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The Civil and Environmental Engineering Department Career Fair can alter the whole trajectory of one's life. Just ask CEE senior Patricia Fox and UMass Amherst alumna Kate Biedron. That’s what happened to them. The CEE Career Fair took place on Thursday, February 25, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Gunness Student Center in Marcus Hall. All CEE students were encouraged to attend. Companies participating in the fair are filling positions for summer internships, co-op opportunities, and full-time permanent positions.

A scholarship created by the Conservation Services Group (CSG) of Westborough, Massachusetts, and the SunPower Foundation of San Jose, California, supports students whose education is directly related to energy efficiency, clean energy, and environmental protection. A total of three students, one each from the College of Engineering, the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and the Isenberg School of Management, are currently receiving $7,666 apiece from the fund.

Ramgopal Mettu of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department is co-editor of the new Journal of Serendipitous and Unexpected Results (JSUR), devoted to the surprises, unforeseen discoveries, and strange twists of fate that often accompany successful research. As the web site for the new publication explains, “The Journal of Serendipitous and Unexpected Results is an open-access forum for researchers seeking to further scientific discovery by sharing surprising or unexpected results.

Hari Balasubramanian, assistant professor in our Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, is working with emergency department directors and faculty at UMass Memorial Medical Center to identify bottlenecks, improve efficiency, and reduce patient waiting time in the emergency room.

Last spring, undergraduate junior Aimee O’Brien of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department was the co-captain of the UMass Amherst Steel Bridge Team that managed a strong fourth-place finish out of 12 teams at the regional Student Steel Bridge Competition, run by the American Institute of Steel Construction. With O’Brien doing much of the day-to-day management and organization of the team, while also putting in many hours of hands-on cutting, welding, and grinding, the double-girder bridge took first place in the key stiffness category, boasting an aggregate deflection of only five-eighths of an inch.

Recently a team of students in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department (MIE) designed and built an invention that would wow any dog owner. It’s a sort of dog-operated fetch-o-matic. The machine hurls a ball and is then re-triggered each time the canine retrieves it and drops it in a funnel. MIE Head Donald Fisher uses this example to demonstrate the kind of clever idea that needs a place to incubate within a warm and welcoming space, where his students can gather, connect, brainstorm, and collaborate.

The university’s first-ever Seismic Design Team, led by undergraduate Meghan Krupka of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, will be traveling to San Francisco for the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute's annual Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition on February 3 to 6. Students Marco Adorno, David Fortin, and Aimee O'Brien make up the rest of the UMass Amherst team.

On January 12, Sahil Shanghavi, a senior electrical engineering major at UMass Amherst, hosted an information seminar for 150 students at Lakshmipat Singhania Academy, his former high school in Kolkata (Calcutta), India. Two days later, on January 14, Shanghavi gave a similar seminar at the Bhawanipur Education Society College that was open to students from many high schools throughout the city.

Professor William Curtis Conner of the Chemical Engineering Department, who was chosen as the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Alternative Energy Technology at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, will teach and develop research collaborations there, starting in the spring of 2010 and continuing into 2011. The appointment is the most prestigious and selective of all the Fulbright Fellowships. Conner has over 150 publications, cited more than 2000 times.

A long feature article and related editorial in Business West detailed the collaboration between the new Precision Manufacturing Regional Alliance Project (PMRAP) with two departments at UMass Amherst, including Professor Sundar Krishnamurty and other faculty members in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department. The collaboration fosters open dialogue designed to develop ways in which research at UMass Amherst can help area manufacturers create new products, develop more efficient processes, and use lighter, stronger materials.

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