The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Obviously, this has been a very demanding year for the economy. But, thanks to our donors digging deeply into their pockets during hard times, the College of Engineering Development Office bucked that trend in a big way by shattering its FY2010 fund-raising goal. “I am thrilled to report that we exceeded our COE goal of $2,240,000 in cash gifts,” said Paula Sakey, the director of development. “As of this writing, we are about 26 percent above last year’s private support and 108 percent of goal! I sincerely want to thank our alumni and other donors for making this a banner year.”

Sheri Chase, a 2009 graduate from the Chemical Engineering Department, recently returned from a year-long tour of duty in Iraq as one of the 170 members from the Army National Guard's 747th Military Police Company, based in Ware, Massachusetts. Chase, who successfully completed the Boston Marathon several years ago with her mother, was featured in an article in the Hampshire Gazette. Chase, a sergeant, joined the 747th in 2003, during her senior year at Northampton High School.

Sandip Kundu and his Phd student, Aswin Sreedhar, of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department have just come out with a groundbreaking textbook, published by McGraw Hill and entitled, Nanoscale CMOS VLSI Circuits: Design for Manufacturability. This detailed guide offers proven methods for optimizing circuit designs to increase the yield, reliability, and manufacturability of products and mitigate defects and failure. Covering the latest devices, technologies, and processes, the text focuses on delivering higher performance and lower power consumption.

“Transportation” was the name of the game at the fourth annual Summer Transportation Institute, held on campus for middle and high school students from July 6 through July 30. The program, held Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., was run by the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. CEE faculty, staff, and graduate students provided lectures and led discussions throughout the program on all modes of transportation, sustainability in transportation, and careers in transportation.

Alodeep Sanyal, a doctoral student in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, has won a third-place certificate in the influential E. J. McCluskey Doctoral Thesis Competition, sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Test Technology Technical Council. Selection was based on the quality of his thesis, a poster presentation, and an interview by the award committee. The name of Sanyal’s thesis is, “On Detection, Analysis, and Characterization of Transient and Parametric Failures in CMOS VLSI.”

The University of Massachusetts Amherst and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) have announced an upcoming graduate engineering degree option in ecohydrology – the first in the nation. This master’s degree in civil engineering will prepare students for a career in the specialized field of fish-passage engineering. The collaboration between the USFWS and the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department begins with a $50,000 research grant to support a graduate student and other research activities.

The groundbreaking research of two young faculty members from the Chemical Engineering Department is turning the campus into a national hub for the conversion of biomass into clean, green biofuel. Their research is quickly changing the campus into “BioUMass.” The work of George Huber, the John and Elizabeth Armstrong Professional Development Professor, and Assistant Professor Paul Dauenhauer has recently been covered extensively in an array of respected scientific publications and websites.

The Associated Press interviewed Dr. Casey Brown, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, for an international story about a new Dutch study, which shows that shrinking glaciers in the Himalayas could lead to food shortages and crop failures in Asia. The Himalayas are the source for most of the major rivers in China and South Asia. Dr. Brown observed that climate variability in that region has the potential to make a serious impact on the lives of millions of people.

Researchers from UMass Amherst, led by a team from our Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department (MIE), received the 2010 Liberty Mutual Award for their scientific paper, “Can Younger Drivers Be Trained to Scan for Information That Will Reduce Their Risk in Roadway Traffic Scenarios That Are Hard to Identify as Hazardous?” The paper, published in Ergonomics (Vol. 52, No. 6, p.p. 657-673, June 2009), discusses a scientific investigation aimed to reduce the risk of vehicle crashes for younger drivers (18-21 years).

Two projects developed in our Electrical and Computer Engineering Department were chosen as finalists for the Vodafone Americas Foundation’s Wireless Innovation Project and recognized at the Global Philanthropy Forum. One of the ECE finalists was DIORAMA ("Dynamic Information Collection and Resource Tracking System for Disaster Management”), which was developed by ECE Professor Aura Ganz and her colleagues to respond quickly to mass-casualty accidents and coordinate the rescue operation.