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Two highly accomplished alumni of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department and recent recipients of the College of Engineering Outstanding Alumni Awards have just been elevated to IEEE Fellows, the highest level in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers professional society. The new IEEE Fellows are: Massoud Amin, B.S. '82, M.S. '85, ECE, a 2013 Outstanding Senior Alumni Recipient; and Vishal Misra, M.S. ’96, Ph.D. ’00, ECE, 2014 Outstanding Junior Alumni Recipient.

On December 11, MIE students in Professor David McLaughlin’s Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering course gathered in a large circle in the Student Union Ballroom, laughing, shouting, and cheering as dozens of their scale-model smart cars darted across the floor in an exercise of vehicle avoidance. The occasion was the class’s annual end-of-the-semester Smart Car Extravaganza.

According to Professor Brett Towler of the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department, CEE graduate alumnus Kevin Mulligan recently completed his Pathways Internship Program with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and has accepted a professional position with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Towler is Mulligan’s adviser, an adjunct professor in CEE, a USFWS hydraulic engineer, and, along with Dr. Alex Haro (USGS) and CEE Professor David Ahlfeld, one of the creators of the Fish Passage community at UMass Amherst.

Two news items in the Indian press cite the work of Paul Siqueira of our Electrical and Computer Engineering Department on a joint $600 million project between NASA and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). Read article in Times of India; Read The Indian Express article.

John Klier, the new head of our Chemical Engineering (ChE) Department, received an “Industrial Research and Development Award” at the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) annual meeting, held from November 8 to13 in Salt Lake City. This award recognizes individuals or teams working in the industries served by chemical engineers for innovation that has resulted in the successful commercial development of new products and/or new processes for making useful products.

Two College of Engineering undergraduate students were among the five so-called “Rising Researchers” throughout the whole university designated by the UMass Amherst website Research Next (Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity for a Brighter Future). The two engineering winners are Electrical Engineering major Zachary Goodman and Chemical Engineering major Thomas McCarthy.

The five Rising Researchers for the fall of 2015 will soon be saluted with a special article about their research and other accomplishments in Research Next.

Professor Jonathan Rothstein of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department has been directing some outstanding outreach projects with his students involved in the 2015 National Society of Rheology’s Education and Outreach Campaign. Recently, Rothstein worked with more than 35 student volunteers to educate approximately 175 participants – ranging from K-12 students to industry professionals – in Baltimore, Maryland.

On Friday, December 11, Professor David McLaughlin of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and his students from the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) will hold their third annual “smart-car demo.” Visitors are invited to attend, watch, and enjoy this whirling-dervish demonstration of scale-model, collision-avoiding, smart cars, as built by the students in McLaughlin’s Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering course, ECE 361.

Bolstered by a $5-million grant from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in December of 2014, the University of Massachusetts Amherst is launching a major Aviation Research and Training Center at the Westover Air Force Reserve Base in Chicopee, Mass. The center is a partnership between UMass Amherst and M2C Aerospace, Inc., a woman-owned business based in Milford, Mass. The aviation center is scheduled to open at the Westover location during the spring semester of 2017.

One major thrust of Jianhua Joshua Yang’s research in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department is creating new kinds of memristor devices that, among other uses, can take humans into the so-called “last frontier” of computing: a computer that works like the human brain. No wonder that during his first year as a professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Yang has been awarded three impressive research grants totaling nearly $1.5 million.

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