SEAS Seminars - Fall 2011

 


CEE Environmental Engineering Workshop: "Evaluation of Various Wastewater Treatment Processes for Municipal Wastewater and Sludge"

Date: Wednesday, August 10
Time: 10:30 am - 3:30 pm
Location: 640 Phillips Hall

Learning Objectives: Attendees will become familiar with a number of conventional and advanced wastewater treatment processes such as, anaerobic digestion, dual digestion, trickling filter, forward osmosis and membrane distillation. Reactor start-up and operational problems will be discussed. Fundamentals of wastewater microbiology will also be presented.

Chair: Prof. Rumana Riffat, Civil & Environmental Engineering Department, George Washington University.

Co-Chair: Prof. Baoxia Mi, Civil & Environmental Engineering Department, George Washington University.

Speakers:

  • Dr. Naeem Ali, Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology, Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan.
  • Nuruol Mohd, Yaolin Liu, Taqsim Husnain, doctoral students, Civil & Environmental Engineering Department, George Washington, University.

Presentation Topics and Discussion:

  • Small Scale Sewage Treatment And Wastewater Reuse System For Pakistan. (Dr. Ali)
  • Anaerobic Digestion - 35o C versus 45o C. (Nuruol Mohd)
  • Combined Forward Osmosis and Membrane Distillation System. (Taqsim Husnain)
  • Biofouling of Forward Osmosis Membranes. (Yaolin Liu)
  • Environmental Microbiology: Microbial diversity, Ecology, Challenges and their Application in Nature. (Dr. Ali)

 

MAE Seminar: "Recent Developments in the Viscous Flux Formulations for the High Order Spectral Volume Navier Stokes Solver"

Date: Monday, September 12
Time: 2:00 pm
Location: 736 Phillips Hall
Presenter: Dr. Ravishekar (Ravi) Kannan, Research Engineer, CFD Research Corporation

Abstract:

The high order spectral volume (SV) method was originally formulated by Wang and his collaborators. Over the years, it was successfully extended to 3D hyperbolic conservation laws like the Euler and Maxwell equations. The extension to elliptic conservation laws has not enjoyed the same success. The foremost reason for the above was the lack of stable and robust algorithms for discretizing the viscous fluxes. This is unlike the hyperbolic case, wherein almost all of SV implementations use the Rusanov or the Roe formulation as the approximate Riemann (inviscid) flux. Until late 2009, the most ubiquitous viscous flux discretization procedure was the local discontinuous Galerkin (LDG) formulation. The LDG approach is basically unsymmetrical since it alternates between the right and the left directions for obtaining the control volume (CV) averaged gradient and the residual respectively. In addition the tests conducted by Kannan indicated that the computational results using LDG are somewhat dependent on how the faces are oriented, especially for unstructured grids and non uniform grids. In 2009, Kannan and Wang tested two symmetrical formulations for the discretization of the viscous flux, namely the penalty and the BR2 formulations. Fourier analysis and numerical experiments demonstrated that these penalizing formulations are more accurate, have milder stability requirements and possess superior convergence properties than the LDG formulation. The main disadvantage is the usage of a length based penalizing term. In 2010, Kannan and Wang developed a variant of the LDG, which not only retains its attractive features like simplicity and not requiring penalization, but also vastly reduces its unsymmetrical nature. This variant (aptly named LDG2), displayed higher accuracy than the LDG approach and has a milder stability constraint than the original LDG formulation. The accuracy of the LDG2 formulation is comparable to that of the penalty formulation. The development of these newer numerical fluxes can be seen as one of the starting steps toward simulating real life flow problems using the high order SV formulation.

Biography:

Ravi Kannan received his doctorate in Aerospace Engineering from Iowa State University in 2008 and has been a research engineer at CFD Research Corporation since then. He was a visiting scholar at the Von Karman Institute, Brussels, Belgium in 2007, under the European Union Marie-Curie fellowship program. He works on problems related to algorithm development for high order methods, moving body simulations, parallel adaptive mesh refinement, semi-conductor device modeling, radiation modeling and optimization techniques for physiology. Currently, he is involved in developing new high fidelity viscous flux discretization formulations for the high order spectral volume method. Since joining CFD Research Corporation, he has collaborated closely with agencies like NASA, Air Force, Navy, Army and has been the PI of many federal grants.

