University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Electrical and Computer Engineering Department alumnus Roberto Padovani, the executive vice president and a Fellow of Qualcomm Technologies, has been presented with the Alexander Graham Bell Medal by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) "for innovations enabling efficient, wideband, wireless access to the Internet, that is central to all third-generation cellular networks.” 

The UMass Transportation Center (UMTC) has received an Interdepartmental Service Agreement (ISA) of $6,141,551 from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) to operate the Commonwealth’s Local Technical Assistance Program, the Transportation Training Institute, and the Cooperative Research Program as one cooperative unit.

According to UMTC Director Michael Knodler, “The most important aspect of the new ISA is that for the first time research and outreach efforts will be combined to foster innovation and speed implementation.”

As the baseball season approaches with the speed of a 98 mph fastball, we are reminded that batting .500 would be a Hall of Fame batting average for anyone. That’s exactly what the College of Engineering will be hitting on April 7, when up to $65,000 in funding will be at stake during the annual Shark Tank-style contest taking place at the University of Massachusetts Innovation Challenge Final Competition. There, three of the six finalists will be teams featuring engineering students! You can be there to hear the final teams pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges who will award big-money prizes to various deserving winners.

During the spring semester of 2016, seven students from the Chemical, Mechanical and Industrial, and Civil and Environmental Engineering Departments are participating in the college’s study abroad program by spending five months at Heriot Watt University, located in Edinburgh, Scotland. We say “thanks” and give the tip of a hat to Professor Sarah Perry for nominating two of the students and asking one of them, Meaghan O’Brien, to write her impressions of her experiences overseas.

Doctoral student Seyedeh-Shirin Montazeri of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department has been awarded a fellowship of $6,000 from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Microwave Theory and Techniques (MTT-S) Society Graduate Fellowship program. Ms. Montazeri’s Ph.D. advisor is Professor Joseph Bardin.

Woody Allen famously said that “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” If students in the College of Engineering want to take advantage of this basic premise from “Life 101,” then their first step toward success is to show up at the brand new Experiential Learning Center in Marston Hall 112 and check out the myriad ways for jumpstarting their careers.

What exactly is “experiential learning” anyway? In short, it means learning from hands-on, first-hand experience. That’s what the Experiential Learning Center is all about.      

North American Windpower reports that a team of researchers that includes Sanjay Arwade and Don DeGroot from the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at UMass Amherst is developing a new mooring system for floating offshore wind turbines which uses an integrated network of anchors and lines to hold dozens or even hundreds of turbines in place for ocean-based, industrial-scale, offshore, wind farms. See News Office release.

Melissa Trombley, a graduate of our Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department in 2013, is a member of the team that is currently renovating the Old Chapel, the historic symbol of the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus. Trombley is a project engineer with contractor Barr & Barr, the company charged with refurbishing the historic landmark and reincarnating it into a new life as the iconic center of the campus.     

Professors Erin Baker and David Schmidt of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department adapted a variation on the theme of “divide and conquer” to make their introductory engineering course much more user-friendly for the 192 students taking the very large class in the fall of 2015. They used UMass Enhancement Funds to divide much of the coursework for “Engin 113 Introduction to Mechanical and Industrial Engineering” into a “team-based learning” (TBL) approach to make it much easier for their students to “conquer” their work. TBL is the use of learning teams to enhance student engagement and the quality of student learning.

Talk about a grand slam! Five College of Engineering Undergraduates from all four engineering departments have won key awards and scholarships from the UMass Amherst Alumni Association. See complete list