RICHLAND, Wash. – Engineering and science faculty members at Washington State University Tri-Cities have joined forces to offer a free, public, interdisciplinary seminar series beginning at noon Friday, Aug. 30. All seminars will be in Room 252 of the West Building, 2710 Crimson Way, Richland.
 
Demissie“Our idea is to expose our students to a wide range of topics related to engineering, science and cutting-edge research,” said Yonas Demissie, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering. Seminars are especially intended to engage WSU Tri-Cities students pursuing master’s and doctoral degrees, he said.
 
XantheasFriday’s presentation will be by Sotiris S. Xantheas, laboratory fellow with the physical sciences division at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). He will discuss recent efforts towards achieving a quantitative description of the structure, energetics and dynamics of the hydrogen bonding network in systems of increasing complexity, such as in guest/host inclusion compounds, aqueous solutions and systems of biological significance.
 
Voulgarakis“We are grateful to have distinguished speakers coming from various backgrounds, including industry, federal and state agencies, research institutes and academia,” said Nikolaos Voulgarakis, assistant professor of mathematics. “We believe that our community will benefit from this informative seminar series and will initiate more interdisciplinary collaborations.”
 
FelsotThe second seminar will be at noon Friday, Sept. 6, on a timely agricultural topic: “The Science of Crop Biotechnology and the Myths of Food Labeling Initiatives,” presented by Allan S. Felsot, professor of entomology and environmental toxicology at WSU Tri-Cities.
 
The Joint Engineering and Science Seminar (JESS) series is an interdisciplinary effort of the College of Arts and Sciences and the Office of Professional Programs at WSU Tri-Cities.
About the Aug. 30 speaker
Sotiris S. Xantheas earned his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Iowa State University. He joined PNNL in 1992 as a research scientist and was named a laboratory fellow in 2004. He received the 2013 PNNL Director’s Award for Exceptional Scientific Achievement and has published more than 130 papers in peer-reviewed journals. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
About the Sept. 6 speaker
Allan S. Felsot earned his Ph.D. in entomology at Iowa State University. He has been in the WSU Food and Environmental Quality Lab at WSU Tri-Cities since 1993, with responsibilities divided among teaching, extension and research. His research interests include pesticide drift and the analytical chemistry of pesticide residues in soil, water and food. His academic honors include the 2008 American Chemical Society Agrochemical Division Fellow Award.
About the faculty collaborators
Yonas Demissie received his Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He came to WSU Tri-Cities in 2012 from Argonne National Laboratory, where he performed postdoctoral research. His research interest focuses on the assessment of water resources sustainability under natural and human-induced changes and uncertainty.
 
Nikolaos Voulgarakis earned his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Crete in Greece and joined WSU Tri-Cities in 2012. He worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, UC Berkeley, where he conducted research on nanoscale fluid dynamics. His areas of research include numerical analysis, multiphysics/multiscale modeling, stochastic processes, molecular and fluid dynamics, and nonlinear dynamics.
About WSU Tri-Cities
Located along the scenic Columbia River in Richland, Wash., WSU Tri-Cities was established in 1989 with upper division and graduate programs. It expanded in 2007 to a four-year undergraduate campus offering 18 bachelor’s, 10 master’s and six doctoral degree programs. Learn about the most diverse campus in the WSU system at http://www.tricity.wsu.edu.