 

CS Seminar: "Parsing the World in 3-D"

Date: Monday, September 19
Time: 2:30 pm
Location: 736 Phillips Hall
Presenter: Alex Flint, Robotics Research Group at Oxford University

Abstract:

Computer vision has developed fantastic techniques for recovering the 3D structure of the world from images. But understanding the world in terms of high-level objects, events, and interactions remains mostly in the domain of the single image. In this talk I will discuss efforts towards scene understanding in 3D. I will focus in particular on modelling the world in as an indoor Manhattan scene; a model that provides excellent semantic constructs such as "floor", "wall", and "ceiling". I will discuss recent advances in learning and inferring these scenes using both multi-view and single-view features.
Alex will also talk about "Object un-recognition: Camouflage as a Computer Vision Problem." Object recognition has received a great deal of attention by the computer vision community over the past several decades; in this talk I will discuss the opposite problem: hiding objects in plain sight. In particular, I will show how the familiar tools from object recognition can be used to design synthetic camouflage patterns customized to specific environments.

Biography:

Alex Flint is a fourth year PhD student with the Robotics Research Group at Oxford University. His primary interests are computer vision, machine learning, and optimizing the world to be a slightly better place. This summer he has been working with the computer vision group at MIT, where he has been secretly feeding other grad students with strange and dangerous ideas about AI, economics, and the future. Shortly after working for Google and winning a scholarship to Oxford, Alex started the Oxford Transhumanists student society, in which students wear ritual robes and meet to discuss the strange art of rationality.

 

MAE Seminar: "Novel Computational Methods with Applications in Life Science and Engineering"

Date: Tuesday, September 20
Time: 1:00 pm
Location: 736 Phillips Hall
Presenter: Dr. Pinhas Bar-Yoseph, Technion-IIT (Israel)

Abstract:

This lecture explores the potential impact of advances in Simulation-Based Engineering Science (SBES) on life science and engineering and identifies the challenges and barriers to further advances in SBES. For instance, we must find methods for linking phenomena in systems that span large ranges of time and spatial scales. We must be able to describe macroscopic events in terms of subscale behaviors. We need better optimization procedures for rapidly generating high fidelity models of complex geometries and material properties. Most arterial and metabolic diseases and their treatments involve complex physical responses and interactions between biological systems, from the molecular to organism scales. Simulation methods can therefore dramatically increase our understanding of these diseases and treatments, and furthermore, improve treatment. A current challenge is the application of SBES to clinical medicine and to the study of biological systems at the cellular, tissue, and organ scales. Currently, important topics in cancer research are the mechanisms of cell adhesion and invasion and signaling pathways. A better understanding of those mechanisms is critical to advances in cancer research and neurobiology. The developments of multi-scale SBES technologies for investigations into cellular structures and cell mechanics will help explain dynamic cellular architectures and the mechanism of cell motility. Simulation is ubiquitous in industry. It plays an essential role in the design of materials, manufacturing processes, and products. All the research presented in this lecture is based on the work of faculty members in our department.

Biography:

Professor Pinhas Bar-Yoseph holds the Anne and Shmuel Tolkovsky Chair and is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He is Dean of Mechanical Engineering Faculty at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. He is a well-known expert in computational methods and their application to a wide spectrum of problems in mechanical engineering. His unique expertise is in Finite Elements, more specifically in Variational, Asymptotic and Spectral Element methods. He is considered as one of the pioneers in establishing the isogeometric finite element through his classical papers on B-Spline Finite element approach for geometrical design and mechanical analysis and the related adaptive refinement techniques. In addition to his unique expertise in FE, he has a deep understanding and strong interest in a wide spectrum of problems ranging from classical mechanical engineering to modern biomechanics. He has conducted research on hydrodynamic instabilities and bifurcations of swirling flows associated with vortex breakdown, crystal growth, and bio-fluids. His current research is focused on developing computational methods for simulating multi-scale physical phenomena related to arterial and metabolic diseases. Professor Bar-Yoseph has been active in research and teaching at universities abroad: MIT, Stanford, UCSD, and Northwestern in the USA, and at TU Denmark, TU Darmstadt, and U. of Sydney.

