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In early October Lindsey McGinnis of New England Public Radio reported on the pioneering research of Electrical and Computer Engineering doctoral student Chris Merola, who is trying to create much more efficient cell towers to service the sonic boom in cellular networks. “Americans' wireless data consumption has skyrocketed since 4G technology was introduced nearly a decade ago,” wrote McGinnis. “Smartphones have become essential for on-the-go work and entertainment, fueling the need for 5G. But how do you create a cellular network that accommodates everything from streaming services to self-driving cars?”

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Think about this: the College of Engineering Study Abroad Program offers students the chance to enhance their education, meet colleagues from many foreign countries, make international connections, learn about foreign societies, visit natural and cultural wonders, broaden their minds, taste enticing new cuisines, become citizens of the world, and view life with a panoramic new vision. What could be better? But the key is to start planning right now!

Go to College of Engineering Study Abroad website »

A research team led by Qiangfei Xia of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has just published a paper in the prestigious journal Nature Nanotechnology about research into a promising building block for the next generation of nonvolatile random access memory and bio-inspired computing systems. The research team says that its working memristor crossbar arrays are “to the best of our knowledge, the first high-density electronic circuits with individually addressable components scaled down to two-nanometer dimension built with foundry-compatible fabrication technologies.”

Guangyu Xu of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department is part of a team of scientists based at UMass Amherst that has been awarded a four-year, $953,300 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop miniature, implantable hardware, which can record complex brain activity in animals and analyze it in real time. See News Office release. The NSF funding is part of $16 million given to 18 cross-disciplinary projects around the country to conduct innovative research on neural and cognitive systems, thus attracting key coverage by the venerable Psychology Today.

In an article posted on October 16, the UMass News Office reports on the fifth department established by the College of Engineering, the Biomedical Engineering Department. Professor Tammy L. Haut Donahue, the founding department head, will lead the emerging program, which will offer bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The college will eventually hire 12 full-time, tenure-track faculty members for the department by the fall of 2022.

“Is there a difference between a rotary and a roundabout?” Boston Globe correspondent Morgan Hughes asked a very New-England-centric question in a recent edition of the Globe. “Transportation experts at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have the answer.” Yes, the UMass Transportation Center has launched a series of informational videos that explore a range of issues often questioned by the driving public. The series is made up of short, five- to 10-minute videos released monthly and hosted by staff from the center.

Emily Kumpel of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department is sponsoring an interdisciplinary senior design project for five Mechanical Engineering students to design a “DIY Portable Incubator for Testing Microbial Water Quality in Field Settings.”  In rural areas of underdeveloped countries the portable incubators currently on the market for this application are unavailable, expensive, or require reliable electricity....

On Friday, November 2, the College of Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst will hold its ninth annual Outstanding Alumni Awards Celebration (Registration & More info ») during Homecoming Weekend. The college’s celebration will be held in the Marriott Room on the 11th floor of the Campus Center at UMass Amherst. The Homecoming Reception & Awards Celebration will begin at 4:30 p.m. During the reception, the College of Engineering will present its Outstanding Senior and Junior Alumni Awards to eight individuals who, through exemplary accomplishments, epitomize the potential of a superlative education at the UMass Amherst College of Engineering.

Go to alumni awards website »

Inside UMass reports that two scientists at UMass Amherst, including Professor Sarah Perry of the Chemical Engineering Department, are building a new class of environmentally friendly polymer materials made from complex coacervates that contain solid nanoparticles. The scientists hope their research into these new complex coacervates will have a radical impact on applications ranging from polymer coatings to vaccine formulation.

See Inside UMass article: Scientists Make Polymers Containing Solid Nanoparticles.

Professor David McLaughlin of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department is a co-principal investigator on a five-year, $3-million ADVANCE Institutional Transformation Grant awarded to UMass Amherst from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The huge award will support the development of an innovative professional advancement model for underrepresented faculty in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). According to the NSF, the ADVANCE program seeks to develop systemic approaches to increase the participation and advancement of women in academic STEM careers.

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