University of Massachusetts Amherst

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In this year’s Senior Design Project competition, held annually as the culminating event in the capstone course (ECE 415 and ECE 416) of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, five innovative and eye-catching projects caught the attention of the judges and the audience. Dual Play scored a double whammy by winning first place in the overall competition, along with a People’s Choice second place. Helping Hand, the second place winner in the overall competition, also won first place in the People’s Choice voting. The other prize-winning teams were Smart Desk (third place in overall competition), A-C-C-E-S-S (Coordinator’s Choice Award), and Alfred (People’s Choice third place).

According to the campus News Office, Lixin Gao of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department was one of three faculty members at UMass Amherst who were appointed Distinguished Professors following approval by the Board of Trustees at its June 20 meeting. The title Distinguished Professor is conferred on select, highly accomplished faculty who have already achieved the rank of professor and who meet a demanding set of qualifications.

Aclarity, a startup company based on a transformative water-treatment discovery by doctoral student Julie Bliss Mullen of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, was profiled in June by Forbes Magazine and BostInno. Aclarity is one of 30 startups chosen by the Los Angeles-based Cleantech Open for its 2018 business acceleration program. Mullen and Barrett Mully, a UMass Amherst MBA student, founded Aclarity in 2017 and won $26,000 last year from the Innovation Challenge, an entrepreneurship contest run by Berthiaume Center at the Isenberg School of Management.