 

MAE Seminar: "Intelligent Continuum Surgical Slaves"

Date: Monday, September 26
Time: 2:00 pm
Location: 736 Phillips Hall
Presenter: Dr. Nabil Simaan, Vanderbilt University

Abstract:

Surgical robots augment capabilities of surgeons via seamless coupling of information with improved intra-operative action. Current surgical systems fail to address the challenges of deep or partially constrained surgical fields such as the throat, the inner ear, or the eye. This deficiency is exacerbated when surgeons try to use existing robotic systems for new surgical paradigms such as natural orifice surgery, or single port surgery. In addition to limited dexterity surgeons are hampered by sensory deficiency and the requirement to control a large number of degrees of freedom while safeguarding against trauma to the patient. This talk will focus on our efforts in designing and controlling intelligent surgical telemanipulation slaves. We define an intelligent surgical slave as a robot capable of sensing the environment and using sensed information to assist the surgeon in performing surgical subtasks. We will first describe our modeling framework using screw theory for estimating forces of interaction with the environment. The talk will also describe recent results on the design and control of continuum robots capable of performing contact detection and localization. Finally, we will describe our design of a novel compliant motion control algorithm for multi-segment continuum robots and present experimental results and motivation. Time permitting, we will also describe assistive telemanipulation frameworks for micro-stent deployment and for cochlear implant insertion.

Biography:

Dr. Nabil Simaan received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the Technion— Israel Institute of Technology, in 2002. His Masters and Ph.D. research focused on the design, synthesis, and singularity analysis of parallel robots for medical applications, stiffness synthesis, and modulation for parallel robots with actuation and kinematic redundancies. His Graduate advisor was Professor Moshe Shoham. In 2003, he was a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at Johns Hopkins University National Science Foundation (NSF) Engineering Research Center for Computer-Integrated Surgical Systems and Technology (ERC-CISST), where he focused on minimally invasive robotic assistance in confined spaces under the supervision of Professor Russell H. Taylor. In 2005, he joined Columbia University, as an Assistant Professor of mechanical engineering and the Director of the Advanced Robotics and Mechanisms Applications (ARMA) Laboratory. In 2009 he received the NSF Career award for young investigators to design new algorithms and robots for safe interaction with the anatomy. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2010 and he subsequently joined Vanderbilt University. His research interests include design and control of novel robotic systems such as parallel robots, continuum snake-like robots, and flexible under-actuated robots for surgical assistance in MIS, Less Invasive Surgery (LIS), and Natural Orifice Trans-luminal Endoscopic Surgery (NOTES). His active funded research is on robotic assistance for dexterous bi-manual ophthalmic microsurgery, Cochlear Implant surgery, single port access (SPA), and automation for high-throughput biodosimetry.

The host for this lecture is the Robotics and Mechatronics Laboratory. For more information, please contact 202-994-7216.

 

GW Institute for Biomedical Engineering (IBE) Seminar: "Undergraduate Student Project Presentations"

Date: Tuesday, September 27
Time: 1:30 - 2:30 pm
Location: 736 Phillips Hall
Presenters: Xiaolong Jiang (CS undergraduate student) and Matthew Wilkins (ECE undergraduate student):

Xiaolong Jiang: "Digital Analysis and Visualization of Swimming Motion"

Abstract: Competitive swimming is a demanding sport that requires rigorous training to achieve technical perfection. Research on computer simulations of flow have improved our understanding of how thrust and drag can be optimized for better performance. However, for a swimmer translating this information to technical improvement can be difficult. In this paper, we present an analysis and visualization framework for swimming motion that uses virtual reality to display 3-dimensional models of swimmers. The system allows users to digitize their motions from video sequences, create personalized virtual representations by morphing prototypical polygonal models, visualizing motion characteristics and comparing their motions to other competitors stored in a library. The use of virtual reality alleviates many problems associated by the current video-based visualization methods for analyzing swimming motion.

Matthew Wilkins: "Monitoring Impedance Changes in Cell Monolayers Due to Alterations in Intra-cellular and Extra-cellular Spaces"

Abstract: We monitored impedance changes in cell monolayers of cardiac cells due to alterations in the intracellular and extracellular space. We did this by using Electrical Impedance Spectroscopy. Electrical impedance measurement is an emerging diagnostic tool for biomedical research. Electrical impedance spectroscopy has been used in a number of applications such as adhesion, cell motility, toxicity, two and three-dimensional tissue tomography and characterization of tissue ischemia. By using the four-electrode method, we can inject a current through two outer electrodes (stimulating electrodes) and measure the potential difference through two inner electrodes (recording electrodes). Using the measured potential difference and known injected current, we can use simple electrical engineering principles to calculate impedance.

