List of Announcements (details below):

  * VSE in the News
  * Photo of the Week
  * Bioengineering Seminar (Thu Feb 12, 1:30pm)
  * Graduate Networking & Etiquette Dinner (Fri Feb 27, 6pm)
  * Academic Publishing Workshop (Tue Mar 3, 4pm)
  * Natl. Defense Industrial Assoc. Annual Tech. Conference (Mar 24-26)
  * New Tool to Stay Current with Journal Literature
  * Funding Opportunity:Daniel H. Wagner Prize in Operations Research
  * Funding Opportunity:Methodologies for Evaluation (NSF) [STEM education]
  * Funding Opportunity:Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
    (US Army)
  * Student Competition:Doing Good with Good OR (INFORMS)
  * Funding Opportunity:Serious STEM Games for Pre-College … Audiences (NIH)
  * Funding Opportunity:Cyber-Physical Systems (NSF)
  * William Roeting Receives Funding from Webworld Technologies & Air Force
  * Robert Elder & Alex Levis Receive Funding from Exelis and Naval
    Research Lab.


*VSE in the News*

Here is a list of news stories about VSE that have been posted:

At the Mason News Desk (

  * Pump Up the Bass To Douse a Blaze: Mason Students’ Invention Fights

At the Volgenau website (

  * Pump Up the Bass To Douse a Blaze: Mason Students’ Invention Fights
  * Shams Bahabib Is Mason’s February 2015 Employee of the Month
  * Engineers Week Activities
  * Around the Corner or In the Home: Improving Robot Navigation and
    Dr. Jana Košecká of the Computer Science Department)

If you have suggestions for other stories, please submit them to Martha 
Bushong, [log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>.


*Photo of the Week*

Seth Robertson (left) and Viet Tran, electrical and computer engineering 
students, test their sound-blasting fire extinguisher prototype.


*Bioengineering Seminar (Thu Feb 12, 1:30pm)*

When: Thursday – February 12th, 2015, 1:30 -2:30 PM
Location: ENGR 3507
Speaker: Joonil Seog, Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park

Title: Dynamic self-assembly of biomacromolecules at the single molecule 
and nanoscale level


One-dimensional nanostructures are ideal building blocks for functional 
nanoscale assembly. Peptide based nanofibers have a high potential in 
building smart hierarchical structures due to their tunable structures 
at the single residue level and their ability to reconfigure themselves 
dynamically in response to environmental stimuli. We observed that 
silk-elastin-like peptide polymer (SELP) self-assembles into amyloid 
nanofibers on a mica substrate when nanomechanical force was applied as 
an external stimuli. Time lapse lateral force microscopy revealed that 
mechanical stretching of a single or multiple SELP molecules is a key 
molecular event for amyloid nucleation. The mechanically induced 
nucleation allows for positional and directional control of amyloid 
assembly in vitro, which we demonstrate by creating a single nanofiber 
at a predetermined site. At the single molecule level, DNA condensation 
by cationic peptides was investigated using optical tweezers. 
Force-extension curves showed characteristic force plateaus and 
hysteresis during stretching and relaxation cycles. Upon environmental 
changes such as concentrations, pH, and divalent cations, force profiles 
changed very dynamically indicating that mechanical properties of 
DNA:cationic peptide complex are regulated at multiple force levels. The 
fundamental knowledge from this study can be applied to design a 
mechanically tailored DNA complex which may enhance transfection 
efficiency by controlling the stability of the complex temporally and 


Joonil Seog is an Assistant Professor of Materials Science and 
Engineering at the University of Maryland in College Park. His research 
interests include single molecule mechanics and nanomechanics of 
biological materials using high resolution force spectroscopy. He 
received a B.S. and M.S. degree in Chemical Technology from Seoul 
National University. He came to the United States in 1997, and received 
a Sc.D. degree in polymer science and technology from Massachusetts 
Institute of Technology (with Professor Alan J. Grodzinsky and Christine 
Ortiz) in 2003. He continued his work at Immune Disease Institute in 
Harvard Medical School as a postdoctoral fellow with Timothy A. 
Springer. Dr. Seog joined the UMD faculty as an Assistant Professor in 
2007. His current research focuses on understanding gene delivery 
mechanisms by cationic carriers, surface facilitated self-assembly of 
biopolymers, and dynamic folding behaviors of peptide based biomaterials.


