George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Andrew Sage Capstone Competition goes forward online

May 1, 2020

Just like previous competitions, the students demonstrated outstanding skills in systems engineering, and all were very competitive.

— Tom Clemons, an associate professor in the Department of Systems Engineering and Operations Research

Mason’s Department of Systems Engineering and Operations Research (SEOR) held its third annual Andrew P. Sage Memorial Capstone Design Competition virtually on April 27.

The competition is a student-focused international forum for the design of complex systems and a leading showcase for undergraduate design projects. Projects include those from capstone design courses or from baccalaureate, honors, or design-oriented graduate theses.

A total of 132 students from George Mason University, University of Pennsylvania, and the United States Military Academy at West Point presented 34 projects to peers and a panel of judges in seven areas. Categories included design, network security, healthcare, software security, decision support systems, device security, and transportation and logistics.

The judges selected awards for the best paper in each of the areas. Teams from the bachelor of science in systems engineering and cyber security engineering represented Mason at the competition.

Teams from all participating universities received awards at the virtual event. Competition chair Tom Clemons, an associate professor in SEOR, says that despite the challenge of organizing an online conference, the sessions went very smoothly and all the students did a fantastic job. Just like previous competitions, the students demonstrated outstanding skills in systems engineering, and all were very competitive. “The judges had a hard time deciding between the outstanding projects,” Clemons says.

Conference planning began last year at the end of the second annual competition. In March, with papers already accepted for presentation, the department decided to shift gears to a virtual format due to COVID-19 restrictions. “Tom felt confident that he could move the conference online, so we went with that plan. It was executed to perfection,” says John Shortle, SEOR department chair.

The event honors Andrew P. Sage, the founding dean of the Volgenau School, a pioneer and leader in systems engineering, a prolific author, and a dedicated educator.

See the full list of award winners here.

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