University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Happy fall! We are delighted to share with you the extraordinary achievements of the MIE students and faculty for the 2016-2017 calendar year, as well as the fantastic growth of the department, both in faculty hiring and enrollment. 

In 2011 the department graduated 83 undergraduate students. In 2016, we graduated 192 students. This represents 131 percent growth over five years, an astonishing statistic by any measure. Mechanical Engineering is the largest major in the College of Engineering, and we are proud of our students’ success: for the class of 2016, 92 percent of our graduates reported having either a job or going to graduate school within six months of graduation, with an average starting salary of $63,000.

Professor Erin Baker of our Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department and her doctoral student Moijue Kaikai have secured a $160,000 grant from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center to fund a sustainable-energy project carried out collaboratively by UMass Amherst and the Springfield High School of Science and Technology (HSST). The grant will support the establishment of a so-called Learn and Earn Program while generating interest in the renewable energy field. The funded program will not only install a solar panel and wind turbine on the HSST campus but will also create an engineering and sustainability class for 25 high-school students and an eight-week, summertime, paid internship in hands-on clean energy for those students.

The number of persons newly infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the U.S. is about 50,000 each year and has not decreased since the late 1990s. To address this critical problem, the first National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) was developed in 2010, with a goal to reduce incidence by 25 percent by 2015; but, since that goal was never met, it was delayed until 2020. Now Professor Chaitra Gopalappa of our Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department is receiving a grant of $1,567,348 from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to answer several critical questions posed by the NHAS and to develop a new model and methods necessary for analyses of these crucial problems.