Man working at a Computer Lab The Professor's Gate on the GWU Campus outdoor graduation ceremony at GWU soldier in uniform watching an online lesson on a tablet Informal stand-up meeting in a technology office space cherry blossoms surrounding a gazebo on the GWU Campus


Shahram Sarkani

Director, EMSE Off-Campus Programs

Shahram Sarkani, Ph.D., P.E., is Professor of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering, and Faculty Adviser and Academic Director of EMSE Online Programs (since 2001), at The George Washington University. Professor Sarkani joined the GW faculty in 1986. His previous administrative appointments include chair of the Civil, Mechanical, and Environmental Engineering Department (1994-1997) and Interim Associate Dean for Research, School of Engineering and Applied Science (1997-2001).

In over 200 technical publications and presentations, his research in systems engineering, systems analysis, and applied enterprise systems engineering has application to risk analysis, structural safety, and reliability. He has conducted sponsored research with such organizations as NASA, NIST, NSF, U.S. AID, and the U.S. Departments of Interior, Navy, and Transportation.

Recent Awards:

  • Engineering Management Journal’s Ted Eschenbach Best EMJ Journal Paper Award, 2010 (with Merritt & Mazzuchi)
  • Inducted into the Civil and Environmental Engineering Hall of Distinction, Louisiana State University, 2010
  • Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize, American Society of Civil Engineers, 1999

Professor Sarkani holds the Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Rice University, and B.S. and M.S. degrees in Civil Engineering from Louisiana State University. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in Virginia.

John L. Dargan, Ph.D.

Lecturer in Engineering

John L. Dargan, Ph.D., is Director of the Operations and Requirements Analysis Division in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate. He leads operations research, modeling, systems analysis, and simulation efforts in support of the DHS Components and the Joint Task Forces. He is the S&T Principal for the DHS Joint Requirements Council, for the Headquarters Coordination Group for Resource Planning Guidance development, and for the Strategy and Policy Executive Steering Committee.

Before accepting his current position, Dr. Dargan was a career United States Air Force officer assigned to various engineering, acquisition, and staff duties that culminated with his appointment as Chief, Investment Programs Division, USAF Headquarters Congressional Budget Liaison. In that role he was the principal interface to Congressional Appropriations and Budget Committees for programs including the F-22, Joint Strike Fighter, and Next-Generation Bomber.

Dr. Dargan earned the Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Clemson University, the Master of Science in electrical engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology, and the Ph.D. in systems engineering from George Washington University.

Recent Awards:

  • DHS Under Secretary’s Award for Science and Technology, 2016
  • DHS Under Secretary’s Award for Building Partnerships, 2014

Reza Eftekari, Ph.D.

Adjunct Professor

Dr. Eftekari is a Senior Technical Consultant providing Systems and Software Engineering, Statistical Data Analysis, and Information Technology and IT Security solutions to complex government programs with enterprise systems engineering thinking, resulting in critical impact. He has consulted to FAA, NOAA, Harris Corporation, MIT Lincoln Lab, and Aviation Management Associates in the areas of FAA Air Traffic Control Modernization and NOAA Enterprise Ground Requirements and Architecture Development.

Prior to this, Dr. Eftekari was an Executive Director at MITRE Corporation and had responsibility for oversight of a group of 450+ technical experts in strategic planning, lifecycle acquisition, systems engineering, and advanced technologies for various government agencies. During seven years of his tenure at MITRE, he was a Technical Director, responsible for all modernization program studies for terminal and en-route automation, communications, security, navigation, and surveillance work with FAA which was comprised of over 140 Staff Years of work with meaningful impact and growth. He was also the Technical Director of the Information Systems and Technology Division at MITRE with responsibility to manage technology areas such as networking and communication technologies; distributed simulation and software engineering; advanced database, data mining, language-related technologies; signal processing; and decision support technologies.

Dr. Eftekari holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.

John M. Fossaceca, Ph.D.

