University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Assistantship Opportunities

IGERT Fellow: Value of information on the presence of birds near wind turbines. See https://windenergyigert.umass.edu/ for information about the NSF-funded IGERT. We are looking for a PhD-level student with a strong background in uncertainty analysis (e.g. Industrial Engineering, Operations Research, Math, Stats, Mathematical economics, or related) and an interest in sustainable energy, specifically wind power. The student will be involved in a multi-disciplinary team: (1) collecting and analyzing data about bird observations and mortality, wind turbine energy production, and electricity prices; (2) performing stochastic optimizations to find optimal strategies for turning off turbines at high risk times; and (3) performing a value of information analysis to determine the value of collecting real-time information about the presence of birds near the turbines. Fellows must be U.S. Citizens or greencard holders. Faculty contact: Erin Baker. IGERT contact: Jody Lally.

Kenneth A. Lloyd Fellowship.  Alumnus Ken Lloyd of Duxbury, Massachusetts has established the Kenneth A. Lloyd Fellowship, which will award more than $25,000 in salary support in addition to tuition during the first year of graduate study to a qualified incoming female doctoral student in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department.  The applicant must be a U.S. citizen.  Applicants are encouraged to apply in any area of research in which faculty are currently engaged.  Full funding is guaranteed through the entire four years of doctoral study for students awarded the Fellowship.

Research Assistant: Experimental Study of Stability Limits for Slender Wind Turbine Blades. This is a Master’s or PhD level study on various instabilities observed in wind turbine blades mainly stall induced instability and flutter. The work will be mainly experimental, but some theoretical aspects will also be involved. Students with knowledge and/or interest in dynamics, vibrations or fluid-structure interactions are preferred.
     Contact: Yahya Modarres-Sadeghi, modarres 'at' ecs.umass.edu.


Research Assistant: Nonlinear Dynamics of Flexible Structures in Flow. This is a general topic for a few projects in Master’s or PhD level on behavior of flexible structures subjected to flow. These projects involve both theoretical and experimental work on systems showing vortex induced vibrations, flutter or chaotic oscillations. Students with knowledge and/or interest in dynamics, vibrations or fluid-structure interactions are preferred.
     Contact: Yahya Modarres-Sadeghi, modarres 'at' ecs.umass.edu.


Research Assistant: Distraction, Driving and Crashes: Modeling Human Behavior. Drivers of all ages are increasingly distracted by in-vehicle technologies and tasks such as cell phones, texting, music retrieval, and way finding. Some 25% of all crashes are thought to be due to distracting activities such as these. In order to understand better just how distracting a given technology or task can be, we are using an advanced driving simulator and eye tracker to determine the distribution of attention while drivers navigate through a virtual world with demands very similar to those that they face on the open road. A background in computer science, probability and statistics, human factors, psychology and simulation is ideal.  Knowledge of Java, Flash and C can be very useful. Faculty Contact: Professor Donald Fisher.
      See http://www.ecs.umass.edu/hpl for more information.