September 26 - October 2, 2011


September 26, 2011

Faculty News


Prof. Royce Francis (EMSE) has recently received a subcontract for an NSF project titled "Drinking Water Distribution System Management Incorporating Health and Asset Risk". The overarching goal of this research is to enable transformative advances in water distribution system asset management by allowing asset management decision-making to consider both asset risk and reliability and the public health impacts of asset management. Prof. Francis and his SEED Research Group at GW are developingexpert systems (e.g., Bayesian Belief Networks) to predict drinking water distribution system pipe breaks. This model will be integrated into a risk-based infrastructure management framework for life-cycle risk and cost analysis of drinking water system maintenance strategies.  The GW budget for this project is $119,843 for two years.

Books & Papers:

Prof. Kie Eom (ECE) published the following journal paper: Kie B. Eom, "Speckle Reduction in Ultrasound Images Using Nonisotropic Adaptive Filtering," Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology, Vol. 37, Issue 10, pp. 1677-1688, October 2011, doi:10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2011.05.847

Prof. Martha Pardavi-Horvath (ECE) and her co-authors from MIT have published the following paper: M. Pardavi-Horvath, B.G. Ng, F. J. Castano, H.S. Korner, C. Garcia, C.A. Ross, "Angular dependence of ferromagnetic resonance and magnetization configuration of thin film permalloy nanoellipse arrays," Journal of Applied Physics, 110, 053921, 2011. Their research was supported by NSF.

Prof. Julie Ryan (EMSE chair) and her co-authors had a paper published in Georgetown Journal of International Law. The citation for the paper is: Daniel J. Ryan , Maeve Dion, Eneken Tikk & Julie J. C. H. Ryan (Summer, 2011) "International Cyberlaw: A Normative Approach," Georgetown Journal of International Law, Vol. 42, No. 4, pp. 1161-1197.

Conferences & Presentations:

Prof. Pinhas Ben-Tzvi (MAE) and his doctoral student, Mr. William Rone, presented two peer-reviewed conference papers at the 2011 IEEE International Symposium on Robotic and Sensors Environments (ROSE 2011), held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, September 16-18. The papers are:

  1. Moubarak, P., Ben-Tzvi, P., "Design and Analysis of a New Piezoelectric MEMS Tilt Sensor," Proceedings of the 2011 IEEE International Symposium on Robotic and Sensors Environments (ROSE 2011), Montreal, Quebec, Canada, pp. 83 -88, September 16-18, 2011.
  1. Moubarak, P., Ben-Tzvi, P., "Adaptive Manipulation of a Hybrid Mechanism Mobile Robot," Proceedings of the 2011 IEEE International Symposium on Robotic and Sensors Environments (ROSE 2011), Montreal, Quebec, Canada, pp. 113 -118, September 16-18, 2011.

The co-author, Paul Moubarak, is also a doctoral student of Prof. Ben-Tzvi. Prof. Ben-Tzvi also chaired the technical session "Localization Systems" at the same conference.

Prof. Michael Keidar (MAE) participated in the 32nd International Electric Propulsion Conference in Wiesbaden, Germany, September 11-14. He and his students presented three papers:

  1. T. Suaris and M. Keidar, "Analysis of micro-vacuum arc thruster for Earth-orbiting and Lunar missions," Paper IEPC-2011-031
  1. T. Zuang, A. Shashurin, D. Teel, D. Chiu, M. Keidar, "Micro-cathode thruster development and characterization," Paper IEPC-2011-266
  1. L. Brieda and M. Keidar, "Multiscale modeling of Hall thrusters," Paper IEPC-2011-101

Prof. Keidar also gave a brief talk to the Electric Ricket Propulsion Society to update them on the 33rd International Electric Propulsion Conference, which will be hosted by GW in October 2013.


Prof. Julie Ryan (EMSE chair) was invited to address members of the MITRE Corporation on September 16 as part of an on-going seminar series on information and knowledge. Her presentation was focused on cybersecurity and was very well-received. Over 350 members of the MITRE community accessed the presentation, either physically or virtually.

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. 

GW was just awarded $125,719 for scholarships under the Information Assurance Scholarship Program administered by the National Security Agency.  Two GW students are studying on these now. The new competition for these scholarships begins in November and the deadline for applying for them is January 31, 2012, but potential applicants can start filling out their applications online now.

SEAS was represented among a number of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) agencies, engineering associations, and educational organizations that met at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Tuesday, September 20, to explore perspectives and strategies that support a highly inclusive STEM workforce. Key to this effort is the inclusion of federal agencies among existing STEM collaborations. This year's conference brought together an outstanding collection of very informative presenters, including officials from the Department of Energy, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, the National Science Foundation, and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, among others. 

Guest Vignette

Microfluidics and Nanophotonics - Tools for Single Cell Biology and Portable Biosensing
Microfluidics technology offers the ability to manipulate tiny volume (< 10-9 L) of liquids with unprecedented precision, automation, and parallelism. Prof. Zhenyu Li and his collaborators in the ECE department are now using this capability to build single cell gene analysis systems and novel nanophotonic devices for portable biosensors.

Biologists have long sought a technology which will allow them to study biological processes in individual cells. However, until recently no simple and high-throughput single cell manipulation tools have been available. To address this unmet need, Prof. Li's group has developed an automated microfluidic bio-processor that can simultaneously measure gene expression profiles of 32 embryonic stem cells (Left figure below).  This study also provided evidence that cDNA measurement of a stem cell population is not a faithful representation of the gene expression levels in individual cells, which underscores the importance of true single cell analysis.

A second focus of Prof. Li's group is a new research area called optofluidics, which is also enabled by the ability to manipulate liquids at small length scales, in this case as small as the wavelength of light. By integrating photonic and fluidic functions on a single substrate, optofluidics not only gives rise to highly compact and integrated "lab-on-a-chip" systems, but also enables adaptive and reconfigurable nanophotonic devices via fluidic manipulation. For example, Prof. Li's group has built a microfabricated liquid dye laser (Right figure below), the size of a quarter, with reconfigurable optical performances, and a liquid grating spectrometer with sub-nanometer spectral resolution and a footprint of only 5mm by 8mm. Such novel nanophotonic devices may one day enable handheld biosensors for point-of-care diagnostics, environmental monitoring, and food safety inspection. (Provided courtesy of Prof. Zhenyu Li of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering)

SEAS Events

NEW DATE: "Dare to Dream"
A talk by SEAS alumna Anousheh Ansari
Thursday, October 27
3:00 pm: Refreshments; 3:30 - 4:30 pm: Talk

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

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

  • Xiaolong Jiang (CS): "Digital Analysis and Visualization of Swimming Motion"
  • Matthew Wilkins (ECE): "Monitoring Impedance Changes in Cell Monolayers Due to alterations in Intra-cellular and Extra-cellular Spaces"

Tuesday, September 27
1:30 - 2:30 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: O'tega Akpowhene Ejofodomi
Title of Dissertation: "Optical/Acoustic Radiation Imaging (OARI) Probe Developed for Epithelial Cancer Detection"
Advisor: Jason Zara (ECE)
Monday, September 26
10:30 am - 1:30 pm
107 Tompkins Hall (Dean's Conference Room)