The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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The 2019 Minuteman Supermileage Team took fifth place out of 30 international teams in the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) annual Supermileage® Competition, held on June 6 and 7 in Marshall, Michigan, at the Eaton Corporation Marshall Proving Grounds. The UMass team from the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department also won the competition’s Best Design Execution Award.

Six innovative projects, created by seniors in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department for their Senior Design Project course, won various prizes during the Capstone Design Competition at the end of the spring semester. The two-semester course is considered the “culminating experience” of the MIE education. During the event, four years of hard work, study, and sweat equity converged into a perfect storm of timing, knowledge, execution, and peak performance.

Doctoral student Prashant Meckoni of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department won first place in the Best Student Paper competition during the Health Systems Track at the Institute of Industrial & Systems EngineersIISE Annual Conference. Meckoni’s winning paper was titled “Appointment Scheduling in Primary Care with Recurring Visits,” and his faculty advisor is MIE Professor Hari Balasubramanian.

James F. Manwell, a professor in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department and the director of the UMass Wind Energy Center, is a member of the United Nations Wind Energy Sub-group of the Expert Group on Resource Management (EGRM), which recently drafted a key UN document to apply standard international specifications to wind energy resources everywhere.

Assistant Professor Xian Du of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department is one of 12 winners in the 2019-20 TIDE Ambassadors (Teaching for Inclusiveness, Diversity, and Equity) faculty fellowship awards, as chosen by the UMass Institute for Teaching Excellence and Faculty Development.

On March 26, the newest faculty member in our Mechanical Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department, Dr. Woodrow W. Winchester III, lectured at Gonzaga University on “Afrofuturism as a Design Lens for Inclusive Technological Innovation” during the Gonzaga Student Body Association’s Intersectionality Week. A press release issued by Gonzaga reported that Winchester talked about how to address racial biases in the design and engineering of technological products and systems such as soap dispensers that only recognize pale hands, facial recognition sensors that can’t see dark faces, or health-tech gadgets that won’t sense a pulse through black skin.

Four outstanding College of Engineering undergraduates from two different departments are being honored with assorted awards at Commencement on May 10 and the College of Engineering Senior Recognition Celebration on May 11. Awardees from our college include three 21st Century Leaders and one Welch Scholar. The college also has one junior designated for the prestigious Goldwater Scholar.

Yanfei Xu is co-author of a study that shows how to build polymer films that conduct heat as well or better than some metals and ceramics. The researchers say they can transform polymers that usually function as thermal insulators, into highly efficient thermal conductors that can transfer heat four times higher than stainless steel.

Assistant Professor Jinglei Ping of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department has received a Discovery Award of over $270,000 from the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs. The goal of Ping’s research is to develop a miniaturized device for precise quantification of heavy metals in a drop of human blood at the point of care.

Senior industrial engineering major Rebecca Castonguay, a Commonwealth College honors student, has been selected among six undergraduates from across the campus to receive the spring UMass Amherst Rising Researcher Award (Six Undergraduates Named Spring 2019 Rising Researchers). The Rising Researcher program celebrates undergraduate students who excel in research, scholarship, or creative activity. Learn more about the Rising Researchers here.

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