Think about the startling international news stories surrounding the hacking of our American voting files and the Meltdown and Spectre bugs, the two recently announced security flaws that can expose personal data to hackers and could potentially affect Linux systems, along with computers and devices running Windows, Mac, and other operating-system software. These and many other news events prove the resounding importance of cybersecurity in today’s uncertain world.
Four enterprising teams of senior engineering majors have been chosen as winners during the end-of-semester Senior Design Competition for MIE 415, the capstone course for the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department. The evaluation process was carried out both by popular vote of the audience and a panel of expert judges. Accordingly, the team calling itself Instrumented Beehive won the Popular Vote. The Best Semester Project went to EZ Pack Paintbrush, and Kinex Cappers was picked as the Best Year-long Project, with Unified Health coming in an “extremely close” second.
What will the marvelous future of “connected vehicles” mean for drivers in the real world? To answer this crucial question, Toyota Motor North America Research and Development is collaborating with the University of Massachusetts to award Associate Professor Daiheng Ni of our Civil and Environmental Engineering Department a four-year research grant so he can explore connected vehicle technology. As Professor Ni explains, “The outcome of this research can serve as the input to better powertrain management and further optimize vehicle control that can potentially transform the way that we drive in the future while helping save lives and fuel.”
Professor Lixin Gao of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department has been selected to this year’s list of the Networking Networking Women (N2 Women) “Stars in Computer Networking and Communications,” previously known as “10 women in networking /communications that you should KNOW.” As the N2 Women co-chairs wrote to Gao, “Many people from around the world submitted one or more outstanding nominations for this list, and it was difficult to choose only 10 amazing women. You are one of these incredible women!”
A highly influential paper by Professor Chaitra Gopalappa of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department was recently cited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Volume 66, November 28, 2017, as well as other publications. Gopalappa’s expertise is in advancing mathematical methodologies to derive information that might help in decision-making for public health strategies.
Colin Gleason, an Assistant Professor in our Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, was part of a huge, UCLA-led, 23-person team whose 2015 research on the Greenland ice sheet recently graced the front page of the December 5th New York Times and could revolutionize how scientists regard sea-level rise due to climate change.
MIE Professors Jenna Marquard and Matthew Lackner have been chosen as two of the seven faculty members from UMass Amherst named as Public Engagement Faculty Fellows by the Public Engagement Project (PEP). PEP supports and trains faculty members to use their research for contributing to social change, informing public policy, and enriching public debate. Marquard is performing groundbreaking work on health information technology, while Lackner is doing pioneering research on floating offshore wind turbines.
One of the most overlooked but critical features of the M5 makerspace in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department is the 25 or so white boards lining the walls in numerous places around the facility or waiting to be installed. Such white boards didn’t appear as if by magic. Deploying them, in fact, and getting them installed on the walls, is one of the many organizational duties of new M5 Engineer-in-Residence Shira Epstein, who typically works behind the scenes to organize, stabilize, and categorize the day-to-day operations in the makerspace.
Two College of Engineering majors were recently included in a Research Next article about Rising Researchers and their “research ambitions.”
“As the commonwealth’s flagship public research university,” the article began, “UMass Amherst provides a unique opportunity for students to conduct hands-on research early in their academic careers. This semester, we honor six undergraduates with the Rising Researcher award for their highly ambitious pursuit of research and scholarly activity.”
A detailed and very informative article in the November 28 issue of E&E News – “The essential news for energy & environment professionals” – offers a stirring tribute to William E. Heronemus, the much heralded civil engineering and (later) mechanical engineering professor at UMass Amherst who is considered the "father of modern wind power." As MIE Professor James Manwell says, “Here is an article that recognizes where modern wind energy started – UMass engineering!”