The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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UMass Amherst alumnus Vishal Misra (M.S.’96, Ph.D.’00, ECE), now a professor of computer science at Columbia University, has been named a Distinguished Alumnus at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. Misra is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and was an Outstanding Junior Alumni Recipient from the UMass Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department in 2014. See Misra’s Columbia website »

A paper in Advanced Materials Technologies, published by a team from the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department, reviews the current state of six of the most promising technologies for creating new types of memory devices that can replicate the function of biological neurons and synapses. The paper was also reviewed in The Next Platform.

University of Massachusetts Associate Professor Joseph Bardin of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department is working with Google to create a cryogenic quantum controller that operates in extreme cold and consumes less than 2 milliwatts of power — 1,000 times less than Google’s current control electronics. As an article in VentureBeat explains, “Google says it has made significant progress toward an efficient, reliable, and scalable means of controlling quantum-systems electronics — systems it hopes will someday solve computationally complex problems beyond the reach of classical machines.”

For the spring semester of 2019, the College of Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is offering a brand new online course that uses a traditional open-source wind-turbine modeling software called OpenFAST, developed at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, to simulate turbines and their dynamics quite accurately. The online course is ongoing and will be offered at least once per year.

Four College of Engineering researchers have tied the college record for obtaining the most CAREER Awards from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in one year. Juan Jiménez, Stephen Nonnenmann, and Yubing Sun of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department and Jun Yao of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department have all received grants from the prestigious NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program.

The College of Engineering is recognizing its 26 most accomplished, first-year, doctoral students with the distinction of Dean’s Fellows for 2018-19, a program which rewards entering Ph.D. students with financial support, academic acknowledgement, and career-making research opportunities. Since enrolling here last September, these diverse students have shown unlimited potential, as demonstrated by their impressive range of backgrounds.

See the complete list of Dean’s Fellows with bios »

Inside UMass reports that three research projects at UMass Amherst, all awarded to engineering researchers, are among 13 at colleges and universities across the state sharing $195,000 in seed funding from the Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center (MTTC) Acorn Innovation Fund. The seed grants are for $15,000 apiece. See entire article: Faculty Receive Seed Funding as Part of MTTC Acorn Innovation Fund.

Professor Sanjay Arwade of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department is a co-principal investigator on a multi-disciplinary, inter-institutional team of engineers, scientists, and social scientists that last August was awarded a $100,000 NSF Engineering Research Center (ERC) Planning Grant to identify with industry partners the key priorities for offshore wind research. As the abstract for the NSF award explains the vast potential for offshore wind energy (OWE), “The U.S. OWE resource is enormous and could provide 10 to 20 times the national need for electricity.”

Inside UMass reports that three members of the College of Engineering faculty have contributed to a seminal white paper issued by the Partnership for Offshore Wind Energy Research (POWER-US). The report (“Reaching Convergence in U.S. Offshore Wind Energy Research: A Multidisciplinary Framework for Innovation”) concludes that the U.S. can tap into a vast offshore wind energy resource and better steward its marine environment by organizing large-scale research and fostering public-private partnerships.

See entire report »

Researchers from the UMass College of Engineering and the University of Waterloo in Canada won the outstanding paper award at the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., on January 15. The winning paper describes their research into virtual-reality headsets to simulate and measure drivers’ hazard-anticipation performance. As the authors say, such research is desirable because virtual headsets are “several orders of magnitude less expensive” than other simulators and “could greatly extend the powers of simulation.

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