The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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John Lisack, who received his B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is being honored by the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) as the 2012 Meeting Professional Honoree. Mr. Lisack has served on several of PCMA’s Convention and Visitor Bureau Advisory Boards and numerous other volunteer organizations. As Executive Director of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) in Arlington, Virginia, Mr. Lisack develops and establishes programs, policies, and strategies that support the AAPS vision, mission, and values.

University of Massachusetts Amherst junior Krysten Moore of Mahwah, New Jersey, was once an overweight middle school student who, by her own admission, got “bullied ruthlessly” by her school mates. Now, a scant seven years later, the electrical and computer engineering major is a national advocate for bullying victims. She is a National Youth Ambassador for Love Our Children USA™, has educated more than 100,000 school children about bullying, and has won several New Jersey pageants to give her a platform for her cause.

On Saturday, November 5, the College of Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst held its second annual Outstanding Alumni Awards Luncheon during Homecoming Weekend. The luncheon included the presentation of College of Engineering Outstanding Junior/Senior Alumni Awards to 10 individuals who, through exemplary accomplishments, epitomize the potential of an education at the UMass Amherst College of Engineering.

As M5 Technologist in Residence Sean Klaiber puts it, “My interests pretty much all surround sound in one way or another.” That is certainly the case with the electronic Spinning Drum Machine that Klaiber and two students from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department put together, partly from cannibalized parts, in M5.

Therapeutic Systems, a company cofounded by Brian Mullen (right) when he was a graduate student in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, has won $50,000 in the MassChallenge award competition. The concept for Therapeutic Systems was a vest developed by Mullen to help calm people with autism. He cofounded the company with fellow UMass Amherst alumnus Chris Leidel (left). Therapeutic Systems was among 26 startups from around the world that split $1 million in awards through the challenge.

Lixin Gao of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department won one of three Paper with Distinction awards presented at the Association for Computing Machinery Symposium on Cloud Computing 2011 (ACM SOCC 2011), held from October 26 to 28 at Cascais, Portugal. She wrote the paper with her visiting doctoral student, Yanfeng Zhang. It was an extremely competitive conference, with only 16 percent of the submitted papers accepted.

Since 2002, the John and Grace Welch Endowed Scholarship Fund, created by Jack Welch '57 in honor of his parents, has been a lifeline for UMass Amherst students who graduated from Salem High School. With a new $1 million contribution from Jack and his wife, Suzy, the endowment will increase scholarship awards from $10,000 to $15,000 annually for eight students.

Last semester, 17 enterprising students from all four departments in the College of Engineering took advantage of the UMass Amherst Study Abroad Program to take courses in the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain, Israel, Australia, China, and the United Arab Emirates. Among these international students were civil engineering major Megan Rodgers and mechanical engineering major Igor Galis (pictured). Ask all these engineering students why they chose to study overseas and you’ll probably get 17 different answers.

Rance Rodrigues, a Ph.D. student in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, finished third in the graduate category of the Parallel Architectures and Compilation Techniques (PACT) Student Research Competition at that organization’s 20th annual conference in Galveston Island, Texas, from October 10 to 14. His paper was entitled "An Architecture to Enable Lifetime Full Chip Testability in Chip Multiprocessors."

After the announcement earlier this month by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar that UMass Amherst was chosen to lead a consortium of seven universities and host the $7.5-million Northeast Climate Science Center, there was national coverage by Newsday, the Chicago TribuneMass High Tech, the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, the Associated Press, and the Springfield Republican. Leading the new center at UMass Amherst is Richard Palmer, head of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department.