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On Thursday, October 21, Dr. John Finn, the co-founder and vice-president for technology infrastructure at Bloom Energy of Sunnyvale, California, delivered the 11th annual Tang Lecture on the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus. The title of his lecture was “Energy Startup to Energy Industry.” Dr. Finn received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from UMass Amherst in 1990, under the supervision of Professor Peter Monson.

A team of students from the campus chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) has designed a do-it-yourself water pump for the settlement of Divisão in the Brazilian Amazon and taught community members how to put together the device, using indigenous materials. The simple mechanism, which can be easily constructed from inexpensive PVC and rubber, is engineered to pump clean spring water for many of the 280 households in the area. The pump provides the community with a home-made, sustainable technology for creating healthy drinking water.

The College of Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst held its first annual Outstanding Alumni Awards Luncheon during Homecoming Weekend, on Saturday, October 16, 2010. The luncheon included the presentation of College of Engineering Outstanding Junior/Senior Alumni Awards to individuals who, through exemplary accomplishments, epitomize the potential of an education at the UMass Amherst College of Engineering. The event happened from 12:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. in the 10th floor Amherst Room of the UMass Amherst Campus Center.

Mike Hluchyj, a 1979 alumnus of the Electrical and Computer Engineering, is no stranger to high-end successes. He was officially one of "Tech's 100 Highest Rollers" for 2001, according to Forbes Magazine, and has also been the New England Entrepreneur of the Year, according to Ernst & Young. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and is widely published on subjects such as switching and traffic management in multimedia packet networks.

Saranthip Rattanaserikiat is a role model for all those students who arrive at the College of Engineering in search of the exact path they might want to take as a professional engineer. Saranthip is like the hiker in Robert Frost’s poem, The Road Not Taken, who arrives at a fork and studies each one to see which is the right way home. Except, in Saranthip’s case, she has taken several “paths” simultaneously.

Frank Sup, a new faculty member in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, has spent the past five years developing a next generation lower-limb prosthesis. The device is an example of "wearable robotics," in which the knee and ankle joints are battery powered and guided by sensors that help the device adjust continually to terrains, slopes, and steps. It has been tested both in the field and in the lab by amputees for the past two and a half years.

On October 1, the Engineering Research Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA) was featured on the influential LiveScience website, which covered CASA’s Puerto Rican testbed. As the LiveScience article noted, “A team of CASA graduate and undergraduate students from several CASA partner institutions designed, assembled, and installed the "off-the-grid," solar-powered, and wireless radar system in a region of western Puerto Rico that the Doppler radar located south of San Juan cannot sense.

Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Ph.D. student Xunyi Yu and adviser, ECE Professor Aura Ganz (pictured), won a Best Paper Contender prize at the 7th International Conference on Advanced Video and Signal-Based Surveillance, held from August 29 to September 1 in Boston. Their paper, "Global Identification of Tracklets in Video Using Long Range Identity Sensors," developed a new system, using RFID sensors, to identify people captured in outdoor surveillance videos.

Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Ph.D. student Steve Holland won first place in the student paper competition at The Antenna Applications Symposium, which was held from September 21 to 23 at the Allerton Park and Retreat Center in Monticello, Illinois. Holland’s paper is titled, "A Fully Planar Ultrawideband Array," with ECE Professor Marinos Vouvakis as a co-author. Each student paper was rated by the audience members based upon technical merit and presentation quality.

After Arnold Most graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 1964 with one of our early Industrial Engineering degrees, he arrived at powerhouse IBM with many other engineers from the most prestigious universities in the country. At that time, UMass was still trying to establish its reputation and break away from the old Mass Aggie image. Most’s rise through the ranks of the IBM hierarchy during the early days of the semiconductor boom was proof positive that our engineering education had already arrived. 

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