On Friday, April 29, the 21st annual Senior Design Project Day at the University of Massachusetts Amherst unveiled 13 clever, creative, and useful electronic inventions produced by seniors from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department (ECE). The event is a high-tech floor show for the electronics of the future. Past projects have included everything from home automation systems and wireless drumsticks to assistive robots. This year’s inventions go by such intriguing names as the Wait Watcher, the Weed Warrior, and the Mechanical Autonomous Robot Companion (pictured).
The College of Engineering has earned the award for the Highest Average Gift for an Academic Area during the University of Massachusetts 2010-2011 Faculty and Staff Campaign. The college will be recognized for its achievement at the Founders Day Luncheon on Friday, April 29. The luncheon is scheduled from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on that day. Sarah Sligo, the interim director of Annual Giving, called the accomplishment a “presitigious honor,” and said, “Congratulations on your high average gift.”
Senior chemical engineering student Niva Ran is the lead author of a cover story entitled “Organic single-crystal lawns” for an upcoming issue of Materials Today, the international review magazine for all researchers with an interest in materials science and technology. Her co-authors are postdoctoral scholar Qingshuo Wei and Assistant Professor Alejandro L. Briseño from the Department of Polymer Science and Engineering.
Chemical Engineering Professor William C. Conner, Jr. has won the 2011 Senior Faculty Award, and Electrical and Computer Engineering Assistant Professor Eric Polizzi has won the 2011 Barbara H. and Joseph I. Goldstein Outstanding Junior Faculty Award. They will both receive their awards at the Senior Recognition Ceremony on May 14, starting at 9:00 a.m. in the Recreation Center. Assistant Professor Marinos Vouvakis of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department was previously announced as the winner of the 2011 College Outstanding Teaching Award, and he will also receive his award at the ceremony on May 14.
T.J. (Lakis) Mountziaris, professor and head of the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts and director of the UMass NanoMedicine Institute, has received $25,000 from the university’s Commercial Ventures and Intellectual Property (CVIP) office to conduct experiments aimed at commercializing a new class of biological sensors that enable rapid testing of clinical samples for disease markers and environmental samples for biological contaminants.
A paper co-authored by Associate Professor Do-Hoon Kwon of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department has been selected by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Antennas and Propagation Society to receive the inaugural 2011 IEEE Antennas and Propagation Edward E. Altshuler Prize Paper Award. Dr. Kwon was the lead author of the paper, entitled "Transformation Electromagnetics: An Overview of the Theory and Applications," published in the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Magazine, Vol. 52, No.1, pp. 24-46, February 2010.
Chemical Engineering major Dan Ganz has recently been awarded two scholarships, the Class of 1941 Humanitarian Award given by the Honors College, and the Mark Bradley and June Wispelway Scholarship given by the College of Engineering. “The two awards I have received recently, from the College of Engineering and the Commonwealth College, are a real honor,” Ganz said. “When entering UMass, I did not expect such positive opportunities to develop as a person and as a professional.”
George Huber, the Armstrong Professional Development Professor in the University of Massachusetts Amherst Chemical Engineering Department, has received $25,000 from the university’s Commercial Ventures and Intellectual Property (CVIP) office to help commercialize a “proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell technology” capable of producing renewable fuels and other chemicals from biomass, electricity, and water.
On April 7, four College of Engineering students donated their time, energy, and knowledge to the so-called “Carnival of Learning” by teaching about 55 youngsters from the John Duggan Middle School in Springfield the importance of education beyond high school. The college students, who belong to the campus chapters of the National Society of Black Engineers and Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, gave the kids a crash course in engineering by demonstrating how to extract DNA from strawberries and showing them how to build a better “mousetrap car,” solely powered by one standard-sized mousetrap.
Last fall the new Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department's Exploratorium officially went online in the ELab Building as a $150,000, 2500-square-foot home base for MIE students in the ELab building on campus. It features an upgraded Computer Lab, teleconferencing hardware and software, several reconfigurable spaces where varying numbers of students can meet, room for guest speakers to deliver their talks, and a place for all the MIE students to call home. It also serves as the department's spawning ground for student brainstorms.