University of Massachusetts Amherst

Search Google Appliance



A study done by the UMass Amherst Traffic Safety Research Program (UMassSafe) and completed in June of 2016 finds that seatbelt use is at an all-time high in Massachusetts, but the state still lags behind others in seatbelt use. The study finds that 78.2 percent of drivers and front-seat passengers use seatbelts, up from 67 percent as recently as 2006. Last year the figure was 74 percent. The national average is 88.5 percent. Robin Riessman, associate director of the UMassSafe Program, says seatbelt use has been increasing during the past 10 years, and especially during the last year studied.

Industrial Engineering doctoral student Zana Cranmer, an Offshore Wind Energy IGERT Fellow at UMass Amherst, has received a National Science Foundation Supplement grant of $34,946 from the NSF Directorate for Education and Human Resources to run a series of workshops at UMass related to science and technology policy. The grant will support a series of workshops, co-organized by Cranmer, to teach science and engineering doctoral students what they need to know about policy making and help them across all fields to collaborate with one another on policy related to science and technology.

The Arbella Insurance Human Performance Laboratory received another shot of good publicity on September 29 at the 2016 Moving Together Conference, which brings together transportation leaders and individuals involved in the areas of planning, public health, bike and pedestrian safety, transit, advocacy, elected office, law enforcement, and education. At that event, Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito visited the HPL booth to try her hand at the lab’s groundbreaking driving simulator – a PC-based program that trains drivers to anticipate potential roadway hazards and to maintain their attention on the forward roadway.

On Monday, October 24, 224 young women from 25 high schools in Massachusetts and the region - including Springfield, Chicopee, Greenfield, and Orange - will explore the fields of engineering and computing through hands-on activities. The event is the annual Women in Engineering and Computing Career Day Conference, and the aim of this program is to excite, inspire, and encourage young women to pursue engineering or computer science as an academic track and career path.

Jae-Hwang Lee of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is a member of the team of researchers from UMass and Rice University that is publishing an article in the prestigious journal Science about a dynamic new process for producing high-strength metals. The title of the article is “Dynamic Creation and Evolution of Extreme Gradient Nanostructure in Single-crystal Metallic Micro-cubes.”

The pioneering research of Joshua Yang and Qiangfei Xia of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department is attracting international media attention in Scientific AmericanScience magazine, and many other outlets after being featured in the scientific journal Nature Materials. Yang and Xia are leading a research team that is developing new types of nanoscale devices for microprocessors that can mimic the functioning of a biological synapse, the junction between two neurons in the human brain. The new devices are also energy efficient.

Emeritus Professor Donald Fisher, the director of the celebrated Arbella Insurance Human Performance Laboratory and the former head of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department, will deliver one of the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Distinguished Faculty Lectures on Tuesday, October 18, at 4:00 p.m. Professor Fisher will be presented with the Chancellor’s Medal, the highest recognition bestowed to faculty by the campus, at the conclusion of the lecture. See event website.

Professor David Schmidt of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department has been selected as a Fellow of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), the organization’s premier membership grade. According to the SAE, “The Fellow grade was established in 1975 to honor and recognize important engineering, scientific, and leadership achievements to enhance the status of SAE’s contributions to the profession and to society.”

Undergraduate students Patrick Sullivan and Eric Wybenga of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department are members of the first "class" of seven UMass Amherst students to receive scholarships from the National Science Foundation’s CyberCorps program. Both students are Computer Systems Engineering majors. A team of cybersecurity researchers at UMass Amherst, led by computer scientist Brian Levine, received a $4.2 million grant from the NSF to bring a CyberCorps Scholarship for Service (SFS) program to the campus, the first public university in New England to receive such an award.

The research of Erin Baker, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, and a team of multidisciplinary researchers, has been attracting national attention from the Washington Post and many other media outlets. In a study designed by UMass Amherst’s Baker and others, a panel of international wind power experts says technological 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 24-30 percent by 2030 and 35-41 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.