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At the annual student conference of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) in early November at Salt Lake City, chemical engineering major Chris Lowe was elected to serve as the Chair of the AIChE Executive Student Committee for the coming year. The committee is AIChE's national student executive board. “As Chair I'll work with the other committee members to represent the needs of student chapters around the country to the professional organization,” said Lowe about his new position.

Hopedale, Massachusetts, resident Paul C. Washburn III was honored in October at the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a College of Engineering 2010 Outstanding Senior Alumni Award for having brought recognition and honor to the college through his professional achievements, leadership, and service to his profession, university, and society. Washburn earned his B.S. degree from UMass Amherst in Industrial Engineering & Operations Research in 1981 and his M.B.A. there in 1984.

As part of a continuing series on alumni awards, a Bethesda, Maryland, couple, Stéphanie Raimondeau and Joseph Watson, was honored on October 16 at the University of Massachusetts Amherst with College of Engineering 2010 Outstanding Junior Alumni Awards for “serving as worthy ambassadors for the college and demonstrating extraordinary effort and notable success in their early careers.” Both Raimondeau and Watson were graduate students in the Chemical Engineering Department at UMass Amherst.

Stephen Malkin, Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, received an honorary doctorate degree (doctor honoris causa) from J. E. Purkyně University in the Czech Republic on November 11 in “recognition of his accomplishments in machining and particularly in grinding theory and the application of grinding methods.” Dr. Malkin has been a faculty member at UMass Amherst since 1986 and served as department head from 2000 to 2006.

Professor David Schmidt of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department was the keynote speaker at the Open Source CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) International 2010 conference, held in Munich, Germany, on November 4 and 5. The title of his talk was “Multi-scale Challenges in Multiphase CFD [Computational Fluid Dynamics].” As Dr. Schmidt explains, “The talk compared three methods used in my research group for simulating multiphase flow.

Prabhjeet Raj Singh, the vice president of the Infinity Engineering Group, Ltd., of North Vancouver, British Columbia, was honored on October 16 with a College of Engineering 2010 Outstanding Junior Alumni Award for “serving as a worthy ambassador for the college and demonstrating extraordinary effort and notable success in his early career.” Singh was co-leader of design teams working on both the Deh Cho Bridge in the Northwest Territories (still under construction) and the Golden Ears Bridge (Segment 3 land structures) in south central British Columbia, among others.

This article is the second in a series showcasing the accomplished graduates recently presented with Outstanding Senior and Junior Alumni Awards. Fairfax Station, Virginia, resident David C. Jeanes, the retired president of the Steel Market Development Institute,was honored on October 16 at the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a College of Engineering 2010 Outstanding Senior Alumni Award for having brought recognition and honor to the college through his professional achievements, leadership, and service to his profession, university, and society.

This article is the first in a series showcasing the accomplished graduates recently presented with Outstanding Senior and Junior Alumni Awards. Waltham resident Alaina B. Hanlon, the President and CEO of PhenotypeIT, Inc. of Newton, was honored on October 16 with a College of Engineering 2010 Outstanding Junior Alumni Award for “serving as a worthy ambassador for the college and demonstrating extraordinary effort and notable success in her early career.”

Imagine being blindfolded and then turned loose, on your own, to navigate a large, strange building that you’ve never entered before. It would be like one of those sadistic, mean-spirited reality TV shows. Yet that’s precisely the predicament encountered by many of the 161 million people worldwide who suffer from vision impairment. Now an electronic system called PERCEPT, being developed by Professor Aura Ganz of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, will allow visually impaired individuals, each equipped only with a three-ounce electronic device and Bluetooth headphone, to navigate unfamiliar buildings with ease.

A robotic fish, built by Dr. Yahya Modarres-Sadeghi of our Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, was featured in the New Scientist, inspired by an article in the journal Bioinspiration & Biomimetics and entitled "A fast-starting mechanical fish that accelerates at 40 m s−2." "We have built a simple mechanical system to emulate the fast-start performance of fish," as the Bioinspiration & Biomimetics article explained. "The system consists of a thin metal beam covered by a urethane rubber, the fish body, and an appropriately shaped tail."

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