The Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department recently held its fall-semester poster contest, and the three winning teams produced a trio of brilliant and practical inventions aimed at solving key engineering problems. The three winning teams conceived an inexpensive and comfortable alternative to ski boots, an assistive steering aid for a physically challenged young boy and his power chair, and a nifty wheelchair brake redesign.
Five College of Engineering Students recently participated in the first ever co-op program run by the Coca-Cola plant in Northampton, and, because of their superior performance, they were each asked to make five-minute presentations to 11 company plant managers from the Northeast region and one vice-president from the Eastern U.S. “This is Coca-Cola’s first iteration of its co-op program,” explained co-op participant and mechanical engineering major Michael Schwartz, “and the company as a whole is looking to possibly expand this program to other plants across the nation based on the success the UMass students in Northampton.”
In mid-October, Professor Jonathan Rothstein of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department ran his annual STEM Outreach event at the Houston Children's Museum. “This is the fifth time we have run this event ahead of the Society of Rheology meeting,” said Rothstein. “It is a program that I developed for the Society of Rheology. We have averaged over 300 kids and 30 volunteers over the last five years.”
In late August Professor Ian Grosse of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department received the Distinguished Service Award from the Computers and Information in Engineering (CIE) Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). Grosse earned the award “in recognition and appreciation of leadership and outstanding service to the ASME Computers and Information in Engineering Division.” Grosse was elected an ASME Fellow in 2012.
Professor Wen Chen of the UMass Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department is on a team of scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), UMass Amherst, and Harvard University working on a process for hierarchical 3-D printing of gold that could revolutionize the manufacture of electrochemical reactors, sensors, and actuators. Chen, a former postdoctoral research scientist at LLNL, helped develop an alloying and de-alloying process that was the key to the findings.
An international grant will support pioneering research into a new class of catalysts that will enable the efficient conversion of carbon dioxide to higher-value chemicals and fuels. The National Science Foundation and the US-Israel Binational Science Foundation have awarded a three-year, $340,884 grant to support a groundbreaking research project led by Professor Ashwin Ramasubramaniam of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Undergraduate student Matthew Eden of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department has been selected as one of six finalists for the 2018 Undergraduate O.R. Prize Competition at the annual meeting of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) in Phoenix, Arizona, from November 4 to 7. Eden’s research paper is titled "Evolving contact network algorithm: a new simulation method for modeling HIV, a disease with low prevalence but a critical public health issue in the US."