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Senior Sean Busch continued to rake in the accolades in March when, in the space of a few days, he shattered the UMass record in the pole vault and was tabbed as the Atlantic 10 Student-Athlete of the Year for the indoor track and field season. The award follows a 2011 A-10 Title in the pole vault, brought home by Busch on February 18th. The Stow, Mass., native had tied the old school record of 15-9 twice this season and finally broke it on March 5 by soaring over 16 feet and a fraction of an inch.

A team of seven students from our Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and our student chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) won the Ethics Competition at the 2011 IEEE Region 1 Student Conference from March 25-27 at Boston University. The competition was sponsored by the IEEE Ethics and Member Conduct Committee and developed for use at IEEE student events to encourage the study and awareness of professional ethics by IEEE student and graduate student members.

A webcam system installed by the University of Massachusetts Amherst Regional Traveler Information Center (RTIC) at the new Look Park roundabout in Florence will allow motorists to check out the traffic there before they ever leave home. The webcam setup, which goes live on the RTIC MassTraveler website (MassTraveler.com) on April 6, will also make it possible for highway officials to monitor how well the roundabout is controlling traffic. Before the roundabout was installed at the corner of Route 9 and Bridge Road, traffic was often backed up in all directions.

On Thursday, March 31, the Engineering Career and Student Development Center hosted the first ever College of Engineering Networking Night from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the Gunness Student Center. The evening offered current students the opportunity to meet with 22 UMass engineering alumni from 19 different companies and practice their professional networking skills in what was wryly compared to “a speed-dating type setup.”

Prabhjeet Raj Singh – who earned his M.S. from the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department in 2001 and is the vice president of Infinity Engineering Group, Ltd. of North Vancouver, British Columbia, in Canada – was on campus in late March to accept his Outstanding Junior Alumni Award from Dean Ted Djaferis. “Recipients of this award are worthy ambassadors for the UMass Amherst College of Engineering and have shown extraordinary effort and notable success in their early careers,” as the citation reads.

Michael Zink of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department co-chaired the first DFG/GENI doctoral consortium, held March 13-15 in conjunction with the 10th GENI Engineering Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The consortium was jointly organized by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

David McLaughlin has been named to a National Academy of Sciences panel assessing the National Weather Service's Modernization Program. Dr. McLaughlin is the associate dean at the College of Engineering, the director of the Engineering Research Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA), and a professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. During the 1980s and 1990s, NOAA launched a major program to modernize the National Weather Service (NWS), investing $5 billion to modernize NWS technologies and advance weather forecasting.

The Journal of Chemical Physics has selected a paper co-authored by Professors Dimitrios Maroudas and David Ford and their graduate student Ray Sehgal and other collaborators from Johns Hopkins University as a “2010 Editor's Choice” of ground-breaking research in the field of Surfaces, Interfaces, and Materials. As the editors explain, “In the following collection, the editors have selected a few of the many notable JCP articles published in 2010 that present ground-breaking research.”

UMass Amherst will be hosting the XXIX IEEE International Conference on Computer Design (ICCD) from October 9 to 12 of 2011. ICCD is a premier conference covering leading edge research on design and implementation of computer systems and their components. Professors Sandip Kundu and Russell Tessier of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department are on the organizing/program committee.

As an alternative to using laboratory animals to study diseases, what if you could actually build realistic working models of bone, breast, liver, or artery tissues under attack by diseases? The operative word would be “control.” Not only could you perform reproducible experiments in a highly controlled environment, but you could also exercise very tight control over many of the physical and chemical properties of diseased tissues.

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