Greetings UMass Engineering Community,
Welcome to the 75th Anniversary year of the College of Engineering! I am thrilled to welcome you all to our vibrant campus for the Fall 2022 semester, especially those of you who are newly joining our community: new undergraduate and graduate students, researchers, faculty and staff.
To commemorate its 75th Anniversary, the college is collaborating on an exhibit titled “Engineering@75,” featuring archival photographs and documents spanning the decades from 1947 to today. This exhibit is on display at the Science and Engineering Library in the Lederle Graduate Research Center through the end of the year. And be sure to check out the 75th Anniversary website, featuring an interactive timeline of major milestones, biographies of college trailblazers, oral histories, and other historical records.
To kick off the academic year, the college is hosting welcome events under the tent in the engineering quad:
Reception for All First Generation and Transfer Students and Group Allies — Wednesday, Sept. 7, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Undergraduates/All-College Welcome — Thursday, Sept. 8, 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Student societies and design teams, as well as engineering departments and college support offices, will have tables throughout the day. There will be opportunities to meet some of your professors and instructors outside of class. Learn more here.
Graduate Student Welcome Event — Thursday, Sept. 8th, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
An opportunity for new and returning engineering graduate students from across the college to connect and socialize.
Faculty and Staff Social — Friday, Sept. 9th, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.
I am also pleased to share several exciting college developments with you:
The college is continuing to move forward with planning its new building, the Sustainable Engineering Laboratories (SEL), a state-of-the-art laboratory and experiential learning facility designed for research in areas such as equitable clean energy transition, sustainable materials, and smart infrastructure. In August, a geothermal test well was drilled at the planned site of the SEL to explore the feasibility of leveraging ground source heat pumps as part of the building’s energy mix. This effort is part of UMass Carbon Zero, the university’s commitment to a campus-wide energy transition, with the goal of ultimately powering the UMass Amherst campus with 100% renewable energy.
Thanks to an exceptionally generous gift of $10 million from Jerome ’60 and Linda Paros, the college is launching the Paros Center for Atmospheric Research, building on the successes of the Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere. The Paros Center will facilitate cutting-edge research into improving hazardous weather predictions, alert systems, and policies to address extreme weather events. The gift also supports graduate fellowships and undergraduate scholarships through the Paros Fellows/Scholars Endowed Fund.
Generous donations—from Michael ’76 and Theresa (Murphy) ’77 Hluchyj and the Elaine Nicpon Marieb Charitable Foundation—have also enabled UMass Amherst to launch the new Elaine Marieb Center for Nursing and Engineering Innovation. This is a center for nurses and engineers to collaborate and lead transformational change in patient care, nursing practice, and medical product development. The center will be hosting its inaugural annual symposium for nurses, engineers, and industry partners to exchange ideas, network, and learn about the center’s projects and accomplishments. There is no cost to attend for UMass students, staff, and faculty, but registration is required.
A new interdisciplinary graduate program in materials science and engineering is launching this fall. The program includes nearly 50 faculty members from across the College of Engineering and the College of Natural Sciences, and offers both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. The inaugural director of the program is Dr. Ashwin Ramasubramaniam, a professor in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department.
This year’s Tang Lecture—titled “From Concept to Market: Bringing a Medical Device to Life”—will be presented by Dr. Joseph Hidler ’94, Founder and CEO of Aretech, LLC. Mark your calendar for Thursday, October 13th, 4:00pm, in the Old Chapel. More details here.
The college is sponsoring three performances by Theater Delta, which performs interactive theater aimed at promoting social change, on September 21st and 22nd in Bowker Auditorium. These performances will explore intersecting identities, privilege, microaggressions, bystander intervention, and restorative justice. These performances are part of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Certification program that the college is planning to launch. We especially encourage all sophomores and juniors to attend, as well as graduate student TAs and faculty. Performances are free to attend, and details and reservations are available here.
In addition to Theater Delta, there are numerous upcoming campus-wide events intended to grow our community of inclusion and belonging. These events dovetail with two university initiatives—Belonging@UMass and Fight Hate—that aim to make UMass Amherst a safe and equitable campus for all. The College of Engineering, and the university as a whole, embraces diversity and all of the ways it enriches our community.
The college will be offering career fairs on September 20th, 21st, 22nd, and 23rd, from 1:00 – 5:00pm in the Gunness Student Center in Marcus Hall, as well as a virtual career fair on September 29th from 12:00 – 6:00pm. This is an opportunity to speak with employers interested in potentially hiring you for an internship or full-time position. More information is available here.
As we reconnect on campus this semester, remember that COVID-19 continues to be a factor in our lives. Please follow campus policies and wear a mask when required to protect yourself and other members of the campus community. And please take care of your health, both physical and mental. Be patient with yourself and others as we continue to navigate unexpected challenges, and do not hesitate to reach out to us for help in accessing a wide range of college and campus resources.
I sincerely look forward to connecting with you all this year.
Have a great Fall semester, keep well, and Be Revolutionary Engineers!
Dean, College of Engineering
Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering