The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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The University of Massachusetts Amherst has received a $3.2-million grant from the National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program to start an interdisciplinary graduate program in Offshore Wind Energy Engineering, Environmental Science, and Policy.

The campus chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) will hold a fund-raising road race on Saturday, October 1, with check-in time at 10:00 a.m. The race, which EWB has dubbed “Sweat for Clean Water 5K Run/Walk,” will cost $15 to enter for individuals, and the starting line is located at the Minuteman sculpture beside the Campus Pond. All proceeds from this fourth annual EWB race will go to the chapter’s projects in Kenya and Brazil. The walk begins at 10:30 a.m., and the run at 11:00 a.m., rain or shine.

Ilke Ercan, a graduate student in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, was the lead author of the Best Paper Award winner at the 11th Annual Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers NANO Conference, held in Portland, Oregon, from August 15 through 19. The paper, co-authored by her advisor, Professor Neal Anderson of the ECE department, was titled “Heat Dissipation Bounds for Nanocomputing: Theory and Application to QCA.” NANO is the flagship IEEE conference in Nanotechnology. The abstract follows.

Doctoral candidate Thalia Taylor (left in photo) and her colleagues in the Arbella Insurance Human Performance Laboratory won the Honda Outstanding Student Paper Award at the 6th International Driving Symposium on Human Factors in Driving Assessment, Training, and Vehicle Design, held at Lake Tahoe in late June. Taylor is a doctoral student in Neuroscience and Behavior at UMass Amherst.

The University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Wind Energy Center is launching the first wind energy graduate certificate program in the U.S. This 15-credit, five-course certificate program offers a unique opportunity for students or professionals to obtain in-depth knowledge of all aspects of wind energy at the preeminent academic wind energy program in the U.S.

A feature story in the Attleboro Sun Chronicle looked at the Distractology 101 program, funded by Arbella Insurance Group Charitable Foundation. Distractology uses driving simulators loaded with a learning program designed by Donald Fisher, head of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, and colleagues in the Arbella Insurance Human Performance Laboratory. Fisher says the program emphasizes the danger of texting while driving and other forms of distracted driving.

Christopher D. Salthouse, an electrical engineer at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has been awarded a three-year, $351,303 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop integrated circuits that could lead to a new generation of biomedical sensors that are more sensitive, more portable and less costly than existing instruments. Salthouse says a goal of his research is to develop sophisticated integrated circuits that can be used in new devices that will replace the existing generation of fluorescence microscopes used by many biomedical and biological researchers.

On July 29, a behind-the-scenes article by Robert Coolman, a graduate student in the lab of George Huber of the Chemical Engineering Department, was posted on the popular LiveScience website in partnership with the National Science Foundation (NSF). Coolman’s article explained the groundbreaking research on green gasoline being performed in Huber’s lab, which has been described in such prominent publications as Scientific AmericanScience, and MIT’s Technology Review. His work is being supported by large grants from the NSF, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Energy.

Stories about the safety course called Distractology 101, which uses a driving simulator to demonstrate the dangers of driving while texting or talking on cell phones, were run last week in the Boston Globe and on WSHM-TV 3. The technology for Distractology 101 was developed under the leadership of Donald Fisher, the head of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department and the director of the Arbella Insurance Human Performance Laboratory.

UMass Transit is teaming up with the College of Engineering's Transportation Center and Hartford-based CTTRANSIT to offer a first-of-its-kind certificate in transit management and operations. The new program was covered last week in Boston.com, the Hampshire Gazette, the Boston Herald, and WWLP-TV 22. The program is being funded with a $127,284 federal grant announced by U.S. Transportation Department Secretary Ray La Hood and is aimed at training the next generation of the transit workforce, offering students training in many aspects of transit management.

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