 

ECE Seminar: "Implantable Medical Wireless Data Telemetry"

Date: Wednesday, October 5
Time: 2:00 - 3:00 pm
Location: 640 Phillips Hall
Presenter: Dr. Erdem Topsakal, Mississippi State University

Abstract:

Within the past three decades, the advancements in wireless communications have changed the world as we know it. Today, at the push of a button, we can communicate with our loved ones, friends and colleagues from thousands of miles away, send emails through the internet, talk on the phone, and even see their faces as we talk. The use of this wireless technology in medicine has the potential to revolutionize the global healthcare and the ways and which it was delivered. Imagine a world where your smart phone can display your blood panel instead of visiting your doctor's office. Imagine a world where your doctor can continuously monitor your heart and provide you with feedback even if you are in a jungle in Africa. Although we are still a ways away from the technology where our smart phone can provide us with a diet plan so that our blood electrolytes can turn to normal, current wireless medical technology has matured enough to continuously monitor certain physiological parameters and efficiently transmit data to a remote base station. My talk will focus on the design and development of wireless implantable antenna technologies. I will describe all stages of the design and testing process; in-silico, in-vitro, and in-vivo. I will give examples of telemetry applications such as continuous glucose monitoring and blood pressure monitoring. I will conclude the talk with a discussion on what lies ahead for future medical wireless technologies.

Biography:

Erdem Topsakal received his BSc. degree in 1991, M.Sc. degree in 1993 and PhD degree in 1996 all in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Istanbul Technical University. He worked as an Assistant Professor in Electrical and Electronics Engineering Department at Istanbul Technical University between 1997 and 1998. He was a post-doctoral fellow from 1998 to 2001 and an assistant research scientist from 2001 to July 2003 in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department of the University of Michigan. In August 2003, he joined the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department of James Worth Bagley College of Engineering at Mississippi State University as an Assistant Professor. He is currently a tenured Associate Professor in the same department. His research areas include implantable antennas, numerical methods, cancer monitoring and detection, microwave hyperthermia, fast electromagnetic methods, antenna analysis and design, direct and inverse scattering. He has published over 130 journal and conference papers in these areas. He received the URSI young scientist award in 1996 and NATO fellowship in 1997. He is the recipient of 2004-2005 Mississippi State University Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering outstanding educator award, 2009 Bagley College of Engineering Research Paper of the Year Award, and 2010 Mississippi State University State Pride Award. He is a senior member of IEEE and an elected member of the URSI commissions B and K. He currently serves as the Associate Editor for IEEE Antennas and Wireless Propagation Letters (AWPL), Associate Editor for URSI Radio Science Bulletin, and Chair-Elect for URSI-USNC Commission K, Electromagnetics in Biology and Medicine. He is on the IEEE USA Committee on Communications& Information Policy as a representative of IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. He is a member of National Institute of Health SBIB (10) Biomedical Imaging study section. He is also a member of electrical engineering honor society, eta kappa nu. He is the founder of Mississippi State University Ballroom Dance club which has been active since 2005.

Please contact Dr. Huang at howie@gwu.edu with any questions.

 

ECE Seminar: "Energy-Aware Writes to Non-Volatile Main Memory"

Date: Thursday, October 20
Time: 10:00 - 11:00 am
Location: 736 Phillips Hall
Presenter: Jie Chen, ECE Ph.D. Student

Abstract:

Current memory technology has begun to face challenges in storage density, capacity and energy efficiency for incorporation into high performance multi-core processors. Conventional technology, such as Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM), is unable to deliver sustained scaling to feature sizes smaller than 40 nm due to technology limitations. This creates a necessity to look for DRAM alternatives in future multi-core machines. Among the many emerging memory technologies, Phase Change Memory (PCM) has received considerable attention as a replacement for current DRAM-based memory due to non-volatility, storage density and capacity advantages. However, PCM has high power consumption for write operations (up to 10 X) in comparison to read operations. This creates power and thermal problems, especially when there are a lot of write operations to be performed in PCM. I will present an introduction to PCM, including a comparison to DRAM and its energy-expensive write operations. After that, I will describe a simple read-before-write technique that can reduce PCM write energy to the half of DRAM write energy. Then, I will discuss our new energy-aware, out-of-position update techniques and hardware/software support that can bring further write energy reduction compared to read-before-write.

Biography:

Jie Chen received his B.S. degree in Software Engineering from the Northwestern Polytechnical University, China in 2008. Currently, he is a Ph.D. student in Computer Engineering at the George Washington University advised by Professor Guru Prasadh Venkataramani. His research interests are in computer architecture, especially in the architectural support for debugging, power-efficient techniques for multi-core processor, emerging memory technologies, and memory systems. He is a member of the ACM and IEEE.

Please contact Dr. Huang at howie@gwu.edu with any questions.

