How UVA Engineering Alumni Turned their UVA Education into a Booming Business

Autumn Hong headshot Autumn Hong,  
5 months ago

After meeting in the UVA School of Engineering and Applied Science Accelerated Master’s Program (AMP), Thomas Stauber and Michael Chavira teamed up to start Axiologic Solutions to provide systems engineering based solutions to support the government intelligence community. In 2018 alone, Axiologic Solutions won SECAF Contractor of the Year and was recognized as a Washington Technology “Fast” 50 Company. With countless awards and recognitions since, Chavira and Stauber exemplify how they applied their AMP education to launch a successful company. 

Left to Right: Alex Wilson, Thomas Stauber, Michael Chavira

Chavira shares,“This program was pivotal, not just for the technical knowledge gained, but for the emphasis on systems engineering and systems thinking, which shaped my approach to problem-solving and strategic planning.  It also opened my world to the possibilities of where these skills can be applied.“ 

Similarly, when asked about the impacts of the program on his professional life, Stauber states, “The AMP influence was huge. Pairing with Mike to start Axiologic is obviously the biggest piece to come out of going to AMP. In addition to that, there are plenty of other great things that came out of the program. The cohort model was awesome. Even today, I can reach back to any of my former classmates on a friendship or colleague level. Starting Axiologic, we probably had no less than 20% of our cohort involved in some way shape or form in getting started. The personal ties back to UVA have been great as well and every time we get the chance to be part of a new cohort’s experience or have the opportunity to get back to Charlottesville, I don’t think either of us hesitate.”

About the Program

Established in 1999, the University of Virginia Accelerated Master’s Program (AMP) in Systems Engineering re-launched in Northern Virginia in May 2023. This program enables professionals to earn a master’s in one year while working full-time. Now located at the Inova Fairfax Hospital Physicians Conference Center, AMP is thrilled to expand their strong 600+ member alumni network in the DMV. 

Focused on systems thinking and data analytics, the program blends online and in-person classes every two weeks, resulting in a comprehensive degree within a year. Taught by renowned faculty from the UVA School of Engineering and Applied Science, the diverse cohort includes experienced professionals and those transitioning to engineering and IT roles. 

Apply to the Accelerated Master’s Program in Systems Engineering before the May 1, 2024 deadline. 

Smiling man pointing while teaching
Bill Scherer, University of Virginia Professor and Chair, Department of Systems and Information Engineering

Advice for Prospective Students

Stauber and Chavira share what they wish they knew before going into AMP:

      • Apply to the program sooner than later. You’ll see the professional benefit. 
      • Try to reduce the amount of distractions you have while doing the program.
      • The harder you work, the more you’ll get out of it.
      • Take every opportunity you can to bond with your cohort
      • Review material with a TA as necessary.
      • Understand the Commitment: This is an intensive program designed for experienced professionals.
      • Embrace Diverse Perspectives: One of the program’s strengths is the diversity of its participants
      • Network Actively: Take advantage of the opportunity to connect with a wide range of professionals, as these relationships can provide valuable insights and opportunities long after the program ends.
      • Apply Learning Practically: Try to apply the concepts and strategies you learn in real-time to your current role or business. 
      • Focus on Personal and Professional Growth: Pay attention to personal growth aspects such as leadership development, communication skills, and strategic thinking.

Apply to the Accelerated Master’s Program in Systems Engineering before the May 1, 2024 deadline. 

Stay up to date on the AMP in Systems Engineering program and other upcoming enrollments by subscribing to the UVA|Northern Virginia Newsletter.