5:30 - 7:00 pm
Duques 254

Online Entry Due
Monday, October 29
Due by 11:59pm
Submit online entry and executive summary here.

Overview of Competition and Tips on "Executing the Perfect Elevator Pitch”
Thursday, November 1
5:30 - 7:00 pm
Duques 254

Semi-Finals and Finals
Saturday, November 10
Duques Hall