September 12-18, 2011


September 12, 2011

Faculty News


Prof. Adam Wickenheiser (MAE) has received a two-year, $228,000 grant from the CIA to investigate the use of piezoelectric material for harvesting small amounts of energy from walking, running, breathing, etc. Motion from the host is converted into strain energy in the material, which is in turn converted into electricity to charge a battery or capacitor for powering wireless devices. These devices could be designed to be completely self-reliant, meaning the batteries would not need to be recharged or replaced manually.

Conferences & Presentations:

Prof. Murray Loew (ECE) attended MIPS XIV, the conference of the Medical Image Perception Society, August 9-12, in Dublin, Ireland, where he presented the paper "Choosing an image fusion method for human observers." Prof. Loew is a co-organizer of MIPS XV, to be held in the Washington area in 2013.


Dr. Sonia Schmitt has joined EMSE as an adjunct faculty member for Fall 2011. Dr. Schmitt has 22 years experience in industry, including assignments at Lockheed Martin, SAIC, The World Bank, and CSC. She recently completed the National and International Security program at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government (KSG). In 2009, she completed the KSG's Senior Executive Fellows (SEF) program. Dr. Schmitt has an MBA from Virginia Tech, and a doctorate, M.S., and B.S. from GW. Under the direction of Prof. Julie Ryan, her focus in EMSE is marketing of technology.

Student News

Xiaolong Jian (CS-undergraduate student) presented the paper "Digital Analysis and Visualization of Swimming Motion" at the 24th International Conference on Computer Animation and Social Agents. The paper was also published in the International Journal of Virtual Reality. Xiaolong's work was supported by an undergraduate research fellowship sponsored by the Institute for Computer Graphics and advised by James Hahn.

Other News

The GW Institute for Biomedical Engineering announces the call for proposals for the GWIBE Interdisciplinary Research Fund. Internal funds are available to support pilot projects associated with biomedical computing and engineering. Proposals are due by October 3, 2011. 

Guest Vignette

On August 23, 2011, at 1:00 pm, a rare 5.8 magnitude earthquake with an epicenter located 90 miles southwest of Washington, DC, shook the East Coast. This earthquake was felt from the Carolinas to the Canadian Border. This intraplate earthquake occurred in the interior of the North American tectonic plate, about 3.7 miles below the ground. Intraplate earthquakes are far less frequent than interplate earthquakes, which occur at the boundaries of two tectonic plates.

Researchers at GW's Virginia Science and Technology Campus use an earthquake simulator to study earthquake effects on structures. This earthquake simulator, also known as a "shake table," is a 3-by-3 meter (10x10 feet) table that can simulate any combination of ground motions. Using the shake table, researchers at GW can simulate how buildings, bridges, and even their foundations would react in the event of an earthquake. The shake table has been used to study how soils undergo liquefaction as the result of an earthquake. The integrity of soils used as foundations or even in dams can be studied with the table.

Under a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and using the shake table, Prof. Pedro Silva and his graduate student currently are investigating the performance of tall reinforced concrete (RC) bridge columns to the effects of long duration strong shaking earthquakes. Projects of this nature are also a vital component in the education and training of future engineers. Under this NSF grant, the research is evolving from simple computational tools to high-fidelity modeling of the inelastic response of RC columns, which will culminate with a series of dynamic tests using scaled models on the shake table. This combination of analytical and experimental investigation will provide important test data to validate and calibrate analytical tools that will be used by engineers in designing future structures. Results from this research will provide engineers with design tools to better estimate the seismic response of tall slender columns, which are often an integral part of complex highway interchanges. Complex highway interchangers are currently located in some of the more densely populated urban areas in California (especially the Los Angeles Basin) and near well-known fault systems. (Provided courtesy of Prof. Pedro Silva of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering)

SEAS Events

SAVE THE DATE: "Dare to Dream"
A talk by SEAS alumna Anousheh Ansari
Tuesday, September 27
3:30 pm: Refreshments; 4:00 - 5:00 pm: Talk
307 Marvin Center

MAE Seminar: "Recent Developments in the Viscous Flux Formulations for the High Order Spectral Volume Navier Stokes Solver"
Ravi Kannan, Research Engineer, CFD Research Corporation
Monday, September 12
2:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall

NSF Diversity Seminar: "The Importance of Broadening Participation in Engineering"
Omnia El-Hakim, National Science Foundation
Thursday, September 15
4:30 - 5:30 pm
258 Duques Hall

MAE Seminar: "Novel Computational Methods with Applications in Life Science and Engineering"
Pinhas Bar-Yoseph, Technion-ITT (Israel)
Tuesday, September 20
1:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall

MAE Seminar: "Intelligent Continuum Surgical Slaves"
Nabil Simaan, Vanderbilt University
Monday, September 26
2:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall

MAE Seminar: "A Kalman/Particle Filter-Based Position and Orientation Estimation Method Using a Position Sensor/Inertial Measurement Unit Hybrid System"
William Melek, University of Waterloo (Canada)
Thursday, October 27
2:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall

Dissertation Defenses

Name of Student Defending: Ariel S. Castillo
Title of Dissertation: "Determination of Solar Energy Transition Potential for Department of Defense Facilities and Non-Tactical Vehicles"
Advisor: Jonathan Deason (EMSE)
Tuesday, September 13
10:00 a.m.
1776 G Street, N.W, Conference Room 122

Name of Student Defending: Ahmed Zaid Al-Husain
Title of Dissertation: "Barriers to Knowledge Management in Saudi Arabia With Respect to the Saudi Arabian National Information Technology Plan"
Advisor: Lile Murphree; Co-advisor: Charles Bixler (EMSE)
Thursday, September 22
12:00 noon
1776 G Street, N.W, Conference Room 122