University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Ian Grosse, a researcher for the NSF Center for eDesign and a professor in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, is a member on one of the two research teams that recently received awards from UMass Amherst’s Armstrong Fund for Science. The team of Duncan Irschick of the Biology Department, Grosse, and Brian Umberger of the Kinesiology Department is involved in a project called “Creation of a 3D motion freezer to understand human and animal locomotion.” The Armstrong Fund will grant $30,000 to the project over the next two years to encourage transformative research on campus that introduces new ways of thinking about pressing scientific or technical challenges.

On May 2 the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department held its annual Senior Design Project competition, the climax and showcase event for the department’s capstone course, “MIE 415: Design of Mechanical Systems.” Eight winning projects showed off sophisticated inventions ranging from a revolutionary new electric blender to a sleek new adult tricycle frame.

The University of Massachusetts Amherst will honor two extraordinary College of Engineering graduates during Undergraduate Commencement on Friday, May 12, at McGuirk Alumni Stadium, beginning at 4:30 p.m. Mechanical engineering major Victor K. Champagne III will be celebrated as both a 21st Century Leader and a Jack Welch Scholar, while electrical engineering major James M. Prescott will be toasted as a Jack Welch Scholar.

Professor David Schmidt of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department and Professor Sarah Perry of the Chemical Engineering (ChE) Department have been selected to receive the two 2017 Outstanding Teaching Awards in the College of Engineering. Schmidt was cited by the selection committee for his commitment to redeveloping both of the first-year courses in MIE and for his history of mentoring undergraduate and graduate research students. Perry was recognized for her approach and success in teaching first-year students and for her development of a novel course in microfluidics. The two awards will be celebrated during the COE Senior Recognition Celebration to be held on Saturday, May 13, 2017.

On May 2 the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department will hold its annual Senior Design Project competition, the climax and showcase event for this MIE capstone course, “MIE 415: Design of Mechanical Systems.” The course and its year-end competition are considered “the integrative culminating experience” of the education in the MIE department. This required course for every mechanical engineering (ME) senior is designed as the zenith of the entire undergraduate engineering education for every student in the department. The event, which is free and open to all visitors, will take place from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the Campus Center Auditorium on the UMass Amherst campus.

Two of the three prize-winners in the Graduate School’s recent inaugural Three Minute Thesis (3MT) contest were from the College of Engineering, which also boasted five of the 10 finalists. The runner-up, whose prize was $500, was Seydeh Shirin Montazeri of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department, and her 3MT dealt with “Future Telescopes Will Reveal the Hidden Universe.” The People’s Choice Award of $500 was taken by Destenie Nock of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department, doing a 3MT on “Where Should Our Electricity Come From?”

On March 25, our generous alumnus and donor Kenneth Lloyd visited his alma mater with his family and was hosted by Professor Sundar Krishnamurty, the head of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department. In 2012 Mr. Lloyd established the Kenneth A. Lloyd Fellowship, awarded annually to a qualified incoming doctoral student in the MIE department who shows exceptional potential for success in his or her field, with a preference given to female applicants. Mr. Lloyd of Duxbury, Massachusetts, graduated from the College of Engineering in 1973, having majored in mechanical engineering.

UMass Amherst alumnus Marshall Jones, who earned his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in our Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, will be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame on May 4 for his pioneering work on industrial lasers. At the organization’s 45th annual induction ceremony in May, Jones will join the likes of other inductees such as Tesla, Edison, and the Wright Brothers. The induction ceremony is billed by the National Inventors Hall of Fame as “The greatest celebration of American innovation…Here we honor and celebrate the world’s foremost inventors and their contributions to society.”

Professor Erin Baker of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department is one of seven faculty members from UMass Amherst named as Public Engagement Faculty Fellows by the Public Engagement Project (PEP). PEP supports and trains faculty members to use their research for contributing to social change, informing public policy, and enriching public debate. Baker and the other PEP fellows will each receive a $1,500 stipend and technical training in communicating with non-academic audiences. The PEP fellows will also travel to Beacon Hill to share their research with Massachusetts lawmakers.

Five of the 10 finalists in the final round of the Graduate School’s inaugural Three Minute Thesis (3MT) contest are from the College of Engineering. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held on March 24 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom. See event flyer. 3MT finalists will highlight their research in engaging three-minute presentations, with $1,000 going to the winner, $500 to the runner-up, and $500 to the People’s Choice as voted on by the audience. Light refreshments will be provided for the audience so, for catering purposes, pre-registration is requested: pre-register here »

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