University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Emeritus Professor Donald Fisher, the director of the celebrated Arbella Insurance Human Performance Laboratory and the former head of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department, will deliver one of the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Distinguished Faculty Lectures on Tuesday, October 18, at 4:00 p.m. Professor Fisher will be presented with the Chancellor’s Medal, the highest recognition bestowed to faculty by the campus, at the conclusion of the lecture. See event website.

Professor David Schmidt of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department has been selected as a Fellow of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), the organization’s premier membership grade. According to the SAE, “The Fellow grade was established in 1975 to honor and recognize important engineering, scientific, and leadership achievements to enhance the status of SAE’s contributions to the profession and to society.”

Undergraduate students Patrick Sullivan and Eric Wybenga of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department are members of the first "class" of seven UMass Amherst students to receive scholarships from the National Science Foundation’s CyberCorps program. Both students are Computer Systems Engineering majors. A team of cybersecurity researchers at UMass Amherst, led by computer scientist Brian Levine, received a $4.2 million grant from the NSF to bring a CyberCorps Scholarship for Service (SFS) program to the campus, the first public university in New England to receive such an award.

The research of Erin Baker, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, and a team of multidisciplinary researchers, has been attracting national attention from the Washington Post and many other media outlets. In a study designed by UMass Amherst’s Baker and others, a panel of international wind power experts says technological advancements are expected to continue to drive down the cost of wind energy. The survey of the world’s foremost wind power experts, led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, anticipates cost reductions of 24-30 percent by 2030 and 35-41 percent by 2050, under a median or “best guess” scenario, driven by bigger and more efficient turbines, lower capital and operating costs, and other advancements.

Doctoral student Shirin Montazeri of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department won the first prize in the electronics area of the Applied Superconductivity Conference Best Student Paper Contest, held on September 5 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. The title of her winning paper was “A 220 GHz Compact SIS Receiver Module Utilizing a Broadband High-Gain Ultra-Low-Power IF Amplifier.”

Professors J. Joshua Yang and Qiangfei Xia of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst are leading an international team of researchers who are publishing an article in Nature Materials entitled “Memristors with diffusive dynamics as synaptic emulators for neuromorphic computing.” Nature Materials is a premier Nature Publishing Group journal with an impact factor as high as 38.89.

Dr. Paula Sturdevant Rees, director of both the UMass Water Resources Research Center and the Diversity Programs in the College of Engineering, will help to lead the planning process for a new UMass Unmanned Aerial System Research and Education Collaborative (UMass UASREC). Rees and her colleagues hope to establish the UASREC: to serve as an incubator to develop new basic and applied research through access to Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) technology; and to initiate an educational program to train the next generation of UAS research scientists and the civilian workforce in UAS piloting, sensor use, data processing, and analytics.

At the 12th Annual UMass Amherst Faculty Convocation on Friday, September 30, Chemical Engineering Department Head John Klier and Professor Joseph Bardin of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department will each receive one of the Awards for Outstanding Accomplishments in Research and Creative Activity being presented to eight nationally acclaimed faculty members from across the campus. The convocation begins at 11:00 a.m. in Bowker Auditorium, Stockbridge Hall.

Boris Lau of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department was one of 10 campus academics who each received a $1,000 Sustainability Curriculum Fellowship (SCF), a year-long interdisciplinary program sponsored by the Chancellor’s Office and others to develop or augment courses with sustainability-related topics. As Lau explains about how he will use the fellowship, “My overarching goal is to enable students to understand the important roles of nanoscale science and technology in achieving water sustainability.” See News Office article

A panel of international wind power experts, in a study designed by the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Erin D. Baker and others, says technology advancements are expected to continue to drive down the cost of wind energy. The survey of the world’s foremost wind power experts led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, anticipates cost reductions of 24 percent to 30 percent by 2030 and 35 percent to 41 percent by 2050, under a median or “best guess” scenario, driven by bigger and more efficient turbines, lower capital and operating costs and other advancements. The findings are described in an article in the journal Nature Energy published Sept. 12. Read the UMass News Office Press Release

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