The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Chemical engineering junior Kevin Cunningham might be a veteran thespian, having acted in many productions throughout his days at Braintree High School and the College of Engineering, but don’t forget. He’s also an engineer. That’s why, when he tried out for his most demanding role in the UMass Theatre Guild production of Sweeney Todd, he left nothing to chance. He engineered his performance in advance so he could bring plenty of chemistry to his character.

Majdouline Touil is hoping to ride her very productive internship with the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, maker of the Black Hawk and Seahawk helicopters, right into her future. The multi-talented industrial engineering major, who is also active in the UMass Amherst Theatre Guild and the Society of Women Engineers, has already made her mark at the Sikorsky plant in Stratford, Connecticut, where she was an INROADS intern this past summer. She hopes it will leave a lasting impression.

Many of us at the College of Engineering know very little about the larger-than-life faculty members who ran the college during its early years, even those professors whose names have been immortalized in our buildings. One of these pioneers was Professor of Chemical Engineering Joseph Sol Marcus of Marcus Hall fame. The college recently uncovered a moving tribute to Dr. Marcus written shortly after he died of cancer on November 1, 1985.

On September 24 at 3:00 p.m., the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department will be holding a poster competition open to all current graduate students. The posters will be displayed and judged in the Gunness Student Center. Light refreshments will be served. The MIE department will provide easels, poster board, and printing assistance, as well as cash prizes. The first prize is $300, $150 for the second prize, and the third prize is $50.

With the fiscal crisis at UMass Amherst, the budget for the Diversity Programs Office (DPO) has become tighter and tighter and, therefore, private support has become more and more critical. That’s why a $10,000 grant from Verizon Foundation is such a vital cog in the DPO.

Recent chemical engineering graduate Matthew Coggon won a 2010 Undergraduate Student Award in Environmental Chemistry from the American Chemical Society (ACS) for, among other accomplishments, his research on acid mine drainage. As his two faculty advisors, former Associate Professor Sarina Ergas of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and Professor David Ford (shown) of the Chemical Engineering Department, said about Coggon: “Matt is capable of working at the interface between chemical engineering, environmental engineering, geosciences, and microbiology to make a contribution to our understanding of the worldwide environmental problem of acid mine drainage.”

On September 13, 40 newly elected officers from more than 15 student engineering societies attended a Leadership Workshop in the Gunness Engineering Student Center in Marcus Hall. The students learned what it takes to be an effective officer, including various styles of leadership, their roles, the responsibilities, setting goals, and the importance of working collaboratively.

In 2005, USA Today published a series of articles about “the 10 hardest things to do in sports.” Number three on that list, ahead of such feats as running a marathon and completing the Tour de France, was pole vaulting. In any ranking of the most difficult academic subjects, electrical engineering must surely finish high on the list. In that regard, Sean Busch is not only an accomplished pole vaulter, but a gifted electrical engineering major. What does that make Sean Busch?

A team of chalk artists led by Paul Siqueira of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department nabbed a third place in the Northampton Chalk Art competition on September 10, after completing a 5'X5' cement "canvas" based on Marc Chagall's "The Fiddler," adapted to incorporate the surrounding Northampton architecture. "Hence, we were very topical," said Dr. Siqueira. The members of his team were three of his students: Razi Ahmed, Tony Swochak, and Benjamin St. Peter.

Professor John Tobiason of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department will be gathering no moss on his sabbatical this fall. His itinerary includes two professional stops at Montana State University and the University of New South Wales (Australia) for collaborative research related to drinking water and wastewater treatment. Then he will top off those trips with a volunteer stint in Haiti at a hospital and community development organization, where he will help improve healthcare, drinking water, and sanitation.

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