List of Announcements (details below):


VSE in the News

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

On the Volgenau website (

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


Photo of the Week


Mechanical engineering students and Assistant Professor Colin Reagle (center) prepare to tour labs in Bull Run Hall on the Science and Technology Campus. (Photo by Martha Bushong.)


Sandia National Laboratories: Computing Research Summer Intern Program (Grad & Undergrad)

The Center for Computing Research (CCR) at Sandia National Laboratories seeks multiple students to participate in collaborative research across a wide range of areas in computer science, applied mathematics, discrete mathematics, mathematical modeling, computational science and engineering, computational neuroscience and cognitive science (including cognitive and experimental psychology, neuroscience, and linguistics). Possible research areas include advanced computer architectures, systems software, programming languages and paradigms, networks, informatics and information sciences, combinatorial mathematics, discrete event simulation, scalable linear and nonlinear solvers, continuous and discrete optimization, uncertainty quantification, statistics, multiscale methods and mathematics, multiphysics modeling, visualization, visual cognition, meshing, cybersecurity, advanced modeling and simulation, human decision modeling, machine learning, brain inspired computing and assessing human performance. Students are also sought with interests in applying computational methods to scientific and engineering applications including shock physics, molecular dynamics, MHD, CFD, electrical systems, MEMS, and climate science. These student internships are for motivated and enthusiastic individuals with excellent communication skills and who have the desire to gain research experience in a highly collaborative research environment. Successful applicants will be exposed to a wide range of computational and/or cognitive research at Sandia and will have a strong project-based research experience working directly with Sandia staff scientists.

To access the posting, go to, click on “Careers” then click on “View All Jobs” and search for the job opening number - 651287 for graduate students and 651289 for undergraduates. Applications should include a CV and a cover letter describing the area that they would like to gain research experience.


NSF: New Grant Proposal Guide

The National Science Foundation has released a new edition of its Grant Proposal Guide (GPG):
The guide specifies the requirements for proposals to NSF, and proposals that do not meet the requirements GPG may be returned without being reviewed.  This has been occurring more frequently in the last few years.

The following is from the announcement of the revision sent by NSF:

“As you start preparing your proposals for the February submission window (Deadline of Tuesday Feb 16, 2016), please, be aware that the new Grant Proposal Guide will take effect on Jan 25.  Several important changes will take effect with this new change.  I suggest you look over the overview of all changes listed at the beginning of the document.  One important change I would like to draw your attention to in particular is section VI.D.2.c — the new requirement for Public Access to Copyrighted Material.  You may want to check with your SRO or legal office to understand what the implications are with respect to copyright agreements.  Depending on the journals you plan to target for your publications, you may need to include in your budget the open-access publication fees, which can be quite high.”


MITRE Launches $100K Challenge: Countering Unauthorized Drones

[From an announcement I received from MITRE.]

The MITRE Corporation is offering innovators the chance to solve a national problem, gain recognition for their work, and win up to $100,000.  Interested?

Every day, more and more commercial operators, government agencies, and hobbyists find new ways to use small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones. As the cost of these drones has gone down, the interest has gone up. As a result, we often see drones in the news and hear about how they are potentially threatening the safety of aircraft in the national airspace or landing in unauthorized locations—such as the White House lawn.

The potential for nefarious use of UAS technology has become a major concern for multiple federal agencies. To draw new ideas from a wide variety of innovators on how to address the issues, MITRE is hosting a Challenge. We’re looking for novel ways to detect suspicious small drones (under 5 lbs.) and interdict those that present a safety or security threat.

We are looking for a wide range of ideas, from those that are fully developed and ready to deploy to those that are in early development but show promise. And we want to hear from a wide range of participants—including individual entrepreneurs, students, and teams from small and large companies.

Two-Phase Challenge

Phase 1: By February 7, participants must submit white papers describing their approach to detecting and interdicting unauthorized UAS weighing less than 5 pounds in an urban environment.

Phase 2: The most promising entries will advance to the second phase, in which participants will demonstrate their solutions in a live flight assessment of their systems in a realistic operational environment. This will take place in early Fall 2016.

Information Session: We will be holding a webinar on December 2 to answer questions from anyone interested in participating in the Challenge. More details to come!

