Losing the Secret and Keeping the Best
For years the Volgenau School of Engineering was touted as Northern Virginia's "best kept secret." As part of an ongoing effort to lose the secret and keep the best, the school published its first Annual Report in 2014. The publications tell the story of the school through narratives and numbers in seven thematic areas: data analytics, cyber security, sustainability, robotics, health care technologies, signals and communications, and global outreach. Each theme spans departmental and disciplinary boundaries and captures the depth and breadth of the work of the school’s faculty and students.
In the 2021 Annual Report, you will meet the people who are doing the amazing work that keeps our college growing our enrollment, rising in the rankings, expanding our research, and shaping the tech ecosystem in Northern Virginia. Our students and faculty are working together to tackle some of society’s greatest challenges with tremendous creativity and ingenuity. After a challenging year we have bounced back bigger and better than ever.
Pandemic Pivot – Charting a New Path
When last year began, the Volgenau School of Engineering was on a trajectory of unprecedented growth. Student enrollment hit an all-time high, research expenditures soared into hundreds of millions of dollars, and our faculty and staff rosters were expanding to keep pace with growth in teaching and research. COVID-19 interrupted that trajectory as we galvanized our efforts to pivot and persevere.
This year's Annual Report chronicles the challenges and successes of a year like no other. The pandemic taught us important lessons. We learned that flexibility and collaboration, paired with generosity and kindness, go a long way when dealing with challenging times. We learned that life is uncertain, and things change rapidly. We hope you enjoy reading about our efforts.
Breaking records and crossing boundaries— For the fifth consecutive year, the Volgenau School of Engineering has grown its research enterprise, student enrollment, and faculty workforce. Our research expenditures have grown by 90 percent and awards by 50 percent, our enrollment has almost doubled since 2013, and we have hired more than 100 new faculty. These numbers set new records for the school and break through departmental and discipline-specific boundaries. More change is on the way as we launch new programs, hire more faculty, and continue to transcend previous boundaries and extend our impact.
At the Volgenau School of Engineering, we take pride in the strength and longevity of our powerful partnerships. As engineers and IT professionals, we know the importance of forging alliances, building teams, and creating collaborations. Much of our work would not happen without the investment of the partners featured in this year’s Annual Report.
The Future of Engineering Is Here
More than 30 years ago the school’s founders planted our roots firmly in the digital age. As those roots grew, they gained depth and strength, supporting additional programs, anticipating and responding to industry needs, and becoming a force for innovation. We now apply our knowledge in computing and modeling to challenges in every field of engineering. As you read the stories and review the data in this Annual Report, you will agree our growth is moving us forward with impressive momentum. That is one of the reasons why we say: The Future of Engineering Is Here.
Made at Mason
In this annual report, you will see examples of research, teaching and scholarship. Embedded into these stories are some of the relationships, memories, and careers that are all made at Mason. Read our annual report and learn about what we are making at Mason, and how Mason is making a difference.
30 Years: Then and Now
This report commemorates yesterday's milestones and highlights today's accomplishments. The visionaries who saw the need for a school of information technology in 1985 would be proud of our 30-year record of accomplishments.