September 30-October 6, 2013


September 30, 2013

Faculty News


The National Science Foundation has awarded GW a $229,886 planning grant for STEM education entitled “GW Reform and Advancement of STEM-education Practices (GRASP).” The GRASP project will bring together faculty from GW’s STEM departments to implement evidence-based pedagogical practices in undergraduate STEM courses. Faculty will also discuss ways to improve retention, recruit students from underrepresented minorities, and develop assessment instruments for student learning and student attitude towards STEM careers. The long term goal is to forge collaborative relationships amongst faculty in STEM departments, create a culture of pedagogical experimentation and innovation, and contribute to the national discourse on STEM education.


Prof. Royce Francis (EMSE) and his doctoral student, Behailu Bekera, have published an article in the journal Reliability Engineering and System Safety.  The citation is: R.A. Francis and B. Bekera, "A metric and frameworks for resilience analysis of engineered and infrastructure systems," Reliability Engineering and System Safety, Vol. 121, p. 90-103.  

Prof. Yongsheng Leng (MAE) and his doctoral students have published three papers recently, all of which are supported by NSF and American Chemical Society grants:

  1. Qi Rao , Yuan Xiang , and Yongsheng Leng, "Molecular Simulations on the Structure and Dynamics of Water–Methane Fluids between Na-Montmorillonite Clay Surfaces at Elevated Temperature and Pressure," The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 117, 14063 (2013)
  2. Yongsheng Leng, Yuan Xiang, Yajie Lei, and Qi Rao, "A comparative study by the grand canonical Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics simulations on the squeezing behavior of nanometers confined liquid films," The Journal of Chemical Physics, 139, 074704 (2013)
  3. Yuan Xiang, Yaolin Liu, Baoxia Mi, and Yongsheng Leng, "Hydrated Polyamide Membrane and Its Interaction with Alginate: A Molecular Dynamics Study," Langmuir, 29, 11600 (2013)

Prof. Taeyoung Lee (MAE) has published the following paper: "Robust Adaptive Attitude Tracking on SO(3) with an Application to a Quadrotor UAV," IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology, Vol. 21, No. 5, September 2013, pp. 1924-1930.

Conferences & Presentations:

Profs. Sameh Badie and Majid Manzari (CEE), and their former doctoral student Amir Arab, jointly published a peer reviewed paper in the Precast Concrete Institute (PCI)-National Bridge Conference, held September 20-24 in Grapevine, TX.  The paper was presented by Dr. Arab and is titled "Response of Pretensioned Concrete Beams to 0.7-in. Diameter Prestressing Strands with Experimental Verification."  At the same conference, Prof. Badie was invited to give a special presentation on the full-depth precast deck panel system for highway bridges.  The presentation also shed light on the new state-of-the-art report on this type of construction, which was published by PCI last year. Prof. Badie is a co-author of this publication.

Prof. Suresh Subramaniam (ECE) was an invited participant in the OSA (Optical Society of America) Incubator and NSF Workshop on Scaling Terabit Networks: Breaking Through Capacity Barriers and Lowering Cost with New Architectures and Technologies. The two-day workshop was held September 19 and 20 at the OSA headquarters in Washington, DC.

Prof. Adam Wickenheiser (MAE) and his doctoral student Chris Blower attended the ASME 2013 Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems, held September 16-18 in Snowbird, UT.  Prof. Wickenheiser  served as the co-chair of the Symposium on Energy Harvesting, and he chaired several other sessions, namely: "Morphing," "Flow Energy Harvesting I," "Energy Harvesting Under Random and Multi-Frequency Inputs," and "Low-Frequency Excitations."  The following papers from his research group also were presented at the conference: 1) Christopher Blower and Adam Wickenheiser, "The Validation of a Generalized Aerodynamic Model for a Multi-Body Bio-Inspired Wing."  This paper was awarded Best Paper of Symposium 6, Bioinspired Smart Materials and Systems,  and it qualified Chris Blower as a finalist for the conference's Student Best Paper Competition; and 2) Ambrish P. Patel and Adam Wickenheiser, "Towards Frequency-Independent Vibration-Based Energy Harvesting Using Frequency Up-Conversion

Other News:

Prof. Julie Ryan (EMSE) worked last spring with experts from around the world (including India, China, Australia, Singapore, and Korea) to help (ISC)2 develop the Certified Cyber Forensics Professional (CCFP) credential examination.  The new credential was formally launched on June 6th, and the first open examination for the credential was held September 25.  The CCFP credential spans the digital forensics and information security disciplines, and it is intended to provide employers with an objective measure of the kind of broad-based but deep knowledge required of today’s experienced cyber forensics professionals. 

Prof. Lijie Grace Zhang (MAE) has been invited to be a Scientific Advisory Committee Member of the 2014 Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society Americas (TERMIS-AM) Annual Meeting, which will be held December 11-15 in Washington, DC.  In addition, she is serving on the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Cellular and Tissue Engineering Committee of the Bioengineering Division.

Student News

ECE doctoral student Qianyi Zhao has been selected as a winner of the 2013 Chorafas Foundation Award. The Swiss-based Chorafas Foundation gives scientific awards to doctoral students worldwide who are under 30 at the time of application and are doing outstanding dissertation research in selected fields of life sciences and/or sustainability.  The goal of the awards is to reward exceptional research performance and to encourage significant future contributions to practical, applied science fields.  Mr. Zhao is supervised by Prof. Roger Lang, and his research is concerned with the microwave remote sensing of the Earth's environment.  He focuses on the scattering and emission effects from vegetation, including forests and corn fields.  His current project uses radar to measure forest biomass, aiming to increase the accuracy of microwave forest models by studying the radar response from a single tree.  Mr. Zhao defended his doctoral dissertation in March 2013.

