The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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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. 

On September 13, some 44 women students and several faculty members from the College of Engineering and the Computer Science Department gathered for a Meet and Greet session, hosted by the Women in Engineering Program. “The fact that you’ve been accepted into the College of Engineering as a woman means you automatically belong to the Women in Engineering Program,” says Shelly Perdomo, the director of the Diversity Programs Office (DPO).

On October 1, Lixin Gao of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and Jeffrey Davis of the Chemical Engineering Department were two of the eight “nationally acclaimed faculty members” presented with the Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Research and Creative Activity at the Sixth Annual Faculty Convocation. The convocation took place at 11:00 a.m. in Bowker Auditorium of Stockbridge Hall.

On September 18, Monique Farrell, a first-year chemical engineering major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, was presented with the second annual Ahadi Youth Award at a ceremony in the Michele & Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts in Springfield, Massachusetts. Farrell is a 2010 graduate of the High School of Commerce. The Ahadi Youth Award is presented by the African Hall Subcommittee of the Springfield Museums to “an African-American young person who demonstrates strong character, leadership, academic achievement, and future potential.”

Jeffrey B. Mullan, secretary and CEO of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), will be the speaker at the first annual William W. Boyer Lecture at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 29, at the University of Massachusetts Club, 225 Franklin Street, 33rd floor, in Boston. The cost is $10 per person and space is limited. The evening will end with a social hour at 6:30 p.m., including refreshments and networking. The event is open to the media.

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.

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