University of Massachusetts Amherst

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On December 5, Professor David McLaughlin of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department held his second, annual, end-of-class demonstration of model, collision-avoiding  “smart cars,” as built by the students in his Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering course, ECE 361. The event is a sort of anti-demolition derby, in which 60 model smart cars, built in teams by the 193 mechanical and industrial engineering students in McLaughlin’s class, duck, dodge, and dart across the floor in a choreography of collision avoidance.

Jae-Hwang Lee, a faculty member in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is the lead and corresponding author of an article published on November 28 In Science magazine. The article describes special high-tech ballistic testing of natural graphene which demonstrates experimentally for the first time how this material can be used to construct a lighter, more protective, kind of bulletproof vest.

Two faculty members in the UMass Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department who were named faculty fellows by the campus Civic Engagement and Service Learning (CESL) unit have spent the past year adding community service activities to their classes. The CESL faculty fellows from MIE are Ana Muriel and Hari Balasubramanian. The CESL fellowships add service learning and community service to Ana Muriel’s MIE 422 course, entitled “Statistical Quality Control and Improvement.”

Dr. Paul Witherell, an alumnus of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department, has received the 2014 Young Engineer Award from the Computers and Information in Engineering (CIE) Division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The CIE division sponsors the Young Engineer Award to recognize a promising young investigator who is making outstanding contributions to the progress in the application of computers in engineering. Read article.

An article in the Taunton Gazette about teenage drivers being statistically more likely to be in car crashes than drivers from any other age group mentions the “Distractology 101” program, designed by the UMass Amherst College of Engineering in conjunction with the Arbella Insurance Foundation. In the past, Distractology 101 has been featured on the Today Show, the Boston Globe, and hundreds of other newspapers, TV shows, and websites. The Distractology 101 program brings a driving simulator to high schools across southern New England to teach students about the dangers of distracted driving, especially texting while driving.

On Friday, September 26, the College of Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst held its fifth annual Outstanding Alumni Awards Celebration during Homecoming Weekend. The celebration included two events. The first was a Leadership Panel featuring award winners. The second was the Outstanding Alumni Awards and Reception, involving the presentation of College of Engineering Outstanding Senior and Junior Alumni Awards to eight individuals who, through exemplary accomplishments, epitomize the potential of an education at the UMass Amherst College of Engineering.

Graduate student Zana Cranmer of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department spent the summer collaborating with the Systems Analysis Lab (SAL) at Aalto University, just outside of Helsinki, Finland. She worked with Finnish researchers to develop a model to examine optimal planning approaches for long-term, large-scale, offshore wind development. This summer project will facilitate Cranmer’s ongoing research for MIE’s highly selective graduate program in Offshore Wind Energy Engineering, Environmental Science, and Policy, started with a $3.2-million grant from the National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT).

Contact: Ed Blaguszewski 413/545-0444

AMHERST, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Amherst now ranks among the nation’s Top 30 public universities, moving up 10 spots during the past year in the 2015 Best Colleges guide released today by U.S. News & World Report. There are more than 600 public, four-year colleges in the country, and U.S. News ranks the best 122 National Public Universities.

The College of Engineering welcomes nine new faculty members, some of whom arrived last spring, some of whom are arriving for the fall semester, and the rest reporting in January of 2015. Boris Lau and Eric Gonzales are joining the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. Sarah Perry and Jungwoo Lee are part of the Chemical Engineering Department. Daniel Holcomb and Jianhua Yang are new members of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. And Maureen Lynch, Chaitra Gopalappa, and Jae-Hwang Lee are joining the faculty in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department.

Most of us have heard Ralph Waldo Emerson’s famous quip: “Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.” His quote aptly sums up one important impact of the Senior Capstone Design course required for every senior in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. During each semester-long Senior Capstone Design course, companies and other organizations beat a path to the doors of the college, where they sponsor teams of talented MIE students to answer the worldwide call for a better mousetrap and brilliant new mechanical devices of every kind.