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Research by Donald Fisher, head of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department and director of the Arbella Human Performance Laboratory, is cited by editorials in the Salem News and Newburyport Daily News calling for stricter monitoring and ticketing of drivers who text while behind the wheel.

Wystan Carswell, a doctoral student in the UMass IGERT Offshore Wind Energy Program, has been in Norway for the past five months serving on a research post at the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute in Oslo. Carswell was the subject of a feature story on the website of her alma mater, Lafayette College. “The ultimate goal of my research is to reduce the cost of generating offshore wind energy, making it more economically appealing,” says Carswell. “Renewable energy is only going to gain importance in the global paradigm.

A collapsible, portable, multi-purpose tower made for U.S. Army base camps in the field won first prize in the competition for the best senior capstone design project in the Mechanical and Engineering (MIE) Department this year. The competition was held on May 1, when 15 teams of seniors demonstrated the prototypes of their useful, inventive, and brilliant designs. The winning team of Joseph Boisvert, Michael Covino, Christopher Dinan, Brandon Hicks, and Kyle Pereira conceived, designed, and built the scale model of a mobile tower for the U.S.

On May 23, the last day to vote on the national IGERT Online Video and Poster Competition, Principal Investigator Erin Baker of the UMass IGERT Offshore Wind Energy Program issued an urgent message for the entire College of Engineering Community: “We are in the top five vote-getters [out of over 200] in the NSF video poster contest. Please watch the video, hit the public choice button, and vote for us.

Hari Balasubramanian of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has been issued a $400,000 grant from the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program. The award represents the 34th NSF CAREER grant issued to faculty members from the UMass College of Engineering, and the fourth during the 2012-2013 academic year.

The College of Engineering was well-represented on April 26 during the 19th Annual Statewide Undergraduate Research Conference at the UMass Amherst Campus Center. Some 23 students from chemical, civil, and mechanical engineering were among more than 830 students from campuses across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts giving poster and oral presentations from a wide range of academic disciplines throughout the day.

Alumnus Charles F. Perrell, investor and principal in Perrell Ventures, received a Distinguished Achievement Award, recognizing high accomplishment in a given field or profession and notable contributions to society, when 5,500 graduating seniors gathered at McGuirk Alumni Stadium on May 10 for Undergraduate Commencement. Now retired, Perrell has been a prominent engineer, businessman, venture capitalist, philanthropist, and recipient of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Distinguished Alumni Award.

A press release issued by the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society spotlights a study by Research Professor Matthew Romoser of the Arbella Human Performance Laboratory in our Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department. His new study shows that healthy older drivers, 70 to 89 years of age, retained safe-driver training two years after taking a driver behavior-modification course at the laboratory in 2009. The 2009 training emphasized safe road-scanning conduct at intersections by retraining older drivers to take secondary looks at the cross traffic coming from both directions.

The Diversity Programs Office (DPO) held its annual Diversity Celebration, honoring outstanding individuals and society programs, as well as saluting various people who enriched the DPO experience this year. DPO Director Paula Rees handed out individual awards to Jason Asirifi of the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department and Jenn Badylak-Reals of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department as the Exceptional Seniors. Then Dr. Rees gave awards to two Emerging Leaders, Xuyen Mai of the CEE department and Italo De Souza of the MIE department.

On May 1, 15 student teams of seniors from the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst demonstrated the prototypes of their useful, inventive, and brilliant designs for all to see. Some of the projects included a wind turbine blade composed of environmentally friendly composite fibers; an assembly line station for a new mechanical power-transmission product; and a collapsible, multi-purpose tower for U.S. Army basecamps.

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