List of Announcements (details below):





This Week at the Volgenau School


I’m in Atlanta today at a conference of the American Marketing Association focused on the higher-education market.  I’m trying to learn as much as I can about digital/online marketing, since we want to use these techniques to bolster enrollment in our M.S. programs.


Even though I’ve spent some time in the past few months trying to educate myself, it quickly became obvious how much more I still had to learn.  It also became obvious how challenging this might be for us.


Part of the challenge is collecting data on our target audience.  I suspect that we can get useful information from Radius, the university’s CRM (customer-relationship management) tool.  It is this software that stores the database of people who have inquired about or applied to our programs.  From the data we can develop a description of a likely target audience for our marketing.


We will also have to make changes to our web site to ensure that, if someone clicks on a link in an ad, they arrive at a useful page that will encourage them to submit an inquiry form.  This “landing page” will need to have relevant information, and we are likely to have to conduct studies to optimize its design.  Even seemingly innocuous changes can lead to a 30% improvement in response rates.


We’ll also have to pay attention to the inquiry form as well as the page that appears once they enter their information.  It isn’t enough to just say “thank you.” 


Once receiving the inquiry, we will have to respond appropriately.  It matters both when we respond and how we respond.


And, by the way, we’ll have to worry about the ads themselves.  There is an art and science to this as well.  My brain is starting to hurt.


Because of the complexity of this project, we will need to hire outside agencies to assist us.  Not surprisingly, many such agencies have booths at the meeting and I’m making the rounds.  A plan for moving forward is developing in my mind, and I expect we’ll be acting on that in the weeks ahead.


On the lighter side, you might want to click on this link for a short video from West Virginia University.  They are a finalist for Higher Ed Marketer of the Year.  Mason and WVU have a few things in common (30,000 students, R1 research status, …) but WVU has a few years of extra experience in digital marketing.  I just started following them on Twitter.  I’m always looking for good ideas.




VSE in the News


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


On the Mason Engineering news page (

  1. Driven to Serve: Engineering student helped restore power and communication services to Puerto Rico. Henry Delgado, a master’s student in the school’s data analytics engineering program, shares experiences in the Caribbean Islands.




Photo of the Week

Katayoun Neshatpour, PhD candidate, researches “sustainable computing”: energy efficient acceleration of big data analytics applications in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. (Photo by Evan Cantwell/Creative Services.)




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 the school. 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.


Nov. 16, 8:30 a.m. –Washington Apple Pi, Exploratory Hall L003

Nov. 30, 8:00 a.m. – Mason HTCIA, Founder’s Hall, 120 Classroom (TDC)

Nov. 30, Dec. 1, 9:00 a.m. – Bioengineering Senior Design Presentation Practice

Dec. 4, 8:00 a.m. – Cyber Intelligence – Johnson Center Meeting Rooms C and F


For information about getting your event posted visit this page.




Funding Opportunity:  Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Program (NIH)


Opportunity Title: NIH Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Program (Parent R21)

Sponsor: National Institutes of Health/DHHS

Program URL:

Deadline Dates (ALL): 07-Sep-2018, 07-Jan-2019, 07-May-2018, 07-Jan-2018, 16-Oct-2018, 16-Feb-2018, 16-Feb-2019, 07-May-2019, 16-Jun-2018


Synopsis: The NIH Exploratory/Developmental Grant supports exploratory and developmental research projects by providing support for the early and conceptual stages of these projects. These studies may involve considerable risk but may lead to a breakthrough in a particular area, or to the development of novel techniques, agents, methodologies, models, or applications that could have a major impact on a field of biomedical, behavioral, or clinical research.




Funding Opportunity: Research Interests of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research


Sponsor: Air Force Office of Scientific Research

Sponsor Number: BAA-AFRL-AFOSR-2016-0007

Program URL:

Deadline Date: 30-Jun-2014


Synopsis: The Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) manages the basic research investment for the U.S. Air Force. As a part of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), AFOSR’s technical experts foster and fund research within the Air Force Research Laboratory, universities, and industry laboratories to ensure the transition of research results to support U.S. Air Force needs. Using a carefully balanced research portfolio, research managers seek to create revolutionary scientific breakthroughs enabling the Air Force and U.S. industry to produce world-class, militarily significant, and commercially valuable products. The focus is on research areas that offer significant and comprehensive benefits to our national warfighting and peacekeeping capabilities. These areas are organized and managed in two scientific Branches: Engineering and Information Sciences (RTA) and Physical and Biological Sciences (RTB).




Funding Opportunity: 3D Visualization Utilizing a Dynamic Environment (Navy)


Sponsor: Department of the Navy

Sponsor Number: CRANBAA18-003

Deadline Date: 08-Dec-2017

Program URL:


Synopsis: NSWC Crane is interested in funding research of advanced 3D scene reconstruction techniques using imagery taken from currently fielded dynamic (moving) platforms. This proposed research is to assess and prototype methods currently utilized in commercial and academic systems to determine how to utilize several moving platforms in several different wavebands to reconstruct a 3D visualization of a scene.




Opportunity Title:        Major Research Instrumentation Program: Instrument Acquisition or Development

-- Sponsor:            Office of International and Integrative Activities/NSF

-- Sponsor Number:        18-513

-- Deadline Date:         05-Feb-2018

-- Funding Amount:         4,000,000.00 USD


    ** Contact Name :        Randy Phelps

    ** Contact Telephone :        703-292-8040

    ** Contact Email :        [log in to unmask]

    ** Sponsor Website :

    ** Program URL :

    ** Deadline Dates (ALL) :        05-Feb-2018, 22-Jan-2019

    ** Synopsis :        The Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program serves to increase access to multi-user scientific and engineering instrumentation for research and research training in our Nation's institutions of higher education and not-for-profit scientific/engineering research organizations. An MRI award supports the acquisition or development of a multi-user research instrument that is, in general, too costly and/or not appropriate for support through other NSF programs. MRI provides support to acquire critical research instrumentation without which advances in fundamental science and engineering research may not otherwise occur. MRI also provides support to develop next-generation research instruments that open new opportunities to advance the frontiers in science and engineering research. Additionally, an MRI award is expected to enhance research training of students who will become the next generation of instrument users, designers and builders. An MRI proposal may request up to $4 million for either acquisition or development of a research instrument.




David Lattanzi Receives Funding from ONR


David Lattanzi of the Sid and Reva Dewberry Department of Civil, Environmental and Infrastructure Engineering received $391K from the Office of Naval Research for his project, “High-dimensional Life-Cycle Modeling for Naval Survey Assessments.”



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

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Phone: (703) 993-1505
Fax: (703) 993-1633