The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Professor Sundar Krishnamurty, the head of the UMass Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, has been elected to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Mechanical Engineering Department Head/Chair Executive Committee (MEDHEC). The MEDHEC is an ad hoc committee consisting of elected mechanical engineering department heads and chairs at institutions of advanced learning.

Associate Professor Marco Duarte of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department is part of an interdisciplinary, inter-institutional team of researchers who recently received a three-year, $1.5-million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to further develop the foundations of data science in a project that will create one of NSF’s TRIPODS Institutes for Theoretical Foundations of Data Science. TRIPODS stands for Transdisciplinary Research in Principles of Data Science. See UMass News Office article: Computer Science-Math-Engineering Team Forms New NSF Institute .

Associate Professor Shelly Peyton and Professor Neil St. John Forbes, both of the Chemical Engineering Department, were two of the six winners of the inaugural Manning Prize given by the UMass Amherst Institute of Applied Life Sciences (IALS). The mission of so-called Manning/IALS Seed Grants of $100,000 apiece, according to the IALS website, “is to move the cutting-edge science at UMass Amherst into the real world.”

According to the Falmouth Patch, the trailer featuring the Distractology® program, developed by the UMass Amherst College of Engineering and the Arbella Insurance Foundation, visited Falmouth High School on Cape Cod from November 12 to 15. The program shows students the dangers of driving while talking on the phone, texting, or any other common distraction.

On November 19 and 20, UMassSafe, a division of the UMass Transportation Center, hosted the 2019 Commercial Vehicle Safety Summit with a theme of “Best Practices for Industry and Law Enforcement Partnerships.” The event brought together safety stakeholders from across the Northeast, including those from state trucking and bus associations, law enforcement, state drivers licensing agencies, universities, and government.

Associate Professor Shelly Peyton of the Chemical Engineering Department has been successfully elected to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) College of Fellows – Class of 2020. According to AIMBE, the College of Fellows is composed of 2,000 individuals, the top two percent of the medical and biological engineering community, who are outstanding bioengineers in academia, industry, clinical practice, and government. “These leaders in the field have distinguished themselves through their contributions in research, industrial practice, and/or education,” as the AIMBE website explains.

An opinion piece in The Hill, co-authored by senior research fellow Anna Goldstein of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, says the federal Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) is playing a key role in supporting development of technologies that will help ease the transition from reliance on fossil fuels. The authors say this agency needs support and funding to boost the technological advances needed to reshape the energy environment.

Nicholas Bowen, Ph.D., a 1992 alumnus of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, published an article in the Harvard Business Review this September. In the article, Bowen observes that software-enabled disasters are often caused by software defects that go ignored.

 

Alumna Destenie Nock has joined the departments of Engineering & Public Policy (EPP) and Civil & Environmental Engineering (CEE) at Carnegie Mellon University this fall. She will begin as a Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow in EPP with an adjunct-faculty appointment to CEE, before starting as a tenure-track assistant professor in both EPP and CEE in the 2020 academic year. She earned her Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at UMass in 2019, where her research focused broadly on energy systems modelling. She applied optimization and decision analysis to evaluate the reliability and sustainability of electricity grids in New England and Liberia.

First-year student Connor MacFarlane of the Chemical Engineering Department won the Innovation Challenge Minute Pitch competition on October 16, thus earning a first-place prize of $1,000 in addition to an audience choice award of $250. MacFarlane’s prize-winning venture is a trailblazing insulin-delivery system for all insulin-dependent diabetics. The Minute Pitch was the initial stage of the four-part Innovation Challenge, which resumes on November 20 with the Seed Pitch.

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