In Memoriam

Andrew P. Sage Scholarship Fund

George Mason University
SEOR Department, MS4A6
College of Engineering and Computing
4400 University Drive
Fairfax VA 22030

Remembering Andrew Loerch

Andrew Loerch

Andrew (Andy) Loerch, long-time faculty member and associate chair of the Department of Systems Engineering and Operations Research, passed away June 16, 2022 after an unexpected and brief battle with cancer. Loerch had just retired on May 24, 2022 after 22 years of service to George Mason University.

“Andy was an outstanding teacher, a trusted mentor to numerous students, a researcher who brought in millions of dollars in funding, and an esteemed leader in the Military Operations Society,” says Ariela Sofer, interim divisional dean for engineering at the Volgenau School of Engineering. “Above all, I am indebted to him for his fourteen years of dedication and support service as my associate chair. He always took on departmental obligations, whether they in- volved big-picture matters or minute details, whether they were carefully planned activities or urgent crises. I am eternally grateful for his dedication, hard work, sage advice, and sense of humor.”

Loerch was a 26-year veteran of the United States Army and rose to the rank of Colonel. He earned his PhD from Cornell University and was a graduate of Naval Postgraduate School and Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. Looking back at career highlights at Mason he once said, “Part of my job was the care and feeding of our military students. I advised every single one of them and many of them have gone on to be leaders in the defense analysis field.” In addition, he was proud of some of the department’s funded work, citing an important study on how the presence of women in military units impacts the units’ effectiveness.

Among other duties, Loerch served as a faculty marshal at the college degree celebrations and university commencement. For the past eleven years, the College of Engineering and Computing depended on his leadership to organize and coordinate faculty volunteers, a job he once described as neither trivial nor simple. His detailed charts, notes, and guidance will be a permanent reminder of this service to the community.

Loerch played with the Northern Virginia Senior Softball league; was principal bassoonist of the Manassas Symphony Orchestra since 2000 as well as a board member; he enjoyed riding his bike with the Old Cranks Cycling Club out of Vint Hill, Va. as well as taking cycling trips throughout the country. He was the ultimate New York Yankees fan.

“I am personally thankful for Andy’s invaluable support as associate chair,” says John Shortle, department chair of Systems Engineering and Operations Re- search. “He brought so much to the department. We will all miss his stories, sense of humor, and friendship.”

Burial took place at Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the Manassas Symphony Orchestra.

Andrew P. Sage, School of Engineering’s Founding Dean

Andrew P. Sage, Jr., First American Bank Professor of Information Technology and Engineering at George Mason University and the first Dean of the School of Information Technology and Engineering, who died on Oct. 31, 2014, is recognized as one of the nation's leaders in the field of engineering. 

"Few people have had such extraordinary impact as Andy has had. He was a pioneer and leader in systems engineering, the founder of our school, a prolific author, and a dedicated educator," said Department Chair of Systems Engineering and Operations Research, Ariela Sofer. "He successfully crammed several lifetimes of achievements in the course of his career, and he did it with collegiality, generosity, and grace. His broad contributions continue to live within us and will guide generations of systems engineers in years to come."

Andrew P. Sage former Volgenau School of Engineering dean
Andrew Sage

Dr. Sage received his BSEE degree from the Citadel, his SMEE degree from MIT, and his Ph.D. from Purdue University. He received honorary Doctor of Engineering degrees from the University of Waterloo in 1987 and from Dalhousie University in 1997. As founding Dean of the School of Information Technology at George Mason University he launched a vision of an engineering school that would be multidisciplinary and established the first PhD degree in Information Technology in the nation. In May 1996, he was elected Founding Dean Emeritus of the Volgenau School of Engineering and also was appointed a University Professor. Prior to his service at Mason, Dr. Sage had been a faculty member at several universities including holding a named professorship and being the first chair of the Systems Engineering Department at the University of Virginia.

He was an elected Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the International Council on Systems Engineering. He wrote or edited over 20 books and was the editor of the John Wiley textbook series on Systems Engineering and Management. He played an instrumental role in establishing the INCOSE Journal of Systems Engineering in 1997 and served as the journal's editor-in-chief until 2013. He was also co-editor of Information, Knowledge, and Systems Management. He edited the IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics from January 1972 through December 1998, and also served a two-year period as President of the IEEE SMC Society.

In 1994, Dr. Sage received the Donald G. Fink Prize from the IEEE, and a Superior Public Service Award for his service on the CNA Corporation Board of Trustees from the U.S. Secretary of the Navy. In 2000, he received the Simon Ramo Medal from the IEEE in recognition of his contributions to systems engineering and an IEEE Third Millennium Medal. In 2002, he received an Eta Kappa Nu Eminent Membership Award and the INCOSE Pioneer Award. In 2007, he was elected as a Charter Member of the Omega Alpha systems engineering honor society. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2004 for contributions to the theory and practice of systems engineering and systems management.

"We owe Dean Emeritus Andy Sage, an enormous amount of respect and gratitude for the lasting contributions that he made to our engineering school at Mason. Through his professional accomplishments, culminating in his election to the National Academy of Engineering, Andy really raised the stature and reputation of the school. He will be greatly missed," said Dean of the College of Engineering and Computing, Ken Ball.