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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

What happens when unmanned drone aircraft accidently wander into the airspace around airports and create hazards for commercial and other manned airplanes? One answer is a so-called “geofence,” or virtual boundary around airports. At Bradley International Airport in Connecticut, a group of students and faculty from the UMass College of Engineering is working on developing just such a geofence. 

Ashley Kaiser, a junior undergraduate student from Hopkinton, Massachusetts, has packed a lot of varied accomplishment into her years as a major in the Chemical Engineering Department. She’s a member of the Commonwealth Honors College with a cumulative GPA of 3.97 and has made the Dean’s List from 2013 through 2015. In addition, she’s a member of the UMass student chapters of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), Tau Beta Pi, and the Society of Women Engineers (SWE).

On February 20 UMass distance swimmer Alessandro Bomprezzi, a senior from Rome, Italy, in our Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, led the UMass Swimming Team to an Atlantic 10 Championship, aided and abetted by two other engineering majors. Bomprezzi has a couple of pressing ambitions in his young life as a Renaissance scholar/athlete. In the short term, Bomprezzi is ending his college swimming career with a powerful finish, while, in the long term, he’s working on revolutionizing automobile engine design.

This Monday, February 29, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 pm. the 36-foot-long newly relaunched Distractology mobile classroom will visit the UMass Amherst campus.  Look for it by the Campus Center. 

UMass alumnus Mike McKinley, a graduate of our Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department, was part of a research team from the University of California at Berkeley and suitX (a California-based robotics company designing and manufacturing medical and industrial exoskeletons) which won the $1-million prize at the international “Robots for Good” competition in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Here’s a topical course that teaches engineering students how to write properly by tapping into their passion for environmental causes and professional development.

College of Engineering Lecturer Molly Lehman, who teaches ENGIN 351: Writing in Engineering as part of the college’s Junior Year Writing Program, is using a $1,000 Faculty Fellowship from the UMass Sustainability Curriculum Initiative to integrate concepts and content related to sustainability practices into her syllabus.

Aditya Nagarajan, a graduate student in our Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, won a Second Place Oral Presentation award at the 14th Conference on Artificial and Computational Intelligence and its application to the Environmental Sciences, which was part of the American Meteorological Society's 96th Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, in January. Nagarajan’s award-wining presentation was about his research “On Learning Patterns Between GPS Derived Precipitable Water Fields and Radar Reflectivity Fields.” Listen to the Recorded Presentation.

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