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Professors J. Joshua Yang and Qiangfei Xia of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst are leading an international team of researchers who are publishing an article in Nature Materials entitled “Memristors with diffusive dynamics as synaptic emulators for neuromorphic computing.” Nature Materials is a premier Nature Publishing Group journal with an impact factor as high as 38.89.

Dr. Paula Sturdevant Rees, director of both the UMass Water Resources Research Center and the Diversity Programs in the College of Engineering, will help to lead the planning process for a new UMass Unmanned Aerial System Research and Education Collaborative (UMass UASREC). Rees and her colleagues hope to establish the UASREC: to serve as an incubator to develop new basic and applied research through access to Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) technology; and to initiate an educational program to train the next generation of UAS research scientists and the civilian workforce in UAS piloting, sensor use, data processing, and analytics.

At the 12th Annual UMass Amherst Faculty Convocation on Friday, September 30, Chemical Engineering Department Head John Klier and Professor Joseph Bardin of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department will each receive one of the Awards for Outstanding Accomplishments in Research and Creative Activity being presented to eight nationally acclaimed faculty members from across the campus. The convocation begins at 11:00 a.m. in Bowker Auditorium, Stockbridge Hall.

Boris Lau of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department was one of 10 campus academics who each received a $1,000 Sustainability Curriculum Fellowship (SCF), a year-long interdisciplinary program sponsored by the Chancellor’s Office and others to develop or augment courses with sustainability-related topics. As Lau explains about how he will use the fellowship, “My overarching goal is to enable students to understand the important roles of nanoscale science and technology in achieving water sustainability.” See News Office article

A panel of international wind power experts, in a study designed by the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Erin D. Baker and others, says technology advancements are expected to continue to drive down the cost of wind energy. The survey of the world’s foremost wind power experts led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, anticipates cost reductions of 24 percent to 30 percent by 2030 and 35 percent to 41 percent by 2050, under a median or “best guess” scenario, driven by bigger and more efficient turbines, lower capital and operating costs and other advancements. The findings are described in an article in the journal Nature Energy published Sept. 12. Read the UMass News Office Press Release

On Friday, September 30, the College of Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst will hold its seventh annual Outstanding Alumni Awards Celebration during Homecoming Weekend. The college’s celebration will include 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 an education at the UMass Amherst College of Engineering.

An event on August 26 signaled a revolutionary new trend in offshore wind energy throughout Massachusetts and beyond. The Massachusetts Research Partnership in Offshore Wind received $300,000 in funding from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC)’s Renewable Energy Trust. Wind energy pioneer Professor James Manwell of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department is UMass Amherst’s principal investigator (PI) for the new partnership, made up of six Massachusetts academic and research institutions – Northeastern University, Tufts University, University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, University of Massachusetts Lowell, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Rising senior Alex Finestone from Billerica, Massachusetts, enters his final year in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department having already accumulated enough honors as a student/athlete to stagger anyone’s imagination. Think about it. Finestone is the co-captain of the UMass Minuteman Track & Field Team who also carries an outstanding 3.658 GPA in the rigorous mechanical engineering curriculum, has landed on the  Dean’s List five times, and, just for good measure, has been named five times to the Atlantic-10 Athletic Conference Commissioner Honor Roll.

Richard N. Palmer, the head of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, commented in a story on August 26 by the Boston Globe about illegal lawn watering in the suburbs of Boston during the current drought. As the Globe story explained “Some water under cover of darkness, waiting until night’s protective curtain has fallen to turn on their sprinklers while the neighbors slumber. Some are wealthy enough that, even when busted, they simply pay repeated fines and continue watering their lawn. And still others resort to deception, putting up bogus ‘well water’ signs so they can blast their sprinklers without drawing nasty scowls from neighbors and tickets from local officials.”

Professor David Reckhow of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department recently told the Wall Street Journal that officials and scientists are reconsidering the use of chloramine, a combination of chlorine and ammonia, as a disinfectant in drinking water. “We’re questioning the wisdom of using chloramines as much as we do in this country,” said Reckhow, a national expert on the treatment of drinking water and the head of the UMass Amherst Water Innovation Network for Sustainable Small Systems (WINSSS), funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

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