Brandon Tory, who graduated from the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department in 2010, has traveled a long and perilous journey from living as a teenager in a Brockton, Massachusetts, homeless shelter to working as a senior software artificial intelligence engineer at Google in Southern California and moonlighting as a well-known rapper. His poignant and inspiring story has most recently been featured in the Brockton Enterprise, but in the past has made the pages of Forbes and the Wall Street Journal.
Govind Srimathveeravalli, an assistant professor in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department and an adjunct professor in the Biomedical Engineering (BME) Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has received a $1,366,330 grant over four years from the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to pursue a revolutionary technique for tissue-engineering grafts for bladder reconstruction.
In the spring semester of 2020, undergraduates Katherine (Kat) Nilov and Sanjana Manghnani of the Chemical Engineering Department participated in Engineer Engagement Specialist Dr. Stephen Fernandez’s pilot course on “Learning through Community Engagement and Bridging Engineering Theory and Practice.” Recently, the Campus Compact Website posted an interview with Nilov and Manghnani, in which they very eloquently articulated the impact of the course on their worldview about engineering itself and using their future profession to engage with surrounding communities.
According to a release by the UMass News Office, Assistant Professor Jeremy Gummeson and his Ph.D. student Noor Mohammed, both of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department, are members of a UMass Amherst team that has designed a charge-free, wearable device called “Shazam,” which uses the skin of the human body to charge smartwatches and other wearable devices.
Marlise van Tonder, who graduated from the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department in May, has qualified to go to the Tokyo Olympics as a reserve on the South African field hockey team, as announced by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee. As she wrote to MIE Department Head Sundar Krishnamurty, “I appreciate the support UMass has given me during the buildup towards the Games.” She will be traveling to Tokyo with the team and staying with Team South Africa in the Olympic Village.
Professor Sergio F. Breña, the associate department head of the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department, was honored as a new Fellow by the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) at the organization’s May of 2021 convention. He has also received the 2019 PCI Distinguished Educator Award, the 2011 PCI Young Educator Award, is past chair of the PCI Student Education Committee, and currently serves as a voting member of the PCI Student Education Committee, PCI Design Handbook Committee, and the PCI Design Specification Committee.
Jose Lemus, a senior mechanical engineering student in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department, was highlighted as a “Key Collaborator” in the May issue of the PTC Digital Transformation Technologies Newsletter. As the newsletter said about Lemus, “This semester, he worked in an independent study to understand product integration and industrial automation using Vuforia Studio [Augmented Reality] by simulating the Pilot Process Machine. The machine automatically dispenses the desired color and quantity of Skittles for users.”
Assistant Professor Shannon Roberts of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department was lead author for a chapter on “Automation, Work, and Racial Equity: How Human Systems Engineering Can Shape the Future of Work” in an edited volume that has been recognized as the winner of the "Outstanding Academic Title" by the Choice organization.
In their recent article in The Conversation, Professors Erin Baker and Matthew Lackner of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department wrote that the U.S. government’s approval of the country’s first big offshore wind farm, to be located near Martha’s Vineyard, is a breakthrough for the industry. Baker and Lackner are both faculty with the Wind Energy Center at UMass Amherst.