Drs. Lan and Venkatamarani Win the 2017 Hegarty Award for Faculty Innovation

October 10, 2017

Professors Tian Lan and Guru Venkatamarani win the 2017 Hegarty Award for Faculty Innovation. This was the third year of this award. It was created by Aran Hegarty and his wife Fritz.  Aran is a SEAS alumnus (MS, 1997) and has been a NAC member since 2011. The award, which is $10,000, is to recognize and reward a faculty member (or faculty members) for innovation. The selection committee met on Thursday October 5th.  ​Brief bios of the selection committee members are provided below.

Finally a quote from the nomination: “Through interdisciplinary collaboration on cybersecurity projects (which have received substantial funding in the past few years from NSF, ONR, and DARPA), Profs. Lan and Venkataramani have invented the first Intelligence‐driven Solution for Rapid Cyber Defense (Rapid‐ID). In the recent Annual IEEE/IFIP International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks (DSN 2017), they demonstrated that for software systems at scale, Rapid‐ID can swiftly generate threat intelligence and optimize counter‐actions at a speed that is at least three orders of magnitude faster than the state‐of‐the‐art. This revolutionary solution has attracted interest from both companies and government labs, such as GrammaTech, Bell Labs, AT&T, ONR, SRC, and Qualcomm Research. Three patents are filed or currently under submission. Recently, ONR has awarded a $1.5 million grant (ONR Award #40144) for the PIs to utilize Rapid‐ID to improve security and efficiency of Navy and Marine Corps systems and software”.

Selection Committee Members

1) Edward Ghafari, MS ’96. Mr. Ghafari is founder and CEO of iCES Corporation, a company he founded in 2007 as a high-end systems, software, and telecommunication engineering company supporting DoD in a number of complex engineering and high technology initiatives.  As a technologist and an entrepreneur, Mr. Ghafari has worked with ​a ​number of companies helping them develop and commercialize new products and technologies. Previously, Mr. Ghafari worked as an Executive/General Manager for SRA International building and managing the Enterprise Solutions Group supporting DISA, DoD, Department of Justice, and DHS.  He also led the architecture and development of DSL technology at Verizon, where he secured several patents within the field. Mr. Ghafari is an ardent supporter of GW and SEAS – its innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology commercialization efforts.

2) Annamaria Konya Tannon; Annamaria is the Chief Evangelist for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at SEAS.  She is an entrepreneur and angel investor. She has been involved in technology enterprise creation for more than 15 years, predominantly in Silicon Valley. She is the founder and CEO of Equita Accelerator, a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to advancing women-led technology companies.  Prior to starting Equita, Annamaria served as a Global Data Strategist for IBM with a focus on machine learning and data integration techniques for social media.  She also served as National and Global Judging Chair for Cleantech Open, the world's largest startup competition for emerging clean technology companies. She remains a CTO Global Ambassador.

3) Mark Mykitshyn: Dr. Mykityshyn is executive chairman and CEO of Tangible Security, Inc. in McLean. He is a member of the SEAS National Advisory Council and a Professor of the Practice at Georgetown University. His interests include business/public policy, strategic leadership, and entrepreneurship and innovation. He is the recent past Chairman of the Board of Visitors of the U.S. Army War College, and served as a member of the Naval Research Advisory Committee. He has also consulted to the Defense Science Board, the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, and NASA's Advisory Council.

4) Elizabeth D’Andrea, D.Sc. ‘06: Dr. D’Andrea was the former Program Manager for the Electromagnetic (EM) Railgun Program at the Office of Naval Research. Previously, Dr. D’Andrea was the Program Executive for the DoD Counter-Narcoterrorism Technology (CNT) Program for the Deputy of Defense for Counternarcotics Office. As the Program Executive for CNT from 2001-2006, she directed capabilities to support the CNT operations for Combatant Commanders and Host Nations. Dr. D’Andrea is now a consultant, active SEAS volunteer, and a member of the school’s National Advisory Council.

5) Asghar Mostafa, BS ’81, MS ’82: Mr. Mostafa is a serial entrepreneur who is currently founder, president, and chief executive officer (CEO) of Rubriq Corporation, LLC, a software company. Previously, Mr. Mostafa founded numerous companies including Entourage Systems, Inc., Vinci Systems, Inc., Advanced Switching Communications, and ISDN Systems Corporation which was acquired by US Robotics. Mr. Mostafa is a double alumnus of SEAS, and a member of the SEAS National Advisory Council.