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A Celebration of Emeritus Professor Jim Donovan’s Life to Be Held on November 11

James Donovan

James (Jim) Donovan

Professor Emeritus James Donovan of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department passed away on Friday, November 3. As MIE Department Head Sundar Krishnamurty said, “It is with great sadness that I share with you the news that Professor Emeritus Jim Donovan passed away Friday night. Jim taught in our department for many years before retiring in early 2000. As many of you may recall, Jim was an extraordinary faculty mentor to students and younger faculty. He was there for us whenever we needed him, always helpful and supportive. He was energetic and enthusiastic about new ideas and initiatives—and he loved international travel. I will miss him greatly.”

CASA to Adapt Its Weather Radar Systems So They Can Also Be Used for Detecting Small Drones

Michael Zink

Michael Zink

The Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA) in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department is in the process of adapting its weather radar networks so they can also detect small drones. In part, CASA’s new initiative is designed to address industry estimates that there could be as many as 3-million drones in skies worldwide by the end of 2017. As the UMass News Office reports, “The [CASA] system is designed to scan the airspace closest to the ground where drones and severe weather are not currently visible to existing weather radar and aircraft surveillance systems. The project is funded with an 18-month, $200,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).”

Nonnenmann Studies New Process for Converting Carbon Dioxide into Renewable Products Such as Hydrocarbon Fuels

Stephen Nonnenmann

Stephen Nonnenmann

Professor Stephen Nonnenmann of our Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department has received a $265,757 grant from the National Science Foundation to investigate a high-temperature electrochemical approach for converting the carbon in carbon dioxide gas to higher value carbon-containing products such as green hydrocarbon fuels. Nonnenmann’s research could form a critical component in eventual closed carbon-cycle processes for renewable energy generation.

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