*Graduate Networking & Etiquette Dinner (Fri Feb 27, 6pm)*

URL: [registration required]
More info:703-993-8984
Location:Founders Hall Multipurpose Room, Mason’s Arlington Campus
Date & time:February 27, 6-9pm

Mason graduate and professional students are invited to attend a fun and 
instructional networking and etiquette event taking place at the 
Arlington Campus. You will have the opportunity to connect with other 
students as well as with Mason alumni and employers. A professional 
networking and etiquette expert will lead the evening, which will 
conclude with an entertaining presentation by Mason's own Robert L. 
Deitz, author of “Congratulations -- You Just Got Hired: Don't Screw It Up.”

The event will feature hors d’oeuvres, a plated dinner, and dessert bar. 
A cash bar will be available. Cost is $15.

Free professional head shots will be available during check in on a 
first come first serve basis.

By attending this event you will learn how to:

  * Read a room for social cues
  * Create and exchange business cards
  * Politely join or excuse yourself from conversations
  * Use email and social media as effective networking tools
  * Leverage your professional contacts to aid in your job search
  * Project an image of professionalism and credibility so others will
    take you seriously in the workplace


*Academic Publishing Workshop (Tue Mar 3, 4pm)*

URL:[registration required; limited to 50 

Title:Academic Publishing for Graduate Students
Who:Presenters will include a journal publisher, and two journal editors
Format:The publisher is the main speaker, and the editors are invited to 
share their own experiences as well as offer insights about publishing, 
the peer review process, etc. during the Q&A session.
When:Tuesday, March 3, 2015, 4 – 6 PM
Where:Instruction room in the Gateway Library (in the Johnson 
Center)—Must be entered through the library entrance.
Sponsors:Elsevier Publishing and the Mason Libraries

Snapshot of topics to be covered:

  * Finding the right publication for your article
  * Expectations for the peer review process (speed, feedback, etc.)
  * Why you were rejected and how to deal with it
  * What you need to know about open access publishing
  * Ethics

Light refreshments will be served.


*Natl. Defense Industrial Assoc. Annual Tech. Conference (Mar 24-26)*

The National Defense Industrial Association 16th Annual Science and 
Engineering Technology Conference will be held March 24 to March 26 in 
Springfield, Virginia. This year’s conference focus will be the 
Department of Defense (DoD) Communities of Interest vision for science 
and engineering technologies within the DoD.



*New Tool to Stay Current with Journal Literature*

[This message was sent to me by Theresa Calcagno of the Mason Library.]

I am writing to let you know about a new tool from the Mason Libraries 
that will help you, and your graduate students, stay up-to-date.The 
JournalTOCs service allows users to select the journals that interest 
them most and then have the table of contents (TOC) delivered directly 
to their email when a new issue is published online.If the Mason 
Libraries subscribe to a journal, the TOC will be linked and researchers 
can then move from the email to the article.JournalTOCs covers more than 
25,000 journals from over 2400 publishers in a wide range of subjects 
including over 2000 engineering journals and 1900 computer science 
journals.In addition, JournalTOCs includes Open Access and Hybrid 
(partially open access) journals.

To use JournalTOCs, you will need to register (free) at:
Once your account is set-up, browse journal lists by subject or search 
specific journal names to find the ones you want to monitor.Check off 
the journals you want and indicate how frequently you would like to 
receive updates, and you are good to go!I have been using JournalTOCs 
since the fall semester and I really like it.The content is pushed to me 
and it is very easy to accessarticles when it is convenient for me!

JournalTOCs joins Browzine, another tool you can use with your smart 
phone or tablet to do your scholarly reading.For more information about 
both of these tools, please visit
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Theresa Calcagno
Asst. Head, Fenwick Research Dept.
Engineering Librarian
George Mason University
[log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>


*Funding Opportunity:Daniel H. Wagner Prize in Operations Research*

Daniel H. Wagner Prize for Excellence in Operations Research Practice
Sponsor: INFORMS Online

This prize emphasizes the quality and coherence of the analysis used in 
practice. Dr. Wagner strove for strong mathematics applied to practical 
problems, supported by clear and intelligible writing. This prize 
recognizes those principles by emphasizing good writing, strong 
analytical content, and verifiable practice successes.

