University of Massachusetts Amherst

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On Friday, September 26, the College of Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst held its fifth annual Outstanding Alumni Awards Celebration during Homecoming Weekend. The celebration included two events. The first was a Leadership Panel featuring award winners. The second was the Outstanding Alumni Awards and Reception, involving the presentation of College of Engineering Outstanding Senior and Junior Alumni Awards to eight individuals who, through exemplary accomplishments, epitomize the potential of an education at the UMass Amherst College of Engineering.

Graduate student Zana Cranmer of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department spent the summer collaborating with the Systems Analysis Lab (SAL) at Aalto University, just outside of Helsinki, Finland. She worked with Finnish researchers to develop a model to examine optimal planning approaches for long-term, large-scale, offshore wind development. This summer project will facilitate Cranmer’s ongoing research for MIE’s highly selective graduate program in Offshore Wind Energy Engineering, Environmental Science, and Policy, started with a $3.2-million grant from the National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT).

Contact: Ed Blaguszewski 413/545-0444

AMHERST, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Amherst now ranks among the nation’s Top 30 public universities, moving up 10 spots during the past year in the 2015 Best Colleges guide released today by U.S. News & World Report. There are more than 600 public, four-year colleges in the country, and U.S. News ranks the best 122 National Public Universities.

The College of Engineering welcomes nine new faculty members, some of whom arrived last spring, some of whom are arriving for the fall semester, and the rest reporting in January of 2015. Boris Lau and Eric Gonzales are joining the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. Sarah Perry and Jungwoo Lee are part of the Chemical Engineering Department. Daniel Holcomb and Jianhua Yang are new members of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. And Maureen Lynch, Chaitra Gopalappa, and Jae-Hwang Lee are joining the faculty in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department.

Most of us have heard Ralph Waldo Emerson’s famous quip: “Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.” His quote aptly sums up one important impact of the Senior Capstone Design course required for every senior in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. During each semester-long Senior Capstone Design course, companies and other organizations beat a path to the doors of the college, where they sponsor teams of talented MIE students to answer the worldwide call for a better mousetrap and brilliant new mechanical devices of every kind.

Two researchers from UMass Amherst have concluded that making investments in energy technologies to deal with climate change will always produce a positive payoff. Erin D. Baker, associate professor of mechanical and industrial engineering, and Senay Solak, assistant professor of operations and information management, published their findings recently in the journal Production and Operations Management.

As a result of the hard work, motivation, and coordination from Associate Dean David Ford, a collective effort at the College of Engineering and UMass Amherst contributed in several key ways to the recent White House celebration of the national “Maker Movement,” aimed at inspiring students and other young innovators to excel in the invention, design, and engineering of creative new devices of every kind. One result of the collective endeavor was that one UMass maker program was cited on page 5 of a White House document summarizing the national effort...

Dr. Briana Tomboulian, a NASA Graduate Research Fellow who earned her Ph.D. from the UMass Amherst Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department in June, has been chosen by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) to serve as the 2014-2015 ASME Congressional Fellow. The goal of ASME Congressional Fellows is to advise legislators on key science and technology issues that are often beyond the grasp of non-scientists.

Mechanical engineering major Moijue Kaikai has been selected for a UMass Amherst award by the Provost’s Committee on Service-Learning because of his array of community service activities during his undergraduate career at the university. “I am writing to congratulate you!” said John Reiff, the director of UMass Civic Engagement and Service-Learning. “You were nominated by [Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Professor] Erin Baker for an award, the Academic Engagement for Community Transformation Award, which recognizes your leadership, academic excellence, and contribution to a community.”

Research by Professor Erin Baker of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department was included as a recent NSF Highlight on the website, posted by the National Science Foundation to spotlight outstanding research that it has funded. Baker’s highlight was entitled "The role of uncertainty in technology selection" and was based upon the following NSF Award: Collaborative Research: Choosing a Portfolio of Technology Policies in an Uncertain World.