Inside UMass reports that three members of the College of Engineering faculty have contributed to a seminal white paper issued by the Partnership for Offshore Wind Energy Research (POWER-US). The report (“Reaching Convergence in U.S. Offshore Wind Energy Research: A Multidisciplinary Framework for Innovation”) concludes that the U.S. can tap into a vast offshore wind energy resource and better steward its marine environment by organizing large-scale research and fostering public-private partnerships.
Researchers from the UMass College of Engineering and the University of Waterloo in Canada won the outstanding paper award at the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., on January 15. The winning paper describes their research into virtual-reality headsets to simulate and measure drivers’ hazard-anticipation performance. As the authors say, such research is desirable because virtual headsets are “several orders of magnitude less expensive” than other simulators and “could greatly extend the powers of simulation.
Four engineering and computer science students have conceived a startup company with the goal of circulating life-saving vending machines that can dispense over-the-counter medicine 24 hours a day to anyone with a pressing ailment, such as fever, diarrhea, indigestion, or aches and pains. The team called TransPharm will be competing in at least two entrepreneurship competitions in the coming weeks, and has already been selected as a finalist in one.
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.