The Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA) was a large factor in the designation of UMass Amherst as a “StormReady” institution by the National Weather Service (NWS). It was the first such designation awarded to a public university in Massachusetts. During the NWS assessment, UMass Amherst was recognized for its emergency preparedness program, 24-hour warning point capabilities for severe weather, and the CASA project, led by our Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, which has spent the last decade developing a revolutionary radar system for tracking tornadoes and other severe storms.
The development of the new Aviation Research and Training Center at Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee – a center started by UMass Amherst and M2C Aerospace, Inc., of Milford, Massachusetts – is attracting widespread media coverage, including articles in the Springfield Republican, Generalaviationnews.com, Airsoc.com, and Intelligent Aerospace. The new aviation center will conduct advanced aeronautical research and provide training for air traffic controllers, pilots, and other aviation professionals. Read UMass News Office release.
For patients with HIV and other chronic conditions, taking medicines daily and exactly as prescribed is crucial for quality of life and long-term health. To support this regimen, team leaders Jenna Marquard of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department and Deepak Ganesan, computer science, recently received a four-year, $1.71-million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop a cost-effective, easy-to-use device similar to a fitness tracker for maintaining a medication regime.
Kasey Packard Smart, an undergraduate researcher in our Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, was a member of UMass Amherst biologist Duncan J. Irschick’s lab, which developed “Beastcam,” a multi-armed platform of cameras and a computer system that can rapidly and easily create 3D models of living animals and other objects. Beastcam was co-founded by Irschick, UMass Amherst polymer scientist Al Crosby, Smart, and Smart’s fellow undergraduate Dylan Briggs.
An article about the campus-based Water Innovation Network for Sustainable Small Systems (WINSSS), headed by Professor David Reckhow of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, is one of the eight feature stories in the recently released UMass Amherst annual Report on Research (2015 Report on Research). WINSSS is a national center for research aimed at assisting small-sized drinking water systems.
Officials in Ellis County, Texas, are crediting the recently installed radar system created by our Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA) with being at least partially responsible for saving lives and greatly reducing injuries during the very dangerous tornado that touched down in the Ellis County town of Midlothian, south of the Dallas/Fort Worth area, during the December 26 Tornado outbreak.
The New York Times recently cited an influential article in the academic journal Nature Climate Change, co-authored by Casey M. Brown of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. In the Times article, Brown said that bringing engineers early in the planning process for major dams allows them to gauge ecological impacts at a time when changes can still be made.
Professor David Ahlfeld, the Associate Department Head of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), is involved in a three-credit independent study practicum that is exposing five CEE students and five students from the UMass Department of Environmental Conservation (Eco) to some of the technical and policy details of dam removal. This is a two-semester effort to involve the students directly in the dam removal process.
Assistant Professor Sarah Perry and Professor William Curtis Conner of the UMass Amherst Chemical Engineering Department have each been awarded individual grants from the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund (ACS PRF). Perry received a two-year, $110,000 ACS PRF Doctoral New Investigator grant for a research project entitled "Designing the Liquid-to-Solid Transition in Polyelectrolyte Complexes.” Meanwhile, Conner was awarded a two-year, $110,000 ACS PRF New Directions grant for a project about “Understanding and Improving the Direct Conversion of Methane to Ethylene.”
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.