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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 Research.gov 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.

Erin Baker of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department and Eleni Christofa of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department have been awarded Sustainability Curriculum Initiative grants of $1,000 each from the UMass Amherst Libraries. The Libraries awarded the grants to nine faculty members to support revising existing courses and include or augment sustainability topics.

Andrew Dodd, a junior mechanical engineering major in the Commonwealth Honors College, has been accepted into the ultra-competitive Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program run by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Maryland, for students majoring in science, mathematics, and engineering. Dodd’s extensive background includes three summers of experience in the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), and his research interests are in robotics, photonics, computer-aided design, and coding.

We’ve all seen the problem: Food service employees struggling to tug on those cumbersome, rubbery, hygienic gloves required by law. We’ve all asked ourselves the same question. How many times per day must they yank them on and off? Now a team of seniors from the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department has created an automatic mechanism to help them do it.

Bob Barron, a Ph.D. candidate in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, has been selected for the 2014 Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP) of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Laxenburg, Austria. Barron’s participation in the YSSP will be funded by the National Science Foundation in cooperation with the National Academy of Sciences.

On April 30, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., 23 student teams of seniors from the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst will demonstrate the prototypes of their useful, inventive, and brilliant designs for all to see. Visitors are welcome to this capstone event, which will be staged in the Gunness Student Center of Marcus Hall, and includes groundbreaking projects created by both mechanical engineering and industrial engineering seniors.

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.

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.

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