University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Bob Barron, a Ph.D. candidate in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, has been selected for the 2014 Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP) of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Laxenburg, Austria. Barron’s participation in the YSSP will be funded by the National Science Foundation in cooperation with the National Academy of Sciences. The YSSP is a three-month research...

David Irwin of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department is one of the researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst who are conducting a pilot project with the Holyoke Gas & Electric Co. (HG&E) that will show the utility and its customers how smart electric meters can save money and power. The project is funded by a $200,000 grant from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources. Prashant Shenoy of the Computer Science Department and Irwin are heading up a team of UMass Amherst researchers who will be using information from several dozen volunteers in HG...

Two very well qualified graduate students in the College of Engineering – Alyssa Schwartz of the Chemical Engineering (ChE) Department and Angela Berthaume of the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department – won ultra-competitive National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships this year. ChE Professor Shelly Peyton is the Ph.D. advisor for Schwartz, and CEE Professor Behrouz Shafei advises Berthaume. These two talented grad students were joined by two recent alumni from the ChE department who received NSF fellowships elsewhere. One was Dana Thornlow, now a graduate...

On April 30, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., 23 student teams of seniors from the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst will demonstrate the prototypes of their useful, inventive, and brilliant designs for all to see. Visitors are welcome to this capstone event, which will be staged in the Gunness Student Center of Marcus Hall, and includes groundbreaking projects created by both mechanical engineering and industrial engineering seniors. Projects from mechanical engineering students include a wax-cleaning device for the Yankee Candle...

From noon on April 29 to 11:59 p.m. on April 30, the College of Engineering will be participating in UMassGives, a 36-hour “Netathon” that will use email and social media platforms (including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) to raise vital funding for a variety of worthy educational initiatives. Last year UMassGives attracted 1,588 donors and raised $85,000 to support programs and projects across the campus. This year the goals are even more ambitious: reaching 1,863 donors in honor of the year of our founding as a Land Grant institution. You can help by donating to UMassGives and also...

The all-freshman team of Justin Marple, Aaron Lucia, Rohan Kapoor, and Dylan Pare of our Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department won the Micromouse contest at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Region 1 Student Conference, held at New Jersey’s Science and Technology University (NJIT) on the weekend of March 29 and 30. The winning team, named IEEE Micromouse Venus, also won $800. Micromouse is an event in which small robot mice solve a 16 foot by 16 foot maze. See videos of the winning micromouse in action:...

As Ralph Waldo Emerson observed, “Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.” Now, some 150 years later, somebody has finally built one! On Friday, April 25, not only was a better mousetrap on display, but also 22 other creative, useful, and socially conscious electronic inventions. The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department (ECE) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst hosted its 24th annual Senior Design Project Day on campus, when 23 teams of ECE students unveiled a high-tech floor show for the electronics of the future. This year’s senior design...

Qiangfei Xia of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department was one of five researchers from UMass Amherst who are sharing $100,000 in technology grants from the university system’s Commercial Ventures and Intellectual Property (CVIP) Technology Development Fund to assist in accelerating the commercialization of their inventions. Eight $25,000 grants to faculty at the Amherst, Lowell, and Worcester campuses were announced by President Robert L. Caret. “Every year, we identify game-changing research with commercial promise in laboratories on UMass campuses that speak to the major...

Professor Don DeGroot traveled to Boston to deliver an invited lecture for the Boston Society of Civil Engineers. His lecture, "Geotechnical Engineering Site Investigation Practice for Design of Offshore Energy Systems," described the exceptional challenges faced by civil engineers involved in the design of offshore oil and gas exploration infrastructure, pipelines, and wind farms. Energy exploration and installation activities are now approaching water depths of 5,000 meters, and plans for renewable...

The ninth annual University of Massachusetts Innovation Challenge final business plan competition was held on April 7. The event culminated in awards to five competing teams from a prize pool of $50,000 provided by private sector contributions as well as two special $5,000 named awards – The David Wolf Prize and The Glass Prize. Rescue Collar won the top prize of $25,000, followed by mDiagnostics which won a total of $15,000. Fiberessence and Nine Brain each won $7,500, while Acne Free, Naturally received $5,250 at the event. Rescue Collar offers a wearable device that reunites lost pets...

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