Michael Balazs and Jonathan Rotner
Challenge Leads
The MITRE Corporation


Funding Opportunity:  Mathematical Sciences Innovation Incubator (NSF)


The ideas, tools, and language of mathematics and statistics play important roles in every area of science and engineering research supported by the National Science Foundation, and it is widely recognized that interactions between the mathematical sciences and other fields catalyze developments in both.  The NSF Division of Mathematical Sciences wishes to foster the participation of more mathematical scientists, from every area of mathematics and statistics, in such important interdisciplinary work.  In support of this goal, the Mathematical Sciences Innovation Incubator (MSII) activity provides funding to support the involvement of mathematical scientists in research areas where the mathematical sciences are not yet playing large roles. …

Areas of national high-priority scientific research in fiscal year 2016 identified by the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy include:

The MSII activity will support research projects in these and other areas of national priority that are managed by NSF programs outside of DMS and that involve new collaborations among mathematical scientists and other scientists or engineers in the research. 


Funding Opportunity: Next Generation Intelligence Collection & Analyses (Air Force)

Sponsor:  Department of the Air Force
Sponsor Number:  BAA-AFRL-RIK-2015-0006
Deadline Date:  01-Nov-2016
Program URL :

Synopsis: The Air Force Research Laboratory - Information Directorate (AFRL/RI) is soliciting white papers under this BAA for research, design, development, test, evaluation and experimentation of innovative technologies and techniques for Next Generation Intelligence Collection and Analyses. The objective of the BAA is to develop, demonstrate, and evaluate new sources and methods for collecting and analyzing intelligence data. This effort is expected to provide research and development activities to enhance warfighter mission capabilities and advance baseline performance beyond what is currently considered satisfactory. Under the proposed announcement, it is anticipated that intelligence collection and analysis technologies will be used in support of Strategic, Operational, and Tactical missions. These should include, but are not limited to, Signals Intelligence, Measurement & Signals Intelligence, and Electronic Intelligence techniques. …


Funding Opportunity:  Improved Networking through Embedded Processing & Sensing (Air Force)

Sponsor:  Department of the Air Force
Sponsor Number:  BAA-AFRL-RIK-2015-0007
Deadline Date:  01-Nov-2016
Program URL :

Synopsis:  The Air Force Research Laboratory - Information Directorate (AFRL/RI) is soliciting white papers under this BAA for research, design, development, test, evaluation and experimentation of innovative technologies and techniques for Improved Networking through Embedded Processing and Sensing.  The objective of the BAA is to develop, demonstrate, and evaluate new sources and methods for improving network connectivity and stability through embedded processing and sensing. This effort is expected to provide research and development activities to enhance warfighter mission capabilities and advance baseline performance beyond what is currently considered satisfactory. Under the proposed effort, it is anticipated that improved network connectivity research and development will be conducted in support of Command & Control (C2) operations.  Efforts under this program are expected to provide the DoD and mission partners with system network enhancements that provide the flexibility required to adapt to and operate in contested, congested, or intermittent environments. …


ASEE Seeks Panelists for NDSEG Fellowships

The American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) in conjunction with the Department of Defense (DoD) is currently recruiting qualified candidates to serve on the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship's digital evaluation panel in early 2016.

Interested parties should have a background in at least one of NDSEG's 15 supported STEM disciplines (please see below for a list of disciplines). If interested, potential panelists may register at  Please visit for more information regarding the NDSEG Fellowship Program.

Panelists conduct a thorough evaluation of each assigned application by completing a rating rubric online for each section of the form. All applications must be read and rated during the online application evaluation by the program office's imposed deadline. Each year, the NDSEG evaluation panelists review and rank an average of 3,000 applications for the graduate fellowship. After the panel, the ranking results are submitted to the program's sponsor, the DoD, who then selects the fellowship recipients. 180 awards are anticipated for the class of 2016.

Panelists are chosen from one of the following supported disciplines:

All non-DoD (and non-government) reviewers will receive an honorarium, provided they fulfill their application evaluation duties. Based on the number of reviewers who accept invitations, each reviewer will be required to read, on average, 20-30 applications.

If you have any questions regarding panelist registration or NDSEG's promotional materials, please contact the NDSEG Program Office at [log in to unmask] or (202) 649-3831.

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