Systems Engineering Seniors Rack Up Awards at Design Competitions

By Colleen N. Wilson

Systems engineering projects completed as part of the two-semester SYST 490/495 Senior Design Project I and II undergraduate capstone classes won multiple awards at the IEEE Systems and Information Engineering Design Symposium held in Charlottesville, Va., and the Systems Engineering Capstone Design Competition held at the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point.

Mason won three out of five awards at the prestigious IEEE symposium on May 28. Thirty-four teams representing 16 universities from around the world competed in the conference, which serves as a leading showcase for applied research, development and design in systems and information engineering for undergraduate and graduate students.

In addition, Mason students won four out of the six awards at the General Donald R. Keith Memorial Capstone Conference on May 3 at USMA.

“These awards are indicative of a hardworking cohort of students who have developed their skills through a demanding and rigorous Systems Engineering Program here at George Mason University,” says Lance Sherry, associate professor of systems engineering and operations research. “Well done. Let’s keep working to make the world a better place.”

The winners and their projects follow.

  • Mason students and team members Chris D. Anderson, Joseph A. Fadul, Anupam Menon and Harold D. Terceros won for best paper in the decision analysis and support category at the IEEE symposium and best paper at the USMA capstone conference. Their paper, “Rx-Decision: A Decision Support Tool for Optimal Prescription Drug Coverage for Medicare Patients,” described an online tool to assist patients in determining the best health insurance policy. The team has applied for a U.S. patent for their design.
  • A second team won for best paper in the modeling in simulation category at IEEE and best paper for the decision analysis and support track at USMA for their paper, “Assessment of Soccer Referee Proficiency in Time-Sensitive Decision-Making.” Saud Almashhadi, Andrew Cann, Nathan Jones and Hina Popal simulated a professional soccer game to understand the impact that alternate referee training and evaluation methods play in call accuracy. Their paper caught the attention of the Metro DC/Virginia State Referee Program, which plans to modify its referee assessment program based on the results.
  • The best conference poster award at IEEE and USMA went to Amy Crockett, John Degregorio, Amire Delsouz, Alan Muhealden and Daniel Streicher for their work on “Design and Analysis of a Sustainable Oyster Aquaculture Business for the West and Rhode Rivers.” Their paper described a simulation used to design a sustainable business for growing oysters in the tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay. The design considers the variability in environmental factors and potential problems with oyster growth to maximize return on investment. The team is working with Chesapeake watermen to help improve the sustainability of their businesses using the award-winning simulations.
  • Joel Hannah, Danielle Hettmann, Naseer Rashid, Chris Saleh and Cihan Yilmaz won best presentation at USMA for their work on “Design of a Carbon Neutral Airport.” The project proposed a tradeoff analysis for strategies for major airports to achieve carbon neutral growth at airports by 2020.