University of Massachusetts Amherst

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The first phase of the UMass Amherst 2015–16 Innovation Challenge kicked off its 11th year of competition on October 28, with two teams from our College of Engineering capturing the first- and third-place prizes of $1,000 and $500 respectively.

At this first Innovation Challenge event of the semester, more than 50 campus entrepreneurs and innovators participated in the MinutePitch Competition. Thirty-six teams pitched their ideas to a panel of judges, and, after three rounds, three teams emerged victorious. Two of them were from the College of Engineering. The first-place prize...

Three engineering majors in UMass Amherst’s Integrated Concentration in Science (iCons) program are now working at paid internships with Massachusetts-based life science and energy technology firms for the summer. Olivia Czubarow, a chemical engineering senior from Wellesley, is working this summer at Anika Therapeutics of Bedford. Theo Smith, a mechanical engineering senior from Concord, and chemical engineering major Anwesh Yerneni from Mansfield are both working at Boston-Power, Inc. of Westborough.

While serving their highly coveted internships, the three engineering majors...

Radhameris (Radha) Gómez, a Ph.D. candidate in the Transportation Engineering group in the UMass Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, was recently awarded the 2015 Ann M. Hershfang Graduate Scholarship by the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) Boston Chapter. The competitive Hershfang Graduate Scholarship is awarded to a woman enrolled in a transportation-related graduate program with plans to pursue a career in the transportation industry.

Gómez was selected for this award based on her research interests in vulnerable road users, her mentoring and leadership...

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...

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...

Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Neal Anderson’s doctoral student Natesh Ganesh has won the Best Student Paper award at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 2017 International Conference on Rebooting Computing (ICRC). The title of his paper and presentation was "A Thermodynamic Treatment of Intelligent Systems." The conference was held on November 8 and 9 in Washington, DC. The goal of the IEEE ICRC was to discover and foster novel methodologies to reinvent computing technology, including new...

Rune Percy and Alexander Smith, a student team from the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department at UMass Amherst, took second place in the recent elevator-pitch competition at the Awards Ceremony & Banquet for the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Initiative. Percy and Smith received a second-place prize of $750, based on their business-concept pitch for ARBioDesign, which aims to save tens of thousands of patients every year by personalizing dialysis treatment using rapid and inexpensive microfluidic blood-diagnostic tests.

Representatives...

Robert Coolman, a graduate student in chemical engineering in the research laboratory of George Huber, discussed his research on building and using biofuels reactions to create green gasoline and critical industrial petrochemicals during a long interview on Livescience.com, a website supported by the National Science Foundation to publicize its funded research. Using a combination of experiments and mathematical models, Coolman designs and builds biofuel reactors and studies how the chemicals that make up plants...

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