List of Announcements (details below):


·         This Week at the Volgenau School

·         VSE in the News

·         Photo of the Week

·         Upcoming Events at the Volgenau School

·         New research group: Mason Network Science

·         Nominations for OSCAR Student and Mentor Excellence (deadline March 1)

·         Funding Opportunity:  Rotorcraft Situational Awareness Radar (Army)

·         Funding Opportunity:  Software Infrastructure for Sustained Innovation (NSF)

·         Dear Colleague Letter: STEM Research (NSF)




This Week at the Volgenau School


I often hear people say that the Volgenau School is a “well kept secret.”  We have great programs and world-class research, so why are people so surprised when we tell them about our School?


Of course, the Volgenau School isn’t a complete secret.  Our thriving enrollments put the lie to that.  But, the breadth of our activities and accomplishments remains, well, a bit of secret.  And because of this the School’s reputation lags behind its reality.  This not only handicaps our rankings, it also can affect the opportunities that come our way.


This isn’t an easy problem to solve. One of the reasons is that we have so many stories to tell.  You see them mentioned in my weekly announcements.  They also appear on our websites, in Mason News, and in other media outlets.  In addition, there are all the stories that we either don’t have the time to document, or that never come to our attention.


Looking at all these stories is like looking into a kaleidoscope.  We see a multitude of bright and shiny objects that flash before our eyes and demand our attention and wonder how to assemble them to tell our story?  Do even we understand our story?


Once a month, Martha Bushong and I meet with Eric Woodall from Mason’s Office of Communications and Marketing.  These meetings started because of the new website projects, but now the focus is shifting to marketing and branding.  In Eric’s words, “marketing is the promise, brand is the experience.”


Many in the School would like to see us market our programs and our research.  We’re moving toward this.  But to do this effectively we need to understand who we are. We need to understand the Volgenau experience.  We need to be able to talk about who we are through stories and images that individually captivate our audiences, and collectively capture the spirit of the Volgenau School. We need to assemble the pieces of the bright kaleidoscope into a powerful, meaningful brand.


As I said, this isn’t an easy problem to solve.  But we’re going to try.



VSE in the News

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


On the Volgenau site (

·         INCOSE recognizes two Volgenau professors. Ariela Sofer and Art Pyster earned awards from INCOSE.

·         Innovative collaboration between Department of Bioengineering and Inova Fairfax Hospital exposes students to the clinical environment.
To help students gain firsthand experience in a clinical setting and prepare them for the future, Laurence Bray, associate chair of the Department of Bioengineering, developed a unique technical elective.


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


Photo of the Week


On February 2, 2017, three schools and colleges (business, engineering, and science) from Mason participated in a Big Data Meet Up in Arlington. Senior Associate Dean, Stephen Nash spoke about Volgenau programs related to big data.




Upcoming Events at the Volgenau School


Whether you're looking for a specific event or browsing, our calendar lets you know what’s happening at Volgenau. Here is a sample of what’s coming in the next several weeks. For more information visit our calendar on the web. From this page you can share the event on social media, get updates, forward to friends, or save it to your own calendar.


Feb. 6 – 1:00 p.m. Simulation-Based Air Mission Plans Evaluation

Feb. 10 – 2:00 p.m. ECE Distinguished Speaker

Feb. 10 – 11:00 a.m. SEOR Seminar

Feb. 19 – 8:00 a.m. Engineering Youth Conference

Feb. 20 – National Engineers Week (various locations)

Feb. 23 – 1:00 p.m. Digital Forensics Symposium

March 1 – 5:30 p.m.    Celebrate Technology


For information on getting your event posted via 25Live, please visit




New research group: Mason Network Science


Amarda Shehu and Fei Li of the Computer Science Department have started a special interest group that bridges departments and schools. The group is called "Mason Network Science" and it has an official website that details its activities and regular meeting times.