Professorial Lecturer in Engineering

Dr. Fossaceca currently serves as Associate Division Chief for the U.S. Army Research Laboratory’s Information Sciences Division, where he supports research programs in m

  • Principal Investigator on Small Business Innovation Research programs for the U.S. Navy at Ultra Electronics, 3eTI
  • Engineering Director at AT&T/Lucent/Bell Labs for Next Generation Telecommunications Systems
  • Engineering Vice President for modernization of the U.S. Army’s satellite-based Blue Force tracking system at Comtech Telecommunications
  • Dr. Fossaceca has conducted research and development in adaptive signal processing, machine learning, communications and cybersecurity. His present research interests are in online continuous machine learning in data-constrained environments, network intrusion detection, and the internet of battlefield things. Dr. Fossaceca is co-inventor on six patents related to wireless communications and signal detection, and he serves as a reviewer for several refereed journals. He teaches graduate courses in quantitative models, software engineering, and cybersecurity, and serves as Ph.D. research advisor for several students.

    Dr. Fossaceca holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Manhattan College and Syracuse University, respectively; an M.B.A. from Virginia Tech; and a Ph.D. in systems engineering from George Washington University.

    Thomas A. Mazzuchi

    Chair of the Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science
    Professor of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering, at GW

    Thomas Mazzuchi, D.Sc., received a B.A. in Mathematics from Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, PA; and an M.S. and a D.Sc., both in Operations Research from George Washington University, Washington, D.C. Before taking on his current faculty and administrative appointments at GW, he served as Chair of the Department of Operations Research, and as Interim Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

    Dr. Mazzuchi has been engaged in consulting and research in the areas of reliability and risk analysis and systems engineering techniques for over 25 years. He served for two and a half years as a research mathematician at the international operations and process research laboratory of the Royal Dutch Shell Company. While at Shell, Dr. Mazzuchi was involved with reliability and risk analysis of large processing systems, maintenance optimization of off-shore platforms, and quality control procedures at large-scale chemical plants.

    In his academic career, he has held research contracts in development of testing procedures for both the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Army, in spares provisioning modeling with the U. S. Postal Service, in mission assurance with NASA, and in maritime safety and risk assessment with the Port Authority of New Orleans, the Washington Office of Marine Safety, Washington State Department of Transportation, and the San Francisco Bay Area Transit Authority.

    Recent Awards:

    • Elected Member: International Statistics Institute; Washington Academy of Sciences
    • Leo Schubert Award for Excellence in Teaching of Science in College, 1997

    Bhagirath Narahari, Ph.D.

    Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs and Student Affairs
    Professor of Engineering and Applied Science

    Professor Narahari teaches in the Department of Computer Science in The School of Engineering and Applied Science at The George Washington University. He received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania in 1987, and his Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani. Since 1987, he has been on the faculty in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at The George Washington University. From 1999 – 2002 he was the first Chair of the Department of Computer Science, and he has been active in undergraduate education with over a dozen years of experience in undergraduate advising, and curriculum development. He has taught a number of undergraduate courses in computer science.

    His research interests are in the areas of Software Security, Architecture support for trustworthy computing, Embedded Systems, Computer Architecture, Compiler optimization, Pervasive computing, and Parallel Computing. Since Fall 1999, he has collaboratively formed and led e GWU research group in embedded systems and compilers. Prof. Narahari has published several refereed articles in various areas of embedded systems, security, architecture, parallel processing and computer systems. His current research focuses on compiler, operating system and hardware support for software security, with projects funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR). Prof. Narahari’s prior research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, AFOSR, Rome Air Force Labs, NASA, NSA and America Online (AOL), and included research in power-aware computing, embedded systems, optimizing compilers, software systems and specification, and pervasive computing. His research projects have included both fundamental research and software deliverables including an open source research compiler infrastructure for the Intel Itanium processor.

    Ali Obaidi, Ph.D.

    Assistant Professor

    Dr. Ali Obaidi, Ph.D., EMBA, is a principal Data Engineer at MITRE Corporation working on multiple federal agency projects that focus on Systems Engineering and Integration. He earned his Ph.D. from the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Leeds University in England and an Executive MBA from Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech.