Other News

The Institute for Biomedical Engineering is pleased to announce a call for proposals for the IBE Interdisciplinary Research Fund. This program awards up to $20,000 each for pilot projects leading to new extramural proposals.  The winner may apply for a renewal of another $20,000 at the conclusion of this award.  The deadline for response is 5:00 pm on Monday, October 7. 

The Institute for Biomedical Engineering also announces the 2013-2014 Undergraduate Research Fellowship. This is an opportunity for undergraduates interested in conducting meaningful research in biomedical engineering and computing with a faculty mentor. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, October 15.

Four SEAS teams have been accepted into the DC I-Corps program, a new, NSF-supported program designed to foster, grow, and nurture an innovation ecosystem in the Mid-Atlantic Region.  Each team will receive $5,000 commercialization grants from SEAS:      

Team Name

Entrepreneurial Lead

Principal Investigator

Additional Member



Ahsen Uppal

Howie Huang

Tim Wood

Ed Martinez

Key Orthopedics

Benjamin Holmes

Grace Zhang


Matthew Scherer


Nathan Castro

Grace Zhang


Bob Balcerzak

Small Spacecraft Micropropulsion

Samudra Haque

Michael Keidar


Randy Graves

Guest Vignette

Cloud computing is becoming increasingly popular – more and more customers prefer to purchase services from cloud providers such as Amazon EC2 and Google than to develop their own services.  A notably lacking feature in today’s cloud services is customizable reliability.  ECE researchers are working on strategies to provide reliability as an elastic and transparent service that can be accessed by cloud customers.  In a project supported by the NSF, Profs. Tian Lan, Suresh Subramaniam, and Howie Huang are investigating novel approaches to incorporate reliability in cloud services.  In one approach, called "checkpointing," snapshots of a customer’s job are taken periodically and stored on remote servers.  When a failure event that affects the customer’s job occurs, the job may be resumed by rolling back to the time the last snapshot was taken.  In their initial work, the researchers have found a way to optimize the schedule of checkpoints, given customer reliability requirements.  Ongoing work considers other techniques to make cloud services reliable.   (Provided courtesy of Prof. Suresh Subramaniam of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering)

SEAS Events

MAE Seminar: "On the Propagation, Instability & Turbulence of Advancing Material Fronts"
Speaker: S. "Bala" Balachandar, University of Florida
Monday, September 30
1:30 pm
736 Phillips Hall

CS Research Seminar: “Semantic Segmentation for Mobile Robots”
Speaker: Dr. Cesar Cadena, George Mason University
Thursday, October 3
2:00 pm
205 Tompkins

MAE Seminar: "Time Resolved Two Dimensional X-Ray Densitometry of Two Phase Flows"
Speaker: Professor Steven L. Ceccio, University of Michigan
Tuesday, October 8
11:00 am
736 Phillips Hall

MAE and the GW Institute for Nanotechnology: “Size-dependent Probabilistic Damage Micromechanics and Toughening Behavior of Particle/Fiber Reinforced Composites”
Speaker: Prof. J. Woody Ju, University of California, Los Angeles
Monday, October 14
1:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall

GW Institute for Biomedical Engineering Seminar: "The Fluid Dynamics of Human Birth"
Speaker: Prof. Megan Leftwich (MAE)
Tuesday, October 15
1:00 - 2:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall

CS Seminar: “Machine Learning Approaches for Annotating Biological Data”
Speaker: Dr. Huzefa Rangwala, George Mason University
Wednesday, October 16
2:30 pm
736 Phillips Hall

MAE Seminar: “Peridynamic Theory: An Approach to Computational Mechanics without Spatial Derivatives”
Speaker: Paul N. Demmie, Sandia National Laboratories
Monday, October 21
11:00 am
204 Tompkins Hall

MAE Seminar: “Mechanical Forces Drive (and Regulate?) Organogenesis”
Speaker: Larry A. Taber, Washington University
Thursday, November 7
11:00 am
736 Phillips Hall

MAE Seminar: “Modeling Inelastic Behavior of Metals at Multiple Scales for Multiple Purposes”
Speaker, David L. McDowell, Georgia Institute of Technology
Monday, November 25
736 Phillips Hall

Career Center Events

FBI Information Session
Tuesday, October 1
3:30-4:30 pm
302 Marvin Center

Note: All of the above organizations require U.S. citizenship for employment, but any SEAS student may attend the events taking place at SEAS.   Check with the GW Career Center about events listed in GWork.


Business professional or business casual attire is the appropriate dress code for career events.
Samples of appropriate attire:

Entrepreneurship & Other Events

GW Entrepreneurs Club Meeting
Wednesday, October 2
6:00 pm
403 Marvin Center

Cybersecurity Summit at The Washington Post
Thursday, October 3
8:30 am - 12:00 noon
GW's Cyber Security and Privacy Research Institute (CSPRI) is the academic sponsor of the summit, which will bring together leading national security officials, industry experts, and those who write about them, including syndicated columnist David Ignatius.  To apply to attend, visit