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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.

The Senior Design Capstone course in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department – called MIE 415 or “The Design of Mechanical Systems” – has made a quantum leap in the number of sponsored projects its students are working on this semester. This required course for every MIE senior, which is designed as the zenith of the entire undergraduate engineering education for every student in the department, currently features 13 industry-sponsored projects introduced by 10 sponsoring companies in need of creative, practical, and economical mechanical designs from our budding engineers.

On January 20 through 22, a multi-institutional team, including graduate student Vanessa Martinez of our UMass Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department, presented a very creative, beneficial, and practical proposal for a new humanitarian company called Rx4All, a medication-recycling program which was chosen for one of four prizes from 33 competing projects in the Yale Healthcare Hackathon, held at the Yale Medical School in New Haven, Connecticut. The theme of the hackathon was “Re-engineering Patient Experience and Provider Engagement.”

Shelly Peyton, chemical engineering, and Jae-Hwang Lee, mechanical engineering, are part of a team working to understand cavitation damage in soft tissues and gels with $2.6 million grant from the Office of Naval Research. Read more from the UMass News Office.

Professor Frank Sup of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department is collaborating with Professor Jane Kent of the Kinesiology Department on a groundbreaking non-magnetic ergometer, which can be used in conjunction with a magnetic resonance (MR) machine to conduct pioneering MR imaging and spectroscopy studies of human muscle function.

Have a sustainability project idea? Want to create change on campus? Apply for funding through the Sustainability Innovation and Engagement Fund (SIEF) by February 20th, 2017!

Undergraduates Rune Percy and Alex Smith of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department won one of the eight prizes handed out at the second competition of the 2016-2017 Innovation Challenge series with their successful “Seed Pitch.” Calling their fledgling company ARBioDesign, Percy and Smith are researching and developing a groundbreaking on-line device that can quickly, continuously, and accurately measure key electrolytes such as potassium in dialysis patients without the need for additional blood testing at a lab. More about the Seed Pitch Competition »

Chaitra Gopalappa, an assistant professor in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department, was invited to make a presentation as a Session Speaker at the National Academy of Sciences’ 15th Japanese American Kavli Frontiers of Science symposium on December 2 to 4 in Irvine, California. “This symposium series is the Academy’s premiere activity for distinguished young scientists,” as National Academy of Sciences (NAS) President Marcia McNutt explained. The title of Gopalappa’s presentation was “Analyses of national and global strategic plans for disease prevention and control.”

 

On December 8, the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department’s 415 Senior Capstone Design course, taught by MIE Professors Frank Sup and Bernd Schliemann, held its fall-semester poster contest, and the three winning teams produced a trio of brilliant and practical inventions aimed at solving significant engineering problems. During the semester their engineering ideas went from the concept stage to the actual fabrication of three ingenious proof-of-concept prototypes, chosen as the top projects: a device to measure the tissue forces acting on an instrument during arthroscopic surgery; a sub-occipital release device for relieving neck tension; and a hands-free foot-pedal mechanism for operating a toilet seat.

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