University of Massachusetts Amherst

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On January 20 through 22, a multi-institutional team, including graduate student Vanessa Martinez of our UMass Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department, presented a very creative, beneficial, and practical proposal for a new humanitarian company called Rx4All, a medication-recycling program which was chosen for one of four prizes from 33 competing projects in the Yale Healthcare Hackathon, held at the Yale Medical School in New Haven, Connecticut. The theme of the hackathon was “Re-engineering Patient Experience...

What if we could save lives with a more accurate early detection radar system for tornadoes such as the one that recently hit Springfield? Or what if we could help amputees walk more easily by giving them a better “feel” for their artificial limbs? Or replace our unsustainable oil supply with sustainable biofuel? Or cure a group of child-killing diseases known as lysosomal storage disorders. Are these just pipedreams? Not for 52 undergraduate engineering and science students doing summer research at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. In fact, these four ambitious projects were just...

Each year seniors from the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst present, display, and demonstrate some 24 clever and useful electronic inventions for the public. This year five teams of senior ECE majors won the nine prizes given out for the event. The Senior Design Day Faculty Awards were given, in order, to: braillebook , SHARC (Simulated Hand & Arm Remote Control), Sauron, and SigninGlove. Then the IEEE People’s Choice Awards went to Sauron, braillebook, BRO (Basketball Return Optimizer), SHARC, and SigninGlove....

The pioneering Minuteman Launch Team is the first group of UMass students to enter the NASA Student Launch competition, and the team members are extremely excited at the prospect of launching a high-powered rocket, scheduled for takeoff in April of 2015 at the Marshall Spaceflight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. You can help launch our College of Engineering team on its way to Alabama by donating used two-liter soda bottles for a college outreach event starting March 23. Please drop off bottles in Marston 126 anytime between now and March 23. Note that your bottles will actually be...

On December 11, MIE students in Professor David McLaughlin’s Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering course gathered in a large circle in the Student Union Ballroom, laughing, shouting, and cheering as dozens of their scale-model smart cars darted across the floor in an exercise of vehicle avoidance. The occasion was the class’s annual end-of-the-semester Smart Car Extravaganza. Now in its third year, the demonstration is the culmination of a semester-long assignment to build model cars using Arduino processors, motors, transistors, gears, and various sensors to monitor and control the...

Charlene Nalubega, a junior industrial engineering major whose family now lives in Ashland, Massachusetts, is spending much of her time in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department working toward a noble goal. Nalubega came to the United States in 2009 from Uganda, and someday after she has become a professional engineer she would like to return there to help her country’s development and progress. “I wanted to do industrial engineering because there are a lot of systems in my country that are developed, but they need improvement,” says Nalubega. “As an industrial...

Two of the seven teams competing in April for the finals of the University of Massachusetts Innovation Challenge are from the College of Engineering. This year-long series of entrepreneurial competitions will climax on April 6 at 5:00 p.m. in the Campus Center Amherst Room, when the seven teams of finalists will be competing for $65,000 in funding to support their ventures. Thus far, during the 12th year of the annual Innovation Challenge, 61 pitches have been heard, and a total of $17,000 has been awarded to promising and enterprising ventures. The two engineering teams will be pitching...

Kasey Packard Smart, an undergraduate researcher in our Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, was a member of UMass Amherst biologist Duncan J. Irschick’s lab, which developed “Beastcam,” a multi-armed platform of cameras and a computer system that can rapidly and easily create 3D models of living animals and other objects. Beastcam was co-founded by Irschick, UMass Amherst polymer scientist Al Crosby, Smart, and Smart’s fellow undergraduate Dylan Briggs. Now Beastcam is attracting international media coverage, including an article in the Boston...

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