Students shine at Mason’s Andrew P. Sage Memorial Capstone Competition

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George Mason University’s  Department of Systems Engineering and Operations Research (SEOR) held its sixth annual Andrew P. Sage Memorial Capstone Design Competition on April 17, 2023. This student-focused competition is an international assembly for the design of complex systems and a leading showcase for undergraduate design projects. These projects are from capstone design courses or from baccalaureate, honors, or design-oriented graduate theses. The event honors Andrew P. Sage, the founding dean of the Volgenau School of Engineering, a pioneer and leader in systems engineering, a prolific author, and a dedicated educator.

Event organizer Songjun Luo, associate professor from SEOR said, “The competition provided students in systems engineering and related disciplines an opportunity to showcase how they apply what they learn in solving real-world problems. As they receive feedback from judges, who are industry experts, the students learned if their solutions are practical or not. Finally, by competing with teams from other universities, they learned from each other.”

Mason teams competed with groups from UPenn, Virginia Tech, and other domestic and foreign universities. Since its inception in 2018, the competition has grown to include more teams from foreign countries. This year there were 12 international teams from four universities.

Categories included design, network security, healthcare, software security, decision support systems, device security, and transportation and logistics. Teams from the Bachelor of Science in systems engineering and cyber security engineering represented Mason at the competition.

Independent judges commented on the outstanding quality of the presentations and the skill of the student presenters and described the methodologies as top-notch.

“I’d like to thank all of the people who contributed to the success of the event,” said Luo. “It was really an effort of many people.”

  • The judges for reading through all the papers (~60), asking tough questions, and giving honest and constructive feedback and evaluations.
  •  The track chairs for working through all the technical issues and ensuring the smooth running of all sessions.
  • Justin Amoyal, CEO and Co-Founder of Impruvon, for a very inspirational keynote speech
  • George Donohue for hosting a wonderful (and humorous) award ceremony.
  • John Shortle and Lance Sherry for their advice and guidance.
  • SEOR and CYSE faculty for attending the conference.
  • Rania and Mike (our admins.) for the around-the-clock support in the last few days, and all 260+ students for their hard work!

Mason winners from Cyber Security Engineering Tracks"The projects consider all aspects of the systems engineering design process. It is very impressive what the students accomplish in a year,” said John Shortle, SEOR department chair.

Competition Winners

Track CS 1 Offensive / Defensive Network Security

Winner - Team 2

Authors: Advay Janardhan, Ryker Gogolkiewicz, Mathew Creeks, and Hassan Al Hani

Title: Development of a Packer and Loader System for Malware Delivery.


Honorable Mention - Team 5

Authors: Celeste Huang, Chetan Kala, Faris Shaheen, Jhonn Dalton Cardozo, Mohammad Alessa and Sahil Khan

Title: OpenStack Cloud Penetration Testing.

Track CS2 Risk and Vulnerability Assessment Awards

Best paper award: Chat Application Analysis: Custom Tooling and Workflow

Team members: Sruthi Chavali, Rand Alaqeel, Mohamed Alfalasi, and Udhayvir Goraya


Honorable Mention: Mitigation Roadmap for Supply Chain Attacks

Team members: Johnathan Hy, Daniel Behrooz, Sahil Gulati, and Zain Shah


Track CS 3 Cyber-physical Systems

Best paper:  Team 4, ‘Decentralized Privacy-Preservation Misbehavior Detection in Vehicular Networks Using Deep Learning’

Honorable mention: Team 2,   ‘Design and Testing of a Secure Asset Tracking System’


Track CS 4 Software Security

Best paper:  Team 4 (Mitigating Security Risks in the Software Supply Chain: A Continuous Inspection Framework within Azure)

Track CS 5 Hardware Security

Winner – Team 1

Authors: Casey Cho, Pacey Querubin, Michael Long, Uthra Muthukumaran, Dian Rajic, and Kelson Schira

Title: Detecting Unmanned Aircraft Systems on a Broadband Network and Long-Term Evolution


Honorable Mention – Team 3

Authors: Nathaniel Lovgren, Angelina Lee, Hashim Cheema, Brandon Avila, Jack Knobloch, and Lucas Artero

Title: Identifying Friendly Forces in the Battlefield

Track CS 6 Cyber-threat Intelligence

Best Paper Winner: Team 3

Authors: Rishi Shyamala, Luna Baral, Yonel Beaulieu, Haya Saeed, and Mosha Kamran

Title: Using Machine Learning to Perform Anomaly Detection


Honorable Mention: Team 2

Authors: Paulina Keifer, Simran Chhatwal, Hamza Aljaidi, Tashfin Hassan, Joycelyn Joo, and Nathaniel Kim

Title: ELK Stack Security Enhancement with Log Anomaly Detection and Analysis


Track SE 1 and 2 System Design

Best paper: Team 4

Design of a Portable and Renewable EV Battery Charging System  (PREVBCS)

Authors: Michael Riggi, Amir Abrari, Nancy Reyes, and Jojo Taylor

Track SE 3 and 4 Industrial Applications

Most Promising Team.  Team 6 for A Design of a Mason Recovery System to Meet Net Zero Pledge

Authors: Dominic Galarza, Nick Baxter, Christian Artz, and Aaron Bergantinos

Track SE 6 Software Tools and Platform 

Best paper: Team 2

Authors: Joseph Privitera, Mikeal Lockard, and Ovidio Castillo

Title: Design of a Climate Related Financial Risk Tool for Non-Profits and Small Businesses