George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

System Engineering Students Win Big at Competition

May 20, 2013

Teams of undergraduate students enrolled in the two-semester SYST 490/495 Senior Design Project I and II capstone courses won a total of three awards at the IEEE Systems and Information Engineering Design Symposium held in Charlottesville, Va., and the Systems Engineering Capstone Design Competition held at the U.S. Military Academy (USMA) at West Point.
Mason won first place in the Health Care Environment track on April 26 at the IEEE symposium, which serves as a leading showcase for applied research, development and design in systems and information engineering for undergraduate and graduate students.
Additionally, two teams of Mason students won two first place awards at the General Donald R. Keith Memorial Capstone Conference on May 2 at USMA.
"We send the students to the competitions for two reasons," says Lance Sherry, director of the Center for Air Transportation Systems Research and associate professor in the Department of Systems Engineering and Operations Research.  "First, preparing and competing for contracts in the real world is a big part of the learning experience. Second, we want to benchmark our systems engineering program against the nation's best schools. We learned that once again Mason has one of the best systems engineering programs and that our amazing students are prepared for the real world and all of the tough engineering challenges that await them as they seek to make our world a better place."
The winners and their projects follow.
Jeffrey Anderson, Jessica Caceres, Ali Khazaei and Jedidiah Shirey won first place in the Health Care and Environment track at the IEEE symposium for their paper, "Design of a Small-scale Biodiesel Production System." The project describes, through a complex simulation of weather, crop growth dynamics and fuel prices, what types of crops and how much acreage a farmer needs to profitably and safely produce biodiesel fuel.  As a result of the project, several farmers and biodiesel equipment manufacturers have approached the students to learn more about their findings.
Alexandre Cheytanov, Nathan Bales, Paramjeet Khanna and Chris Swift won first place in the Decision Analysis track at USMA for their paper, "A Decision Support Tool for Building Leasing Strategies to Achieve the Executive Order Mandate for Federal Government Green Buildings."  The project is the result of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) asking Mason's Systems Engineering students for assistance in determining how to meet government sustainability standards.
Adel Elessawy, Gurpreet Singh, Joshua Singh and Karym Zabara won first place in the Modeling and Simulation track at USMA for their paper, "Corporate Responsibility for the U.S. Air Navigation Service Provider: A Decision Support Tool to Reduce CO2 Emissions from En-route Flights." The project shows how FAA air traffic controllers can use a tool to assign flight plans to domestic airline flights to reduce emissions and save fuel.
A version of this story appeared on Mason's Newsdesk May 20, 2013.
Write to Catherine Probst at