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During the week of June 13, two separate stories aired on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition and on public TV station WGBY Channel 57 looking at the new radar system being developed to track tornadoes and other severe weather by the $43 million, 10-year-old Engineering Research Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA). Both the radio and TV interviews involved CASA’s Brenda Philips, the associate director, and Michael Zink, the deputy director for technical integration.

A feature story in the June 13 Boston Globe looks at the new radar system being developed to track tornadoes and other severe weather by the $43 million, 10-year-old Engineering Research Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA). CASA involves UMass Amherst and public universities in Colorado, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Virginia, and Delaware, along with the National Weather Service, Raytheon Co., ITT Corp. and other specialty manufacturers.

Professor Surita Bhatia of the Chemical Engineering Department was one of 24 women academics who attended a meeting on May 12 and 13 dealing with the issues of female academics in nanoscience fields. Some problems addressed at the meeting included the pressures placed on young assistant professors during the years when they are having children and trying to make tenure at the same time, the disadvantages women face by taking maternity leave, childcare issues, and the increasing underrepresentation of female undergrads in nanoscience fields.

Bekah Perlin, a first year student in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, is doing a summer internship to test and improve lanyards. No, not that kind of lanyards! They are not the ones that have become infamous in summer camps all over the world as woven in arts-and-crafts classes by bored campers, who wear them around their neck to hold whistles or keys. These are fall-protection lanyards, which are life-saving devices for personnel working on roofs, skyscrapers, and other high sites.

Dr. Sadiye Guler, who earned her doctorate from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department in 1996 and went on to found the intuVision company in 2000, has kept close ties with her alma mater through her company. Guler’s company creates leading-edge intelligent video content analysis technology products for real-world applications, including the specific needs of intelligence, security, and law enforcement personnel. In honor of her accomplishments, Dr. Guler received a Massachusetts High Technology Council’s 2008 Women-to-Watch award for developing and commercializing a new technology that is shaping the future of the video industry.

Jack Keil Wolf, a revered engineer and computer theorist who taught at the College of Engineering from1973 to 1984, died on May 12 at his home in the La Jolla section of San Diego, according to an obituary on May 20 in the New York Times. He was 76. The Times article said that Wolf’s “mathematical reasoning about how best to transmit and store information helped shape the digital innards of computers and other devices that power modern society.”

Therapeutic Systems, a company started by alumnus Brian Mullen when he was a doctoral student in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department in 2008, is producing an inflatable vest that offers a “portable hug” to help calm and soothe children with autism and other disorders. Mullen started the company with his partner Chris Leidel, who earned his MBA in the Isenberg School of Management, when the two put together a successful business plan to win the $50,000 University of Massachusetts Innovation Challenge.

Jerome “Jerry” M. Paros, the Founder and CEO of Paroscientific, Inc. and one of the largest contributors to the College of Engineering, received a Distinguished Achievement Award from the university at its commencement ceremonies on May 13. Paros is an internationally recognized innovator and leader in the field of measurement sciences, the owner of more than 20 U.S. patents, a successful businessman, and a visionary philanthropist.

For more than a decade the Parametric Technology Corporation, better known as PTC, has been designing a nurturing relationship with the UMass Amherst Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department that starts with a free annual license for the company’s trademark CAD modeling software. But our favored status goes far beyond the licenses PTC has donated.

Dr. Paul Dauenhauer of the Chemical Engineering Department received word of a $149,234 grant from the 2011 Northeast Sun Grant Initiative (NESGI) Competitive Grants program, bringing to almost $1 million the total funding he has been awarded from three sources in little more than a month. From early March until mid-April, his dovetailing research projects were also funded with an $800,000 Early Career Award in Basic Energy Sciences from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), plus $15,000 from a highly selective 3M Nontenured Faculty Award.

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