The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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New England Environmental, Inc. (NEE), with almost one-third of its workforce having graduated from UMass Amherst, recently received a Platinum LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, one of only five issued in Massachusetts and 245 in the country. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally-recognized green building certification system. NEE, headquartered here in Amherst and in Concord, New Hampshire, has hired 11 UMass graduates out of its 34 employees.

Melissa Paciulli, a Ph.D. candidate in Transportation Engineering in our Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, recently received the Women in Transportation (WTS) Boston Ann M. Hershfang Graduate Scholarship. She was also nominated for the Helene M. Overly Memorial Scholarship, offered through WTS International. The Hershfang Graduate Scholarship is awarded to a woman currently enrolled in a graduate program within a transportation-related field with plans to pursue a career in the transportation industry.

On July 19, the Institute for Cellular Engineering (ICE), whose Director is Susan Roberts of the Chemical Engineering Department, is staging an outreach event for 10 local high school students designed to introduce them to the complex and fascinating world of cellular engineering. “Essentially, the students are high school students from Springfield and Holyoke,” says ICE Program Manager Shana Passonno, “and students from the Institute for Cellular Engineering are organizing a day of laboratory demonstrations and activities, lab tours, and an undergraduate panel session about life as a college student.”

On July 12, the Salem News published a well-written feature story on the Distractology 101 driving simulator, a program to train inexperienced drivers about the perils of distracted driving. Distractology 101, housed in a 36-foot-long trailer, is a collaboration between our recently renamed Arbella Insurance Human Performance Laboratory and the Arbella Insurance Company. Our laboratory developed the Distractology program under the leadership of Don Fisher, its director and the head of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department.

An event initiated last year by the Institute for Cellular Engineering (ICE) has mushroomed this summer into a campus-wide career exploration forum for graduate students and post-docs. “The First Five Years: What to Expect?” was held on Wednesday, July 13, in the Integrated Sciences Building on campus. “Are you hoping to start your career on the right path?” the program's poster asked. “Gain valuable insights from accomplished industrial and academic professionals, as they reflect upon their early career experiences.”

On July 11, Bloomberg Businessweek listed Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department alums Scot Chisholm ’04 and Pat Walsh ’03 on its exclusive list of America's Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs 2011. The two alumni co-founded StayClassy, a social fundraising company, in 2006. “StayClassy is a cloud-based platform for nonprofits to fundraise and manage their business online,” CMO Walsh has said about the company, which was voted one of the top three startup companies last year at the 12th annual MIT Venture Capital Company conference.

Tilman Wolf of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and two of his graduate students, Ph.D. candidate Y. Sinan Hanay and recent M.S. graduate Abhishek Dwaraki, received the Best Paper Award at the 12th annual Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers International Conference on High Performance Switching and Routing (IEEE HPSR). The title of their paper was "High-Performance Implementation of In-Network Traffic Pacing" and was one of 46 papers presented at the conference.

A class of graduate engineering students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is collaborating with a local inventor to reinvent the very nuts and bolts that hold together the machinery of modern life. This cooperative project is developing a brand new kind of “wave thread,” which could transform the strength, performance, and sealing ability of nuts, bolts, pipes, containers, valves, and other types of “fastener” products.

Prasad Shabadi, a graduate student in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, won the Best Student Paper Award at the IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Nanoscale Architectures 2011 in San Diego, California, with a paper entitled “Spin Wave Functions Nanofabric Update.” The article describes research on “a better, game-changing way to improve system-level performance” of computer devices “based on non-equilibrium physical phenomena and wave interactions, e.g., spin waves.”

Team ZoomMass overcame blustery winds, severe thunderstorms, and overwhelming odds to finish with a gritty, Rocky-like performance, beaten up but upbeat, at the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Supermileage Competition in Michigan. “When we got on the track the wind was howling,” says Jonathan Rothstein, the team’s faculty advisor. “It was so bad it blew the windshield off the car, which promptly got stuck in the front wheel, causing the car to spin around and the front wheel to shear off as it slid sideways. It took us half the day to put the car back together and persevere through a number of other problems, like flat tires and thunderstorms.” 

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