    Since 1996, Dr Obaidi taught as an adjunct professor at Leeds University, Northern Virginia Community College, George Mason University, George Town University and the MITRE Institute. He taught classes on database systems, data modeling and architecture, Software and System Engineering, and Data Security and Privacy.

    John P. Sahlin, Ph.D.

    Professorial Lecturer in Engineering

    Dr. Sahlin has been engaged in the implementation of and research in complex systems engineering for over 25 years. His primary focus is on cybersecurity and system design of multi-tenant systems architecture, such as Managed Service Provider and Cloud Computing architecture for commercial and public-sector clients. In addition to his ongoing duties as Professorial Lecturer in Engineering at GW, Dr. Sahlin serves as Director of Technology for Engility’s Defense and Security Group, where he is responsible for strategic planning, network design, systems engineering, and cybersecurity programs for DoD, DOJ, DHS, and other clients.

    At Engility, Dr. Sahlin leads research efforts in support of the Defense Technical Information Center, Deputy Assistant of Defense for Systems Engineering, and Defense Threat Reduction Agency on numerous topics, including the implementation of cloud computing architectures for academic environments.

    After completing the B.S. in political science at the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD, Dr. Sahlin earned the M.S. and Ph.D., both in systems engineering, from George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

    Selected Publications:

    • Sahlin, J. P. and K. Lobera (2016). “Cloud Computing as a Catalyst for Change in STEM Education,” in Chao, L. (Ed.) Handbook of Research on Cloud-Based STEM Education for Improved Learning Outcomes [Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference]
    • Sahlin, J. P. (Ed.). (2015). Social Media and the Transformation of Interaction in Society. Hershey, PA: IGI Global. ISBN13: 9781466685567
    • Sahlin, J. (2014). “Federal Government Application of the Cloud Computing Application Integration Model,” in Khosrow-Pour, M. (Ed.). Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, 3rd Ed. [Hershey, PA: IGI Global]
    • Sahlin, J. (2013). “Cloud Computing: Past, Present, and Future,” in X. Yang, & L. Liu (Eds.), Principles, Methodologies, and Service-Oriented Approaches for Cloud Computing [Hershey, PA: IGI Global]

    Behnam Shariati, Ph.D.

    Adjunct Professor

    Dr. Shariati has been working and teaching in the Information Technology and Security field for 20 years. He completed his master’s and doctoral degrees in Systems Engineering, with a concentration in Security, at the George Washington University. As head of a global technology firm, Dr. Shariati recommends best practices for security and supports the United Nations environment worldwide. He also has provided technology advisement to the private sector in the areas of Security Policy, Disaster Recovery Plans, and Compliancy to ensure that Cybersecurity best practices are utilized prior to product delivery. His areas of expertise include Security Risk Management, ISO 27000, FIPS 140-2, NIST’s Security Standards, Enterprise Security Architecture, Network Defense, Security Operations, Insider Threats, Active Defense, and Cybersecurity Training and Education.

    George Trawick, Ph.D., CISSP; U.S. Army (ret)

    Professorial Lecturer in Engineering

    Dr. George Trawick is an information assurance and cybersecurity professional with over 20 years’ experience in the cyber field. His special interests are risk assessment, accreditations, cryptology, cyber policy and cybercrime, for which his hands-on, operational experience coupled with extensive teaching have prepared him. He currently serves as assistant professor of cybersecurity at the National Defense University, College of Information and Cyberspace.

    Formerly he was Chief of Information Assurance at the U.S. Army Human Resource Command, where he gained proficiency ranging from design, implementation and maintenance of classified networks to analysis of risk and operations. In his role at HRC, Dr. Trawick oversaw the IA elements for more than 350 personnel mission applications, as well as for IA training and compliance for the organization.

    In addition to his background in cyber risk and security, Dr. Trawick is a skilled military leader with experience leading both infantry and artillery platoons, as well as directing battery deployments.