The University of Massachusetts Amherst will honor two extraordinary College of Engineering graduates during Undergraduate Commencement on Friday, May 12, at McGuirk Alumni Stadium, beginning at 4:30 p.m. Mechanical engineering major Victor K. Champagne III will be celebrated as both a 21st Century Leader and a Jack Welch Scholar, while electrical engineering major James M. Prescott will be toasted as a Jack Welch Scholar.
Professor David Schmidt of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department and Professor Sarah Perry of the Chemical Engineering (ChE) Department have been selected to receive the two 2017 Outstanding Teaching Awards in the College of Engineering. Schmidt was cited by the selection committee for his commitment to redeveloping both of the first-year courses in MIE and for his history of mentoring undergraduate and graduate research students. Perry was recognized for her approach and success in teaching first-year students and for her development of a novel course in microfluidics. The two awards will be celebrated during the COE Senior Recognition Celebration to be held on Saturday, May 13, 2017.
On May 2 the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department will hold its annual Senior Design Project competition, the climax and showcase event for this MIE capstone course, “MIE 415: Design of Mechanical Systems.” The course and its year-end competition are considered “the integrative culminating experience” of the education in the MIE department. This required course for every mechanical engineering (ME) senior is designed as the zenith of the entire undergraduate engineering education for every student in the department. The event, which is free and open to all visitors, will take place from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the Campus Center Auditorium on the UMass Amherst campus.
Two of the three prize-winners in the Graduate School’s recent inaugural Three Minute Thesis (3MT) contest were from the College of Engineering, which also boasted five of the 10 finalists. The runner-up, whose prize was $500, was Seydeh Shirin Montazeri of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department, and her 3MT dealt with “Future Telescopes Will Reveal the Hidden Universe.” The People’s Choice Award of $500 was taken by Destenie Nock of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department, doing a 3MT on “Where Should Our Electricity Come From?”
On March 25, our generous alumnus and donor Kenneth Lloyd visited his alma mater with his family and was hosted by Professor Sundar Krishnamurty, the head of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department. In 2012 Mr. Lloyd established the Kenneth A. Lloyd Fellowship, awarded annually to a qualified incoming doctoral student in the MIE department who shows exceptional potential for success in his or her field, with a preference given to female applicants. Mr. Lloyd of Duxbury, Massachusetts, graduated from the College of Engineering in 1973, having majored in mechanical engineering.
UMass Amherst alumnus Marshall Jones, who earned his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in our Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, will be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame on May 4 for his pioneering work on industrial lasers. At the organization’s 45th annual induction ceremony in May, Jones will join the likes of other inductees such as Tesla, Edison, and the Wright Brothers. The induction ceremony is billed by the National Inventors Hall of Fame as “The greatest celebration of American innovation…Here we honor and celebrate the world’s foremost inventors and their contributions to society.”
Professor Erin Baker of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department is one of seven faculty members from UMass Amherst named as Public Engagement Faculty Fellows by the Public Engagement Project (PEP). PEP supports and trains faculty members to use their research for contributing to social change, informing public policy, and enriching public debate. Baker and the other PEP fellows will each receive a $1,500 stipend and technical training in communicating with non-academic audiences. The PEP fellows will also travel to Beacon Hill to share their research with Massachusetts lawmakers.
Five of the 10 finalists in the final round of the Graduate School’s inaugural Three Minute Thesis (3MT) contest are from the College of Engineering. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held on March 24 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom. See event flyer. 3MT finalists will highlight their research in engaging three-minute presentations, with $1,000 going to the winner, $500 to the runner-up, and $500 to the People’s Choice as voted on by the audience. Light refreshments will be provided for the audience so, for catering purposes, pre-registration is requested: pre-register here »
Two of the seven teams competing in April for the finals of the University of Massachusetts Innovation Challenge are from the College of Engineering. This year-long series of entrepreneurial competitions will climax on April 6 at 5:00 p.m. in the Campus Center Amherst Room, when the seven teams of finalists will be competing for $65,000 in funding to support their ventures. Thus far, during the 12th year of the annual Innovation Challenge, 61 pitches have been heard, and a total of $17,000 has been awarded to promising and enterprising ventures. The two engineering teams will be pitching an economical water-treatment device for community water systems and an inexpensive blood-analysis tool for dialysis patients.
Assistant Professor Shannon Roberts arrived in the UMass Amherst Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department on September 1, 2016, bringing a wealth of experience, research, and expertise, all generated during a relatively short career as an industrial engineering specialist. The Roberts Research Group is focused on studying human factors in transportation safety by: designing and implementing driving feedback systems; analyzing human factors issues of vehicle cybersecurity; studying impaired driving (e.g., drugged driving and distracted driving); using advanced computational models for data analysis; and promoting behavior change using social influence.