 

MAE Seminar: "A Kalman/Particle Filter-Based Position and Orientation Estimation Method Using a Position Sensor/Inertial Measurement Unit Hybrid System"

Date: Thursday, October 27
Time: 2:00 pm
Location: 736 Phillips Hall
Presenter: Dr. William Melek, University of Waterloo (Canada)

Abstract:

This seminar presents a novel methodology for combined estimation of position and orientation using one position sensor and one inertial measurement unit. The proposed method estimates orientation using a particle filter and estimates position and velocity using a Kalman filter (KF). In addition, an expert system is used to correct the angular velocity measurement errors. The experimental results show that the orientation errors using the proposed method are significantly reduced compared to the orientation errors obtained from an extended Kalman filter (EKF) approach. The improved orientation estimation using the proposed method leads to better position estimation accuracy. The presentation also presents a study of the effects of the number of particles of the proposed filter and position sensor noise on the orientation accuracy. Furthermore, experimental results will be presented to show that the orientation of the proposed method converges to the correct orientation even when the initial orientation is completely unknown.

Biography:

Dr. William W. Melek is an Associate Professor at the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. He received the MASc and PhD degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada, in 1998 and 2002, respectively. Between 2002 and 2004, he was an AI Division Manager with Alpha Global IT, Inc., Toronto. He joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo in 2004. His current research interests include remote sensing, mechatronics applications, robotics, industrial automation and the application of fuzzy-logic, neural networks, and genetic algorithms for modeling and control of dynamic systems. Dr. Melek is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

 

EMSE Seminar: "Emergency Care G.P.S."

Date: Wednesday, November 2
Time: 9:00 - 11:00 am
Location: Jack Morton Auditorium, 805 21st Street, NW

Abstract:

The GW Department of Emergency Medicine in conjunction with the Department of Health Policy in GW's School of Public Health and Health Services and the Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering in GW's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences will host the first in a series of seminars on "Emergency Care and Public Health Preparedness in American Society," which will provide an overview of emergency care in the United States, with a focus on debunking myths associated with our nation's emergency departments and obtaining an international prospective on trends in ED utilization around the world. Some discussion topics will include: 1. perceptions that large numbers of patients use the ED unnecessarily and for primary care; 2. perceptions that people who use the ED are mostly uninsured; and 3. perceptions that the ED is the most expensive place to get healthcare.

The event will also include an international panel of emergency care experts representing countries from around the world, including Canada, Denmark, France, and Singapore. They will discuss their local emergency care systems and how elements that work well in their countries may or may not translate to improving U.S. emergency care.

 

CEE Seminar: "Using Supercomputers to Model and Design Novel Materials and Molecules"

Date: Friday, November 4
Time: 2:00 - 3:00 pm
Location: 640 Phillips Hall
Presenter: Dr. Steven L. Richardson, Howard University

Abstract:

In this talk we will discuss the use of density-functional theory (DFT) as a successful approximation for solving the Schrodinger wave equation for real materials. DFT has been used extensively in physics, materials science, and chemistry for the last forty-five years and it can be implemented on modern massively parallelized supercomputers to compute the structural, electronic, and vibrational properties of real materials and molecules from first-principles, that is without any experimental input. In particular, we will discuss a number of examples of our recent work on carbon-based molecules known as diamondoids and several other interesting caged hydrocarbon nanostructures to show that DFT is a very useful computational tool for both interpreting and predicting experimental data.

Biography:

Steven L. Richardson is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Howard University who applies density-functional theory (DFT) to interesting problems in computational materials science and computational chemistry. He uses supercomputers to calculate the structural, electronic, and vibrational properties of novel materials and molecules. Dr. Richardson has recently studied inorganic fullerene-like clusters, energetic materials, molecular magnets, zinc bimetallocenes, diamondoids, and novel carbon-based nanostructures.

 

ECE Seminar: "Tracon: Interference-Aware Scheduling for Data-Intensive Applications in Virtualized Environments"

Date: Thursday, November 10
Time: 1:30 - 3:00 pm
Location: 640 Phillips Hall
Presenter: Ron C. Chiang (ECE Ph.D. student)

Abstract:

Large-scale data centers leverage virtualization technology to achieve excellent resource utilization and scalability, as well as high availability and reliability. Ideally, the performance of an application running inside a virtual machine (VM) shall be independent of co-located applications and VMs that share the physical machine. However, adverse interference effects exist and are especially severe for data-intensive applications in such virtualized environments. TRACON, a novel Task and Resource Allocation CONtrol framework that mitigates the interference effects from concurrent data-intensive applications and greatly improves the overall system performance. TRACON utilizes modeling and control techniques from statistical machine learning and consists of three major components: interference prediction model that infers application performance from resource consumption observed from different VMs, interference-aware scheduler that is designed to utilize the model for effective resource management, and task and resource monitor that collects application characteristics at the runtime for model adaption. The evaluation results show that TRACON can achieve up to 50% improvement on application runtime, up to 80% on I/O throughput, and more than 30% of energy savings for virtualized data centers.

