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Two Engineering Teams Make Innovation Challenge Finals

Engineering students make up two of the five teams in the finals of the two-stage University of Massachusetts Amherst Innovation Challenge, to be held on Thursday, April 22, in the Campus Center. Judges will hand out up to $50,000 in prize money and other incentives to the chosen winners among the five finalists in the annual contest. The Innovation Challenge is designed to reward the most promising enterprises conceived by teams of students, faculty, and recent alumni of the university.

Alum Comes to Aid of COE with Architectural Artwork

Alumnus Paul Palmgren, who graduated from UMass Amherst last year with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, has been using his artwork to improve the College of Engineering in both an artistic and a humanitarian sense. Earlier this year, Palmgren worked with Executive Secretary Linda Smith of the Dean’s Office to exhibit five of his striking abstract works, all dealing with the relationship between humans and the architecture they create, in the newly upgraded conference room of Dean Ted Djaferis.

New Biofuel Technique Could Have “Profound” Impact on Chemical Industry

According to an article in the highly respected Technology Review, published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a special method of “gasification,” developed by researchers at the University of  Massachusetts Amherst and University of Minnesota for converting biofuel feedstock into sustainable fuel, could have a “profound” effect on the chemical industry. The process would not only greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but double the amount of fuel that can be made from an acre of biomass feedstock.

MIRSL Deploys Radars for VORTEX2

Electrical and computer engineers from the Microwave Remote Sensing Laboratory (MIRSL) are currently spending 15 hours per day scouring Oklahoma and the Great Plains in their two truck-mounted mobile Doppler radar systems as part of the largest, most ambitious study ever launched to figure out how tornadoes form and predict them more accurately. Overall goals of the national project, known as the Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment 2, or VORTEX2, include giving people earlier warning of severe weather and reducing the number of false positive warnings issued.

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