The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Inder Sidhu, who earned his master’s degree in 1983 from our Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, has become a bestselling author. Sidhu, a senior vice president of strategy and planning for Worldwide Operations at Cisco, wrote the New York Times bestseller, Doing Both: How Cisco Captures Today’s Profit & Drives Tomorrow’s Growth, published recently by FT Press. In Doing Both, Sidhu offers a practical guidebook to leaders looking to move their businesses forward in face of new realities.

Professor Don Fisher, head of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department and director of the Human Performance Laboratory, was interviewed on Sunday by Laura Hutchinson of the WWLP-TV Channel 22 “In Focus” program about the new Massachusetts state law that bans texting while driving for everyone and phoning while driving for drivers under 18. “Texting while driving is dangerous for two reasons,” Dr. Fisher said during the interview.

Mechanical engineering major Brian Goss joined ExxonMobil Development Company on June 1 as a summer engineering intern in the Subsea Riser Flowlines Group. Goss’ introduction to the energy industry has been a unique one. During the worst oil spill catastrophe in U.S. history, he has the rare opportunity to experience first-hand an inside technical perspective amidst a storm of media controversy and public outrage. Goss is supporting the Julia Project, a subsea tie-back to Chevron’s Jack St. Malo platform, located in the Gulf of Mexico.

Obviously, this has been a very demanding year for the economy. But, thanks to our donors digging deeply into their pockets during hard times, the College of Engineering Development Office bucked that trend in a big way by shattering its FY2010 fund-raising goal. “I am thrilled to report that we exceeded our COE goal of $2,240,000 in cash gifts,” said Paula Sakey, the director of development. “As of this writing, we are about 26 percent above last year’s private support and 108 percent of goal! I sincerely want to thank our alumni and other donors for making this a banner year.”

Sheri Chase, a 2009 graduate from the Chemical Engineering Department, recently returned from a year-long tour of duty in Iraq as one of the 170 members from the Army National Guard's 747th Military Police Company, based in Ware, Massachusetts. Chase, who successfully completed the Boston Marathon several years ago with her mother, was featured in an article in the Hampshire Gazette. Chase, a sergeant, joined the 747th in 2003, during her senior year at Northampton High School.

Sandip Kundu and his Phd student, Aswin Sreedhar, of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department have just come out with a groundbreaking textbook, published by McGraw Hill and entitled, Nanoscale CMOS VLSI Circuits: Design for Manufacturability. This detailed guide offers proven methods for optimizing circuit designs to increase the yield, reliability, and manufacturability of products and mitigate defects and failure. Covering the latest devices, technologies, and processes, the text focuses on delivering higher performance and lower power consumption.

“Transportation” was the name of the game at the fourth annual Summer Transportation Institute, held on campus for middle and high school students from July 6 through July 30. The program, held Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., was run by the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. CEE faculty, staff, and graduate students provided lectures and led discussions throughout the program on all modes of transportation, sustainability in transportation, and careers in transportation.

Alodeep Sanyal, a doctoral student in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, has won a third-place certificate in the influential E. J. McCluskey Doctoral Thesis Competition, sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Test Technology Technical Council. Selection was based on the quality of his thesis, a poster presentation, and an interview by the award committee. The name of Sanyal’s thesis is, “On Detection, Analysis, and Characterization of Transient and Parametric Failures in CMOS VLSI.”

The University of Massachusetts Amherst and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) have announced an upcoming graduate engineering degree option in ecohydrology – the first in the nation. This master’s degree in civil engineering will prepare students for a career in the specialized field of fish-passage engineering. The collaboration between the USFWS and the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department begins with a $50,000 research grant to support a graduate student and other research activities.

The groundbreaking research of two young faculty members from the Chemical Engineering Department is turning the campus into a national hub for the conversion of biomass into clean, green biofuel. Their research is quickly changing the campus into “BioUMass.” The work of George Huber, the John and Elizabeth Armstrong Professional Development Professor, and Assistant Professor Paul Dauenhauer has recently been covered extensively in an array of respected scientific publications and websites.