Biography:

Ron C. Chiang is a PhD student advised by Prof. Howie Huang in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the George Washington University. His research interests are computer systems and architecture, include cloud computing, virtualization, and storage systems. He received his B.Eng degree from Tamkang University in 1999, M.Sc. degree from National Chung Cheng University in 2001, all in Computer Science and Engineering. He worked as a software engineer and project manager in the Institution of Information Industry from 2001 to 2006. He was a research assistant at the Academia Sinica in 2007. He is a student member of the ACM and IEEE Computer Society.

For more information, contact Prof. Howie Huang at howie@gwu.edu.

 

CEE Seminar: "Introduction to Concrete Segmental Bridges"

Date: Thursday, November 10
Time: 6:00 - 8:00 pm
Location: 405 Marvin Center
Presenter: William R. (Randy) Cox, American Segmental Bridge Institute

Abstract:

The presentation will focus on construction of concrete segmental bridges in the U.S. and abroad. The advantages of both precast and cast-in-place construction will be discussed along with basic design considerations for the different methods of erection. Terminology common with this type of construction will also be defined and illustrated.

Biography:

William R. (Randy) Cox, PE, became the Manager of the American Segmental Bridge Institute in November 2008. Prior to joining ASBI, Randy was the Director of the Texas DOT Bridge Division from 2004-2008 where his staff was actively involved in the design and construction of numerous segmental bridges. He began his TxDOT career as an engineering assistant in the Bridge Division in 1981. In 1990, he was named Director of the Bridge Construction section, later serving as Director of the Bridge Construction and Maintenance branch in the Construction Division from 1993 to 1999 before returning to the Bridge Division as Director of Field Operations. Early during his career with TxDOT, he focused his interests on the design and construction of post-tensioned structures. In 2002, he received the Gibb Gilchrist Award, which honors the performance of outstanding TxDOT engineers. In 1999, Randy participated as a team member of the concrete segmental bridge durability scanning tour of Europe sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration.

For more information, call Prof. Sameh Badie at 202-994-8803.

 

MAE Seminar: "An Interdisciplinary Study on Fluid Dynamics and Chemistry: Application of Functional Molecules for Global Pressure/Temperature Measurement and Flow Control"

Date: Monday, November 21
Time: 2:00 pm
Location: 640 Phillips Hall
Presenter: Dr. Hirotaka Sakaue, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

Abstract:

An interdisciplinary study on fluid dynamics and chemistry is presented. A luminescent molecule, one of the functional molecules, is applied for flow measurement as pressure- and temperature-sensitive paint (PSP/TSP). The present talk is focused on some developments of these sensors and their applications to global pressure and temperature measurements. Hydrophobic and hydrophilic molecules as functional molecules are applied for flow control. Some current results on the flow control are given. In addition, brief introduction of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is also given.

Biography:

Dr. Hirotaka Sakaue is a researcher in Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). He received his BS in Department of Biomolecular Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan in 1996, and his MS and PhD in School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Purdue University in 1999 and 2003, respectively. His research interests are interdisciplinary studies on fluid dynamics and chemistry.

For more information, contact Prof. Michael Keidar at keidar@gwu.edu.

 

CS Seminar: "Using Program Analysis to Understand and Debug Configuration for Cloud Services"

Date: Tuesday, November 22
Time: 10:30 am
Location: 736 Phillips Hall
Presenter: Ari Rabkin, Ph.D. candidate, UC Berkeley

Abstract:

Ten years ago, few software developers worked on distributed systems with dozens of nodes. Today, the rise of the cloud and of software-as-a-service have made such systems increasingly common, and developers are responding by developing systems tuned for their workloads. These new systems each come with debugging and configuration management challenges.

This talk will give an overview of big data systems, currently used in the cloud. It will describe how static analysis, a technique borrowed from the security and verification communities, can find a program's configuration options, infer their types, and connect configuration options to errors. It is possible to build an explicit table mapping every error message to a set of configuration options likely associated with them. Taken together, these techniques should help tame the complexity of current cloud software systems.

