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LiveWaterMap Wins Four Prizes at HackUMass with Technology Built to Counter Water Crisis Caused by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico

LiveWaterMap Team

LiveWaterMap Team

Several deeply committed UMass Students didn’t want to let the water crisis in Puerto Rico go unchecked! A brilliant and idealistic five-person interdisciplinary team, which included three engineering majors, won four prizes at the HackUMass hackathon on November 3 through 5 by creating LiveWaterMap, invented to counteract the devastation and resultant water shortage and contamination caused by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. As the team explains its product, “LiveWaterMap is an online web service that collects and maps water quality data using GPS and time data - information that can be easily understood and made available for anyone, anytime, anywhere.”

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).”

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