The University of Massachusetts Amherst Wind Energy Center (WEC) recently made news when it was recognized by the Smithsonian Institution for its gift of the historic Wind Furnace #1 to the National Museum of American History. Built at UMass Amherst in the 1970s, the 25-kilowatt facility was at one time the largest electricity-producing wind turbine in the world. It featured the first design to include several technologies now standard in modern utility wind turbines.
Massimo Fischetti of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department (ECE) has won the 2011 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Cledo Brunetti Award, established in 1975 for outstanding contributions to nanotechnology and miniaturization in the electronics arts. Dr. Fischetti’s research specialties are electronic transport in semiconductors, Monte Carlo simulations, quantum transport, and the physics of semiconductor devices. Among other awards, he has received IBM Technical Innovation Awards in 1987 and 1989 and an IBM Research Division Award in 1993.
The “Distractology 101” driving simulation test created by the Human Performance Laboratory was praised by an editorial in the Fall River Herald-News, while the lab’s Director, Don Fisher, was interviewed about distracted driving for the second time this summer by WWLP-TV Channel 22 News. “Thumbs up to the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Arbella Insurance Group’s charitable foundation,” said the Herald-News editorial, “which spent more than $500,000 and two years developing a simulated program that mimics real-life driving.”
Imagine being a middle-school kid who knows how to make his or her own “funky electronic music machine.” Heaven right? That’s the agenda for a free, two-week, summer workshop being run in downtown Springfield by our Electrical and Computer Engineering Department from August 2 to 13 every weekday afternoon in the Parish Hall of the Old First Church at Court Square. Circuits and Beats is a summer tech workshop in which 12 middle-school-aged children from Springfield will design, build, and program electronic music machines under the direction of UMass Amherst engineers.
What if we could cure diabetes, save the Great Lakes, relieve sleep deprivation in surgeons, and figure out a faster way to rescue disaster victims, all in one summer? In fact, those goals were only part of the agenda when 25 undergraduate students from the University of Massachusetts Amherst presented posters and talked about their summer research projects on July 30 in the Gunness Engineering Student Center.
Before Bob Raymond graduated as an electrical engineering major in 1949, he witnessed many of the momentous events of that time in our world, our campus, and our college. He experienced World War II, the GI Bill, the legislative action establishing the University of Massachusetts in 1947, the campus reorganization creating the School of Engineering in 1947, and the formation of the Electrical Engineering Department in 1948. So, you see, Bob Raymond is an eye-witness who can report first-hand on these larger-than-life events.
Inder Sidhu, who earned his master’s degree in 1983 from our Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, has become a bestselling author. Sidhu, a senior vice president of strategy and planning for Worldwide Operations at Cisco, wrote the New York Times bestseller, Doing Both: How Cisco Captures Today’s Profit & Drives Tomorrow’s Growth, published recently by FT Press. In Doing Both, Sidhu offers a practical guidebook to leaders looking to move their businesses forward in face of new realities.
Professor Don Fisher, head of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department and director of the Human Performance Laboratory, was interviewed on Sunday by Laura Hutchinson of the WWLP-TV Channel 22 “In Focus” program about the new Massachusetts state law that bans texting while driving for everyone and phoning while driving for drivers under 18. “Texting while driving is dangerous for two reasons,” Dr. Fisher said during the interview.
Mechanical engineering major Brian Goss joined ExxonMobil Development Company on June 1 as a summer engineering intern in the Subsea Riser Flowlines Group. Goss’ introduction to the energy industry has been a unique one. During the worst oil spill catastrophe in U.S. history, he has the rare opportunity to experience first-hand an inside technical perspective amidst a storm of media controversy and public outrage. Goss is supporting the Julia Project, a subsea tie-back to Chevron’s Jack St. Malo platform, located in the Gulf of Mexico.
Obviously, this has been a very demanding year for the economy. But, thanks to our donors digging deeply into their pockets during hard times, the College of Engineering Development Office bucked that trend in a big way by shattering its FY2010 fund-raising goal. “I am thrilled to report that we exceeded our COE goal of $2,240,000 in cash gifts,” said Paula Sakey, the director of development. “As of this writing, we are about 26 percent above last year’s private support and 108 percent of goal! I sincerely want to thank our alumni and other donors for making this a banner year.”