List of Announcements (details below):


VSE in the News

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

At the Mason News Desk (

At the Volgenau website (

If you have suggestions for other stories, please submit them to Martha Bushong, [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 spatially.


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:


Academic Publishing Workshop (Tue Mar 3, 4pm)

URL: [registration required; limited to 50 attendees]

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:

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 access  articles 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]


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.

Deadline(s):      05/01/2015
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 Army)

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 organizations.


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.

Deadline(s):      05/15/2015
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.

Deadline(s):      05/12/2015
Program URL: [SBIR]
Program URL: [STTR]


Funding Opportunity:  Cyber-Physical Systems (NSF)

Sponsor:          Directorate for Computer and Information Sciences and Engineering/NSF

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.

Deadline(s):      05/04/2015
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