Biography:

Ari Rabkin is a fifth (and final)-year PhD candidate in the RAD Lab at UC Berkeley, working with Randy Katz. He is formerly from Cornell University, AB 2006, MEng 2007). He is interested in software quality and software intelligibility. He expects to graduate in May 2012. His dissertation is about applying program analysis to system management, including automatically describing program configuration options and diagnosing configuration errors. He is a contributor to several open source projects, including Hadoop, the Chukwa log collection framework, and the JChord program analysis toolset.

For more information, contact Prof. Michael Clarkson at clarkson@gwu.edu.

 

GW IBE Seminar: "Implications of Nanotechnology in Regenerative Medicine: What Have We Learned and What's Next?"

Date: Monday, November 28
Time: 1:00 - 2:00 pm
Location: 736 Phillips Hall
Presenter: Prof. Thomas J. Webster, School of Engineering and Department of Orthopaedics, Brown University

Abstract:

This presentation will summarize studies, which have demonstrated enhanced in vitro and in vivo tissue growth on nanostructured metals, ceramics, polymers, and composites thereof compared to currently-used (nano-smooth) implants. Tissue growth to be emphasized will consist of bone, cartilage, vascular, skin, bladder, nervous system, and other tissues. These results strongly imply that nanomaterials may improve tissue regeneration compared to what is being implanted today. This review will also focus on a fundamental explanation why tissue growth is enhanced on nanostructured compared to conventional tissue engineering materials summarizing a wide range of research efforts, including those, which have already received FDA approval for implantation. Thoughts on the necessary future studies for the field of nanotechnology and tissue engineering to progress will also be presented.

Biography:

Thomas J. Webster is an associate professor for the School of Engineering and Department of Orthopaedics at Brown University. His degrees are in chemical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh (B.S., 1995) and in biomedical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (M.S., 1997; Ph.D., 2000). Prof. Webster's research explores the use of nanotechnology in numerous applications. Specifically, his research addresses the design, synthesis, and evaluation of nanophase (that is, materials with fundamental length scales less than 100 nm) materials as more effective biomedical implants. These include self-assembled organic materials, which mimic the natural nanometer dimensions of tissues. Prof. Webster is the current director of the Nanomedicine Laboratories (currently at 33 members) and has completed extensive studies on the use of nanophase materials to regenerate tissues. He has graduated over 57 post-doctoral students, and thesis completing B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. students. To date, his lab group has (or will by the end of the year) generate over 15 textbooks, 98 book chapters, 433 invited presentations, at least 393 peer-reviewed literature articles and/or conference proceedings, at least 704 conference presentations, and 24 provisional or full patents. Some of these patents led to the formation of five companies. His research on nanomedicine has received attention in recent media publications including MSNBC (October 10, 2005), NBC Nightly News (May 14, 2007), PBS DragonFly TV (covered across the US during the winter, 2008), ABC Local Nightly News via the Ivanhoe Medical Breakthrough Segment (covered across the US during the winters of 2008 and a separate research segment in 2010 and 2011) and the NY Times (to appear this fall). His work has been on display at the London and Boston Science Museums. He is the founding editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Nanomedicine (the first international journal in nanomedicine, impact factor now 4.97), has organized 13 conferences emphasizing nanotechnology in medicine, and has organized over 49 symposia at numerous conferences emphasizing biological interactions with nanomaterials. He was also recently selected to chair the 2011 Annual Biomedical Engineering Society Meeting in Hartford. Prof. Webster has received numerous honors including, but not limited to: 2002, Biomedical Engineering Society Rita Schaffer Young Investigator Award; 2003, Outstanding Young Investigator Award Purdue University College of Engineering; 2005, American Association of Nanomedicine Young Investigator Award Finalist; 2005, Coulter Foundation Young Investigator Award; 2006, Fellow, American Association of Nanomedicine; 2010, Distinguished Lecturer in Nanomedicine, University of South Florida; and 2011, Outstanding BMES Leadership Award. He was recently appointed director of the Indo-U.S. Center for Biomaterials for Healthcare. His H index is 41.

For more information, contact www.ibe.gwu.edu.

 

GW Institute for Nanotechnology Seminar: "Soft Matter Modeling and Simulation of Mechanotransduction of Stem Cells"

Date: Thursday, December 8
Time: 10:00 - 11:00 am
Location: 640 Phillips Hall
Presenter: Prof. Shaofan Li, Dept of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California-Berkeley

Abstract:

Recent experimental results have shown that the mechanical properties of extracellular environment may have significant influence on the differentiation of stem cells or the fate of stem cells. To explain such biophysical or physiology phenomenon has been one of the current focuses of stem cell research as well as the cell mechanics and biophysics research.

