University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Points of Pride

Three of the articles in this newsletter are perfect examples of the direction in which our education is evolving at the College of Engineering. We would like every student in the college to have at least one opportunity, and preferably more, for doing hands-on, applied, experiential learning in engineering.

Take this case. A team of four mechanical engineering students is in the process of designing, building, testing, and launching a 92-inch-long, four-inch-diameter, 200-ounce rocket to compete in the NASA Student Launch challenge. The national competition engages teams from...

Bufferbloat Team

There are few things more frustrating than being on an online real-time phone call when it suddenly gets the jitters, your caller’s voice doesn’t match up to his or her facial expressions, and your conversation doesn’t sync correctly. Likewise, gamers are infuriated when sudden lags cause them to lose at what they’ve been playing for hours. These lags and jitters are caused by a phenomenon known as “bufferbloat.”

Now there is a fix for bufferbloat founded on research conducted at the University of Massachusetts Amherst more than a decade ago. During the late 1990s and early...

Senior chemical engineering major Ezra Aurian-Blajeni has won a scholarship from the local chapter of the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineers (ISPE). Nine Joel Goldenberg Memorial Scholarships were recently presented by the Boston Area Chapter of ISPE, a non-profit, professional society serving the life sciences industry, including college and university students preparing to enter related fields.

Read press release:

The Boston Area Chapter of the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE) is proud to announce the...

Michael Zink

According to the UMass Amherst Research Next website, Professors Michael Zink and Tilman Wolf of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department are key researchers in two campus projects funded by the Future Internet Architecture (FIA) Program, which is supporting five multi-million-dollar projects nationwide. As part of the two UMass Amherst projects, computing and engineering experts Jim Kurose, Arun Venkataramani, Wolf, and...

Erin Baker

The 13-year-long delay in the proposed Cape Wind project in Massachusetts reveals the critical need for an integrated approach to offshore wind energy development that works mutually toward an efficient, sustainable energy source and public education, input, and acceptance.

This difficult task calls for a new generation of multidisciplinary researchers. That’s where a new National-Science-Foundation-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst comes in. For the next three summers, this REU will annually support 10 undergraduates...

Dragoljub Beka Kosanovic

According to an article on the UMass Research Next website, Dragoljub Beka Kosanovic, the director of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (CEERE) in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, is one of the co-principal investigators for the new state-wide Energy Extension Initiative, funded by a $6-million grant from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources. The initiative is designed to mobilize information on the latest clean energy technologies as...

Cole Fitzpatrick

Cole Fitzpatrick of the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department was one of three doctoral candidates from the University of Massachusetts Amherst to receive Eugene M. Isenberg Scholar Awards of $10,000 apiece. The other two Isenberg award winners were Yueran Zhuo and David Agogo from the Operations and Information Management Department at the Isenberg School of Management.

The awards were established by the late Eugene M. Isenberg ('50, former CEO of Nabors Industries, Inc.) and his wife Ronnie Isenberg to aid UMass Amherst graduate students who demonstrate...

The Launch Team (left to right: Fowler, Dodd, Perham, Kelly)

A team of four mechanical engineering students from UMass Amherst is in the process of designing, building, testing, and launching a 92-inch-long, four-inch-diameter, 200-ounce rocket to compete in the NASA Student Launch challenge. The national competition engages teams from many colleges and universities across the nation in an eight-month commitment to design, build, and fly payloads and/or vehicle components on high-powered, scale-model rockets to support the “Space Launch System,” America’s new rocket program being developed for deep space travel.

The challenge for teams...

Casey Brown

Casey Brown of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is the principal investigator on a three-year, $1.5-million grant to fund critical research on future flood risks, as influenced by the quickly changing climate on Earth. The grant was issued by the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP), administered by the Department of Defense, for a project entitled "Climate-Informed Estimation of Hydrologic Extremes for Robust Adaptation to Non-Stationary Climate.”  

According to Brown, “Our project will...

(left to right) Divyashri Bhat, Rufina Chettiar, Abhishek Dwaraki

On November 13 through 17, three graduate students from the UMass Amherst College of Engineering and School of Computer Science won the $5,000 first prize in the Juniper/Comcast Northeast Division Hackathon. The winning team was composed of Rufina Chettiar, School of Computer Science, advisor Professor Jim Kurose; Abhishek Dwaraki, Electrical and Computer Engineering, advisor Professor Tilman Wolf; and Divyashri Bhat, Electrical and Computer Engineering, advisor Professor Michael Zink.

The Software Defined Networking Hackathon organized by Comcast and Juniper, which took place...

On December 5, Professor David McLaughlin of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department held his second, annual, end-of-class demonstration of model, collision-avoiding  “smart cars,” as built by the students in his Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering course, ECE 361. The event is a sort of anti-demolition derby, in which 60 model smart cars, built in teams by the 193 mechanical and industrial engineering students in McLaughlin’s class, duck, dodge, and dart across the floor in a choreography of collision avoidance. The demonstration marks the culmination of a semester-long...

Alaina Hanlon Adams

To realize that the United States is in the throes of a nutritional crisis, all you have to do is pay attention. We are a country festering with obesity, eating disorders, and nutritionally caused conditions such as diabetes. As the founder and CEO of a new company targeting this crisis, alumna Alaina Hanlon Adams has her finger on the pulse of a country in big nutritional trouble. Her company, NuPlanit (http://www.nuplanit.com/), empowers people to sustain healthy, balanced eating habits using mobile technology and a network of nutrition experts....

David Ford

Professors David Ford, Wei Fan, and Peter Monson of the Chemical Engineering (ChE) Department are involved in new collaborative research grants totaling $866,522 awarded to UMass Amherst from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The first grant of $327,038, involving Ford, Fan, and Monson, started on July 1 and is entitled “Developing New Theoretical Tools and Materials to Improve the Separation Performance of Inorganic Mesoporous Membranes.” 

The second NSF grant awards $539,484 to UMass Amherst, involving Ford and Monson, in addition to $260,744 going to Professor Michael...

Otto

A team of four seniors from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department has conceived, designed, and is currently building a camera-toting drone aircraft that can hover above a mountain biker, surfer, climber, or any of the country’s 4.88-million action athletes and videotape the performance. Named “Otto: the Personal Cameraman,” the device will be mounted on a scale-model “quadcopter” and is the brainchild and senior design project of Andrew Sousa, Seth Kielbasa, Albion Lici, and Noah Portnoy, who also receive plenty of helpful input from faculty advisor Christopher Hollot. Go to...