The group's mission is to bring together faculty with primary or secondary expertise in the modeling and analysis of complex networks to strike collaborations and grant proposal opportunities and interdisciplinary research and training of students.


The first meeting occurred on January 30. The meetings are held every three weeks, alternating between Mondays and Wednesdays to accommodate more than 12 faculty across VSE (computer science, electrical engineering, information science and technology, and mechanical engineering) and COS (data sciences and geoinformation systems). The detailed agenda and schedule for other interested faculty is posted on the website.




Nominations for OSCAR Student and Mentor Excellence (deadline March 1)


[I received this message from the OSCAR team.]


We write to inform you that OSCAR sponsors two awards each academic year – one that recognizes student excellence in undergraduate scholarship, creative activities, and research and another that recognizes the outstanding contributions of the faculty, graduate students and staff who mentor undergraduates on their projects. Please visit OSCAR’s awards page to fill out the nomination form. Nominations are being accepted until March 1, 2017. As an additional reminder, we have listed OSCAR important dates you can share with your contacts:


·         Full Curriculum and Course SDG Proposals due: Wednesday, February 15

·         Summer URSP Deadline: Wednesday, February 22

·         OSCAR Student and Mentor Excellence Awards Nominations due: Wednesday, March 1

·         RS Course Designation Application deadline: Wednesday, April 12

·         Fall URSP Deadline: Wednesday, May 31

·         6th Annual Celebration of Student Scholarship: Tuesday, May 9




Funding Opportunity:  Rotorcraft Situational Awareness Radar (Army)


Sponsor:  Department of the Army: Army Research Lab (ARL)

Sponsor Number:  ROTO-W911NF-12-R-0011

Deadline Date:  24-Mar-2017

Program URL:


Synopsis:  ARL is soliciting proposals under this Special Notice of the Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for the performance of applied research to focus on a single demonstration radar which can be tested in a realistic environment.




Funding Opportunity:  Software Infrastructure for Sustained Innovation (NSF)

Sponsor: Directorate for Computer and Information Sciences and Engineering/NSF
Deadline Date:  07-Mar-2017

Program URL:

Synopsis:  Software Infrastructure for Sustained Innovation (SI2) is a bold and long-term investment that maintains a sustained focus on realizing the Cyberinfrastructure Framework for 21st Century Science and Engineering, which envisions a highly reusable and interoperable cyberinfrastructure architecture that integrates large-scale computing, high-speed networks, massive data archives, instruments and major facilities, observatories, experiments, and embedded sensors and actuators, across the nation and the world, to help make great strides towards revolutionizing virtually every science and engineering discipline. The SI2 program focuses on supporting robust, reliable and sustainable software that will support and advance sustained scientific innovation and discovery. Thus, proposals are strongly encouraged to describe their approach to quality software development through a defined software engineering process that includes software testing, the appropriate use of analysis tools and capabilities such as those made available through the Software Assurance Marketplace (SWAMP,, and collaborations with resources such as Software Carpentry ( and the Center for Trustworthy Scientific Cyberinfrastructure (CTSC,, in order to gain access to expertise where needed, such as in software design and engineering, as well as in cybersecurity.




Dear Colleague Letter: STEM Research (NSF)


Full title:  Dear Colleague Letter: Public Participation in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Research: Capacity-building, community-building, and direction-setting


Sponsor:  National Science Foundation

Deadline Date:  11-Apr-2017

Program URL:


Synopsis:  With this Dear Colleague Letter (DCL), the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Directorates for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE), Education and Human Resources (EHR), Geosciences (GEO), Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE), Engineering (ENG), Mathematics and Physical Sciences (MPS) (Divisions of Physics and Materials Research, only) and the Office of International Science and Engineering (OISE) announce their intention to support proposals aimed at capacity-building, community-building, and direction-setting for Public Participation in STEM Research (PPSR), in alignment with the Foundation's PPSR Agency Priority Goal for fiscal years (FY) 2016-2017.




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