Program URL:


*Funding Opportunity:Methodologies for Evaluation (NSF) [STEM education]*

Promoting Research and Innovation in Methodologies for Evaluation
Sponsor:Directorate for Education and Human Resources/NSF

The Promoting Research and Innovation in Methodologies for Evaluation 
(PRIME) program seeks to support research on evaluation with special 
emphasis on: exploring innovative approaches for determining the impacts 
and usefulness of STEM education projects and programs; building on and 
expanding the theoretical foundations for evaluating STEM education and 
workforce development initiatives, including translating and adapting 
approaches from other fields; and growing the capacity and 
infrastructure of the evaluation field. Three types of proposals will be 
supported by the program: Exploratory Projects that include 
proof-of-concept and feasibility studies; more extensive Full-Scale 
Projects; and conferences.

Deadline(s): 04/30/2015
Program URL:


*Funding Opportunity:Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (US 

Sponsor:U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/Department of Defense

The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) seeks 
proposals under authority of the National Defense Education Act (1959) 
and under the Pre-Engineering Program (PEP) to stimulate young pupils in 
the sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Program URL:

The target students attend primary, middle, and high schools in the 
following locations; … Arlington County, Virginia; Fairfax County, 
Virginia; and Prince William County, Virginia, Alexandria City Public 
Schools, and Loudon County, Virginia. The target students may attend 
public or private schools.


ERDC solicits basic research proposals in the general DoD STEM Education 
and Outreach Program from colleges, universities, and non-profit 


*Student Competition:Doing Good with Good OR (INFORMS)*

Sponsor:INFORMS Online

The Doing Good with Good OR-Student Competition is held each year to 
identify and honor outstanding projects in the field of operations 
research and the management sciences conducted by a student or student 
group that have a significant societal impact.

Program URL:


*Funding Opportunity:Serious STEM Games for Pre-College … Audiences (NIH)*

Serious STEM Games for Pre-College and Informal Science Education 
Audiences (SBIR, STTR)

Sponsor:Office of Research Infrastructure Programs/NIH/DHHS

Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP) invites applications 
for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) from small business 
concerns (SBCs) to develop serious Science, Technology, Engineering and 
Mathematics (STEM) games with a focus on biology that addresses health 
and medicine questions for: (1) pre-kindergarten to grade 12 (P-12) 
students and pre- and in-service teachers ("Teachers") or (2) Informal 
Science Education (ISE) audiences.Serious games are defined as the use 
of gaming technology to train, educate, and encourage behavioral changes 
in a virtual world format where progressive learning, feedback on 
success and user control are combined into an interactive and engaging 
experience. It is anticipated that this SBIR FOA will facilitate the 
translation of new or existing health and medicine-based, P-12 STEM 
curricula and museum exhibits into educational games that will provide a 
hands-on, inquiry-based and learning-by-doing experience for students, 
Teachers and the community.

Program URL:[SBIR]
Program URL:[STTR]


*Funding Opportunity:Cyber-Physical Systems (NSF)*

Sponsor:Directorate for Computer and Information Sciences and 

The goal of the CPS program is to develop the core system science needed 
to engineer complex cyber-physical systems which people can use or 
interact with and depend upon. Some of these may require high-confidence 
or provable behaviors. The program aims to foster a research community 
committed to advancing research and education in CPS and to 
transitioning CPS science and technology into engineering practice. By 
abstracting from the particulars of specific systems and application 
domains, the CPS program seeks to reveal cross-cutting fundamental 
scientific and engineering principles that underpin the integration of 
cyber and physical elements across all application sectors. To expedite 
and accelerate the realization of cyber-physical systems in a wide range 
of applications, the CPS program also supports the development of 
methods, tools, and hardware and software components based upon these 
cross-cutting principles, along with validation of the principles via 
prototypes and testbeds.

Program URL:


*William Roeting Receives Funding from Webworld Technologies & Air Force*

William Roeting of the C4I Center received $278K from Webworld 
Technologies, Inc. and the U.S. Air Force for his project, “Smart Node 
Pod Initiative.”


*Robert Elder & Alex Levis Receive Funding from Exelis and Naval 
Research Lab.*

Robert Elder & Alex Levis of the Electrical & Computer Engineering 
Department received $30K from Exelis Inc. and the Naval Research 
Laboratory for their project, “Kinetic/Non-Kinetic Integrated Force 
Effects (KNIFE) JCTD Transition Activities.”


Stephen G. Nash
Senior Associate Dean
Volgenau School of Engineering
George Mason University
Nguyen Engineering Building, Room 2500
Mailstop 5C8
Fairfax, VA 22030

[log in to unmask]
Phone: (703) 993-1505
Fax: (703) 993-1633