The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Undergraduate Brian Giang of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department has been chosen to participate in a very selective pilot program for summer research in South Africa. It is run by the National Science Foundation Northeast Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program and called the South Africa Research Experience for Undergraduates. 

WGGB-TV ABC 40 in Springfield has aired an interview with Dr. Michael Zink about the relatively unusual phenomenon of tornados in New England. Dr. Zink is the deputy director of the Research Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA). He cited tornados in Suffield, Connecticut, in 1979 and great Barrington, Massachusetts, in 1995. But the closest and most recent was a so-called “gustado” in 2009 that picked up a tobacco barn in Sunderland and moved it into the middle of Route 47. Dr. Zink said that the technology behind CASA’s network of four Distributed Collaborative Adaptive Sensing (DCAS) radars, now being tested in Oklahoma, would help evacuation people to save lives and property. Watch the video.

The fourth annual Auction & Social run by the campus chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) netted more than $13,000 in 2011, approximately $2,225 more than the 2010 event. The generous amounts contributed by six sponsoring individuals, groups, and companies added greatly to the total: $2,500 from Vanasse Hangen Brustlin; $1,500 from Dr. Dennis Bushe (with a matching gift to come); $1,000 each from Bob Brack of Barker Steel Company, the Hudson Design Group, and Tighe & Bond; and $500 from the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. The auction itself cleared $4,459.

WGGB-TV ABC 40 in Springfield has aired a story on this year’s UMass Amherst Supermileage Team, which calls itself Team ZoomMass. The star attraction is an eight-and-a-half-foot-long, 100-pound, teardrop-shaped, neon-green vehicle designed to get as much as 1,500 miles per gallon of gas at the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) National Supermileage Competition in Marshall, Michigan, in early June. "The students have been working very hard," said Jonathon Rothstein, the Team ZoomMass faculty advisor from the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department.

On April 27, Kathleen DeVito and Maureen Huffam represented the Conservation Services Group (CSG) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst to award the 2010-2011 CSG Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy Scholarship to recipient Colin Roderick, a graduate student from Connecticut in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department. An earlier version of the UMass scholarship was created to commemorate CSG’s 25th anniversary and give back to the community.

Fourth year industrial engineering major Alex Barth had a memorable research internship “across the pond” last summer; an experience that goes far beyond his accomplishment of writing a paper that he’ll present at the International Conference of Engineering Design 2011 in Copenhagen, Denmark, next August. He also learned the lesson of a lifetime. “What made the biggest impact on my life?” Alex comments about his time in Europe.

Hot on the heels of its annual Senior Design Project Day on April 29, the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst held its second annual Circuits and Codes event on April 30. Circuits and Codes is described as “a celebration of technology, engineering, science, mathematics, creativity, and the students who are designing and building the products and systems of the future.”

Up to $50,000 in prize money supplied by private donors was available to award in the seventh annual University of Massachusetts Amherst Innovation Challenge, held on Thursday, April 28. Student innovators and entrepreneurs made investor presentations from 3:30 to approximately 5:30 p.m. that day. Judges then decided which team has the best entrepreneurial plan for taking a new idea to market. Since 2005, the UMass Amherst Innovation Challenge has provided more than $280,000 in awards to 32 different student-led teams.

On Wednesday, April 27, supporters of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Supermileage Team – Team ZoomMass for short – gathered at Western New England College (WNEC) in Springfield for a demonstration, rally, presentation, and celebration. The star attraction was an eight-and-a-half-foot-long, 100-pound, teardrop-shaped, neon-green vehicle designed to get as much as 1,500 miles per gallon of gas at the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) national supermileage competition in Marshall, Michigan, in early June.

Peter Monson, Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering and currently on sabbatical leave, has been awarded a Piercy Visiting Professorship from the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Minnesota. He will visit Minnesota during April and May, working with colleagues on the synthesis and characterization of new catalysts for energy efficient chemical transformations.

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