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John Chuma, a senior in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department and an outstanding pole-vaulter on the UMass Amherst Men’s Track and Field Team, has been selected as the university’s 2018 Male Spring Scholar-Athlete Award winner. During a remarkably consistent career, Chuma has pole-vaulted between 15 feet and 16 feet at least 26 times and holds the UMass outdoor record in that event.

See Chuma’s profile »

The latest innovative enterprise from Sustainability Projects Abroad (SPA), a brilliant and idealistic consortium of UMass students led by some of our engineering undergraduates, is called “PowerPass,” which, according to its creators, is a sort of “power bank” and “walk-in, solar-powered kiosk that dispenses portable batteries for students to charge their phones on the go.” SPA has set up a MinuteFund, lasting until May 23, in hopes of supporting the installation of PowerPass on campus.

Support the SPA PowerPass project »

Congratulations to eight exceptional engineering students who will be receiving alumni scholarships and awards. The students were recognized by the UMass Amherst Alumni Association at a reception on Sunday, April 22, in the Student Union Ballroom.

A feature story written by Michael Connors in the April 8 Daily Hampshire Gazette looked at a group of six students from the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department who are developing a drone for their senior capstone project that can deploy agricultural chemicals safely and very precisely to control pests such as mosquitoes. The students are teaming up with the Hampshire County Radio Controllers Club, a local group of remote-controlled flying vehicle hobbyists, who will give the MIE seniors hands-on training on how to operate drones.

April 24, 2018 The director and steering committee of the campus’s new Institute of Diversity Sciences recently announced the first six multidisciplinary teams that have won seed grants of up to $12,000 to conduct preliminary studies investigating new research questions about the causes or consequences of group disparities or diversity from many angles.

Two teams spearheaded by doctoral students in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department were among the three winners of the University of Massachusetts Innovation Challenge Final on April 5, when $65,000 in seed money was distributed to the prizewinners. eBiologics finished in first place, winning $30,000 and led by Alexander Smith, a doctoral student in MIE. The other prizewinning MIE team was Kinase, Inc., which finished in third place and won $15,000. Kinase is headed by Nariman Banaei, a doctoral student in MIE, and MBA student Amir Ali Jazayeri of Hofstra University.

It is with deep sadness that we report the passing of retired UMass Amherst Professor Mireille Treuil Clapp, who was a pioneer among women to obtain tenure in the College of Engineering. She passed away on March 7 after a long battle with cancer. Professor Clapp was a faculty member for 16 years in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department and also an internationally renowned sculptor and scientist.

Industrial Engineering Professor Shannon Roberts of the University of Massachusetts Amherst notes that some modern vehicles have more than 100 computing components containing over 10 million lines of code. However, most vehicles are not designed with cybersecurity in mind and, as a result, they are susceptible to cyberattacks. For example, a 2015 Jeep Cherokee cyberattack in St. Louis resulted in a recall of 1.4 million vehicles. Moreover, there are countless other scenarios in which vehicles can be hacked to trigger crashes. With all these perils in mind, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has funded Roberts to study vehicle cybersecurity and find solutions.

The Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) Offshore Wind Energy Program, led by the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department at the College of Engineering, invites the campus community to attend its annual student poster session on Thursday, April 26, from 5:00 till 7:00 p.m. in the Hadley Room, 10th Floor, Campus Center. See UMass Amherst News Office report »

Five of the best and brightest academics from the College of Engineering (COE) have been chosen to receive COE’s 2017-2018 Outstanding Faculty Awards. Professor Russell Tessier was selected for the Outstanding Senior Faculty Award. The review committee designated Assistant Professors Caitlyn Butler and David Irwin as joint awardees for the Barbara H. and Joseph I. Goldstein Outstanding Junior Faculty Award. Finally, Professors Matthew Lackner and Shelly Peyton were named the co-recipients of the COE Outstanding Teaching Award. All five award winners will be recognized during the COE Senior Recognition Celebration to be held on Saturday, May 12, 2018.

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