The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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AMHERST, Mass. – Wellesley resident Michael Hluchyj was honored on October 16 at the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a College of Engineering 2010 Outstanding Senior Alumni Award for having brought recognition and honor to the college through his professional achievements, leadership, and service to his profession, university, and society.

A WWLP Channel 22 news team covered the Women in Engineering Career Day on Monday, October 25, when more than 250 female students, teachers, and guidance counselors from high schools representing more than 50 towns and cities throughout Massachusetts met in the Lincoln Campus Center Auditorium at UMass Amherst. "We get over 3,000 applications a year to the College of Engineering,” Assistant Dean Kathy Rubin told Channel 22. “We enroll a class of 350 students each year, but the number of females stays constant at about 20 percent to 22 percent, and that’s a national figure."

Peter Monson, who was just appointed by the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees as a Distinguished Professor in the Chemical Engineering Department, has reached his august status by following the guiding principle of Ockham’s Razor. Ockham's Razor is attributed to a 14th-century English logician, theologian, and Franciscan friar, Father William of Ockham, who wrote that "entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity." The principle is popularly summarized as "the simplest explanation is usually the correct one."

Research by George Huber, his post-doctoral researcher Rong Xing, and their colleagues in the Chemical Engineering Department, who have developed a new four-step, practical, and economical process for producing jet and diesel fuels from waste biomass, is attracting international attention from the chemical industry. The new process uses raw materials that represent waste from power plants, wood manufacturing plants, and pulp mills and yields alkanes more suitable for transportation fuels than any previous methods.

On October 25, more than 250 female students, teachers, and guidance counselors from high schools representing more than 50 towns and cities throughout Massachusetts gathered in the Lincoln Campus Center Auditorium at UMass Amherst for the annual Women in Engineering Career Day Conference. The program was designed to be fun, entertaining, eye-opening, and instructive. The aim was to excite, inspire, and encourage young women to pursue engineering as an academic track and career path.

Electrical and Computer Engineering Department doctoral candidate Pritish Narayanan, a student of ECE Professor C. Andras Moritz (pictured), has received the Best Student Paper Award at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) International Symposium on Defect and Fault Tolerance in VLSI (Very Large Scale Integration) Systems, held in Kyoto, Japan, from October 6 to 8.

Raytheon recently signed an agreement with the University of Massachusetts Amherst to make Raytheon’s Principles of Systems Engineering (PoSE) course part of the College of Engineering curriculum. More than 5,200 Raytheon employees have completed PoSE, but this exciting partnership between two respected Massachusetts organizations marks the first time that PoSE has been taught for college credit to non-Raytheon graduate students and undergraduate seniors.

On Thursday, October 21, Dr. John Finn, the co-founder and vice-president for technology infrastructure at Bloom Energy of Sunnyvale, California, delivered the 11th annual Tang Lecture on the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus. The title of his lecture was “Energy Startup to Energy Industry.” Dr. Finn received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from UMass Amherst in 1990, under the supervision of Professor Peter Monson.

A team of students from the campus chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) has designed a do-it-yourself water pump for the settlement of Divisão in the Brazilian Amazon and taught community members how to put together the device, using indigenous materials. The simple mechanism, which can be easily constructed from inexpensive PVC and rubber, is engineered to pump clean spring water for many of the 280 households in the area. The pump provides the community with a home-made, sustainable technology for creating healthy drinking water.

The College of Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst held its first annual Outstanding Alumni Awards Luncheon during Homecoming Weekend, on Saturday, October 16, 2010. The luncheon included the presentation of College of Engineering Outstanding Junior/Senior Alumni Awards to individuals who, through exemplary accomplishments, epitomize the potential of an education at the UMass Amherst College of Engineering. The event happened from 12:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. in the 10th floor Amherst Room of the UMass Amherst Campus Center.