News

Matthew Lackner of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department was recently featured on Research Next, the web magazine about research, scholarship, and creativity at UMass Amherst. As the Research Next article noted, “The UMass Wind Energy Center, a leading wind energy research institution since 1972, is what drew Lackner to UMass Amherst a decade ago—it was one of the few institutions offering programs focused solely on wind energy. Now, as a member of the center and an executive faculty advisor for the campus’s federally funded IGERT (Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship) Offshore Wind Energy program, Lackner is researching the next generation of offshore wind turbines.” Read full story: http://www.umass.edu/researchnext//blade-runner.

Dean Tim Anderson is pleased to announce the appointment of three faculty members and one administrator as the new associate deans for the College of Engineering. The new appointments are: Professor John Collura, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, as the Associate Dean for Research and Innovation; Professor David Ford, Chemical Engineering Department, as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs; Professor Tilman Wolf, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, as the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Operations; and Kathleen Rubin, the current Assistant Dean, as the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Administration. The College of Engineering is indeed fortunate to have these dedicated individuals available to serve in four key positions at this crucial time of growth, evolution, and advancement within the institution.

Evan Gaertner, a graduate student in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department, has been selected from a pool of several highly qualified applicants to receive the 2014-15 Edwin V. Sisson Doctoral Fellowship, starting this coming September (2014). Sisson is a 1968 alumnus from the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department, and his fellowship fund is geared toward first-year doctoral candidates from any of the four departments in the College of Engineering who do research in sustainable energy or other environmental subjects, the main areas of the donor’s concerns. His graduate research, performed under faculty advisor Matthew Lackner of the MIE department, is focused on modeling unsteady aerodynamics of floating offshore wind turbines.

Tony McCaffrey, a former postdoctoral researcher and current collaborator in the Center for e-Design at our Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department, has produced a short video to explain the new “Brainswarming” tool he has created for Innovation Accelerator, Inc., the company he founded with its CEO, James O. Pearson, an alumnus of the MIE department. Brainswarming, consisting of software that provides a better, more efficient process as an alternative to brainstorming, is the latest tool to emerge from McCaffrey’s research and will soon become an online platform for remote group work. A game version of Brainswarming is also available. Watch the video for more information on what Brainswarming is and how you can implement it: http://blogs.hbr.org/2014/03/why-you-should-stop-brainstorming/.

The Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department seeks to raise a minimum of $30,000 to fund the Stephen Malkin Annual Lecture Series in honor of the late Professor Malkin (1941-2013), a visionary, a leader, and, above all, an excellent mentor, who was the MIE department head for more than six years. The purpose of the Malkin Lecture Series will be to attract a wide variety of expert speakers, who will inspire our learning community on issues of innovation and progress in engineering fields involved with manufacturing. Several of Malkin’s academic and professional colleagues have already contributed to the endowment, with more than $10,000 raised. Now you can help us grow the fund to a sustaining level of $30,000 and thus enable this wonderful lecture series. Will you join us in making a contribution to the Stephen Malkin Lecture Series Endowed Fund?

The University of Massachusetts Amherst Alumni Association has announced the recipients of its annual student scholarships and awards, and six high-achieving undergraduates from the College of Engineering were among them. The engineering recipients were: Industrial Engineering major Avery Stroman ’16, who won a $750 Alumni Merit-Based SAA Scholarship; Mechanical Engineering major Aaron Annan '15, Computer System Engineering major Michael Bjorge '15, Civil Engineering major Marissa Shea '15, and Chemical Engineering major Marianne Sleiman '15, who all received $750 William F. Field Alumni Scholarships; and Electrical Engineering major Joshua Hodge ’14, who received a $500 Senior Leadership Award.

Justin Calderara, an undergraduate in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, figured prominently in a video about Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III, chairman of Gov. Deval L. Patrick’s STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) Advisory Council, when the congressman toured the recently completed University of Massachusetts Amherst Life Science Laboratory and Integrated Sciences Building. Calderara took part in lively student discussions with Congressman Kennedy concerning the university’s STEM Diversity Institute and its Integrated Concentration in Science (ICONS) program. After trading observations with Calderara and a tableful of other UMass undergrads, Congressman Kennedy called the group “tremendously impressive.” View the video at http://www.umass.edu/newsoffice/article/congressman-joseph-p-kennedy-iii-tours.

Ryan Wade, a five-year-old from Northampton, was recently featured in a story on WGGB-TV 40 about how a team of UMass Amherst students from the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department and College of Nursing helped him by designing a mechanical arm to aid with routine tasks such as feeding himself. Ryan has a condition that doesn’t allow him to bend his arms, so the four engineering students and one nursing student created the mechanical arm with help from faculty members. The team is made up of MIE seniors Brian Cormier, Andrew Friedlieb, Catherine Paquin, and Kyle Morrell, and School of Nursing student Emily Gardner. Watch WGGB-TV 40 video.

An article by alumnus Brian Mullen (B.S.M.E ’04, M.S.M.E. ’07, Ph.D. ’09), the co-founder of Therapeutic Systems and its Vayu deep pressure vest for soothing people with Autism, was carried in the February 13 edition of Boston.com, the daily website of the Boston Globe. The Mullen article appeared in a section of Boston.com entitled Global Business Hub (connecting the state business community with the world) and was entitled “Engineering better mental health Solutions.” Mullen founded Therapeutic Systems with Chris Leidel (B.S.M.E. ’04 and M.B.A. ISOM ’09) during his time as a graduate student and based on his research with Professor Sundar Krishnamurty of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department. Read the Boston.com article: http://www.boston.com/business/blogs/global-business-hub/2014/02/engineering_bet.html

Two College of Engineering graduate students were among the 10 UMass recipients of the Spring 2014 Eugene M. Isenberg Scholarships. The engineering awardees were Michael Prokle, studying Industrial Engineering and Operations Research in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, and Akshaya Shanmugam of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department. This gift was established by Eugene M. Isenberg, a 1950 graduate of UMass Amherst and the retired CEO of Nabors Industries, Inc., and his wife Ronnie Isenberg. The scholarships are awarded to UMass Amherst graduate students who demonstrate academic merit and a commitment to the integration of science or engineering with management.