In this presentation, we shall discuss our recent work on soft matter modeling and multiscale simulations of the contact and adhesion of stem cell with the extracellular substrate. In particular, we are interested in how extracellular mechanical properties will affect such contact and adhesion process and how these cell/substrate interaction translate into mechanical signals coming back into the cell that manifest through its deformation, configuration, as well as molecular conformation changes. In order to understand overall mechanical process of cell contact and adhesion, and to explain the possible mechanotransduction mechanism, we have developed a three-dimensional soft-matter cell models that use the liquid-crystal or liquid-crystal elastomer models to represent the overall constitutive relations of the cell in order to simulate their response to extra-cellular stimulus. In this presentation, we shall focus on the following topics: (1) how to model the overall myosin responses at early stage of differentiation process of the stem cell, (2) the effects of both the adhesive force due to ligand-receptor interaction or focal adhesion and the surface tension, and (3) possible cell structure or microstructure changes triggered by substrate's rigidity, stress and strain states, or microstructure.

Biography:

Dr. Shaofan Li is currently a professor of applied and computational mechanics at the University of California-Berkeley. Dr. Li graduated from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the East China University of Science and Technology (Shanghai, China) with a Bachelor Degree of Science in 1982; he also holds Master Degrees of Science from both Huazhong University of Science and Technology (Wuhan, China) and University of Florida (Gainesville, FL, USA) in Applied Mechanics and Aerospace Engineering in 1989 and 1993 respectively. In 1997, Dr. Li received the PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Northwestern University (Evanston, IL, USA), and he was also a post-doctoral researcher at the Northwestern University during 1997-2000.

In 2000, Dr. Li joined the faculty of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California-Berkeley. Dr. Shaofan Li has also been a visiting professor at a visiting Changjiang professor in the Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China (2007-2010). Dr. Shaofan Li is the recipient of A. Richard Newton Research Breakthrough Award (2008), and NSF Career Award (2003). Dr. Li has published more 90 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals, and he is the author and co-author of two research monographs/graduate textbooks.

For more information, contact http://gwin.gwu.edu.

 

MAE Seminar: "Deflagrations, Detonations, and the Deflagration-to-Detonation Transition in Methane-Air Mixtures"

Date: Monday, December 5
Time: 2:00 pm
Location: 736 Phillips Hall
Presenter: Dr. David Kessler, Laboratory for Computational Physics and Fluid Dynamics at the Naval Research Laboratory

Abstract:

Recent experimental and theoretical studies have shown that violent, supersonic, high-pressure detonations can arise spontaneously when low-speed, low-pressure flames are ignited in large, semi-confined areas. Such areas are commonly found in industrial and military facilities where flammable gases may be present, such as mine tunnels, access corridors below deck on a ship, power-generation plants, fuel-storage facilities, and many other locations. Natural gas (NG), for instance, is a commonly-used fuel that can accumulate in these environments and is therefore of intense practical concern. The overarching question we will explore is: Given a large enough volume of a flammable mixture of NG and air, can a flame ignited by a simple spark develop into a detonation? To address this question, we developed computational models based on the reactive Navier-Stokes equations (RNSE) that can be used to compute combustion waves ranging from low-speed laminar flames, to moderate-speed turbulent flames, to high-speed detonations. The combination of efficient numerical algorithms, adaptive mesh refinement, and one-step reaction kinetics used in these models allows a wide range of scales to be resolved in multidimensional computations. Complementary experiments were performed at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's (NIOSH) Gas Explosion Test Facility (GETF), a new 1.05 m by 72 m detonation tube at the NIOSH Lake Lynn Laboratory. Large-scale experiments at GETF have extended the known detonability limits for methane-air mixtures and have shown that DDT can occur in a 1.05 m diameter tube.

Biography:

Dr. Kessler received his Ph.D. in 2006 from the Department of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he used numerical simulations to study the basic physics governing flame behavior in sub-millimeter-scale combustors. After graduation, he spent two years as a National Academy of Science Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Naval Research Laboratory under the advisement of Dr. Elaine Oran where developed a novel multiscale numerical method for the computation of rarefied gas flows. Dr. Kessler is currently a research mechanical engineer at the Laboratory for Computational Physics and Fluid Dynamics at the Naval Research Laboratory. His research interests include the physics of large-scale explosions, detonations, and reacting flows; developing numerical methods for multiscale flow problems; micro- and nano-scale fluidics; and computational fluid dynamics in complex geometries.

For more information, contact Professor Philippe Bardet.