University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Mechanical Engineering alumnus Mark Notkin (B.S. ’86) has brought off an enviable coup during an unenviable time in the stock market. Notkin was the manager of 2009’s best-performing high-yield-bond fund, Fidelity Capital & Income, according to a recent article in Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine (motto: “timely, trusted personal finance advice & business forecasts”). As the article reports, “From the time he took the fund’s helm in mid 2003 through January 14, it returned 9.6% annualized, beating more than 99% of its peers.”

Fellow colleagues, staff, and former and current students of retiring Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Professor Daniel Schaubert have initiated a new scholarship fund that will not only support the economic needs of our students, but will also recognize the lasting contributions he has made over the last 27 years to the university and his field. The Daniel Schaubert Scholarship Fund will benefit ECE students in his area of expertise – antenna design – as the director of the internationally renowned Center for Advanced Sensor and Communication Antennas (CASCA).

On March 25, the American Dream was on display when more than 72 students and faculty members from seven of the Commonwealth’s community colleges gathered in the Lincoln Campus Center for a day of orientation, recruitment, communication, and financial advice about attending the UMass Amherst College of Engineering. The event, the college’s 35th annual Community College Day, was a showcase for young people in Massachusetts pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps.

Out of 1575 papers submitted to the 2010 IEEE Conference on Computer Communications, or INFOCOM, two papers co-authored by faculty and graduate students from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department (ECE) were chosen for the Best Paper Award and one of the two runner-ups. The Best Paper Award winner was entitled, “On the Feasibility and Efficacy of Protection Routing in IP Networks,” co-authored by ECE Professor Lixin Gao, along with first-author Eric Kwong, Roch Guerin, and Zhi-Li Zhang.

Two members of the tornado chasing team from our Microwave Remote Sensing Laboratory (MIRSL), Director Stephen Frasier and Graduate Student Vijay Venkatesh of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, were prominently highlighted in an article for The Institute, a quarterly newspaper sent to more than 395,000 members of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. The reporter also interviewed former MIRSL Research Fellow Peisang Tsai.

The University of Massachusetts Amherst student chapter of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) hosted its 11th annual Tech Day on March 11. The keynote address was presented this year by UMass Amherst alumnus Jeffrey B. Mullan, the Secretary and CEO of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), who talked about "Facing Transportation Challenges in the Commonwealth."

University of Massachusetts Amherst chemical engineering major Brendan Walker, a senior honors student from Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts, is doing some critical research on those strange and wonderful quantum dots. These luminescent nanoparticles promise to revolutionize medical diagnostic devices, photovoltaic cells, and many industries from healthcare to home entertainment.

Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Weibo Gong and his doctoral student, Sheng Xiao, have been selected to receive a $25,000 Commercial Ventures and Intellectual Property (CVIP) Technology Development Fund award from the University of Massachusetts president’s office. The name of their project is "Wireless Secret Key Management Using Communication Randomness."

On Wednesday, February 24, Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor David Reckhow was one of four speakers invited to participate in a forum on Cape Cod wastewater treatment and contaminants. Professor Reckhow is one of the country’s leading researchers in this field. The forum was attended by 70 people at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in East Falmouth and was entitled “Wastewater and Emerging Toxic Contaminants of Concern,” sponsored by Cape Cod & the Islands Group – Sierra Club, the Silent Spring Institute, and the Green Sanctuary Committee.

The name of the sleek vehicle with the teardrop design is Vroom Vroom Carbon Fiber 1, or VV-CF1. It was reportedly named by the four-year-old son of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Professor David Schmidt, faculty advisor for the University of Massachusetts Amherst Supermileage Vehicle Team, which will compete in the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) national supermileage competition in Marshall, Michigan, this June 10 and 11.

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