University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Ryan Wade, a five-year-old from Northampton, was recently featured in a story on WGGB-TV 40 about how a team of UMass Amherst students from the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department and College of Nursing helped him by designing a mechanical arm to aid with routine tasks such as feeding himself. Ryan has a condition that doesn’t allow him to bend his arms, so the four engineering students and one nursing student created the mechanical arm with help from faculty members.

An article by alumnus Brian Mullen (B.S.M.E ’04, M.S.M.E. ’07, Ph.D. ’09), the co-founder of Therapeutic Systems and its Vayu deep pressure vest for soothing people with Autism, was carried in the February 13 edition of Boston.com, the daily website of the Boston Globe.

Two College of Engineering graduate students were among the 10 UMass recipients of the Spring 2014 Eugene M. Isenberg Scholarships. The engineering awardees were Michael Prokle, studying Industrial Engineering and Operations Research in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, and Akshaya Shanmugam of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department. This gift was established by Eugene M. Isenberg, a 1950 graduate of UMass Amherst and the retired CEO of Nabors Industries, Inc., and his wife Ronnie Isenberg.

Using engineering methods supplied by Professor Ian Grosse of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, a team of researchers report in an issue of Evolution that they have introduced a new approach that combines evolutionary and engineering analyses to identify the targets of natural selection.

On Thursday, January 30, the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst hosted the ribbon-cutting ceremony for its Altra Industrial Motion Innovation Shop, which provides space outfitted with the latest industry tools, instruments, and computers to support MIE projects, including all their design, modeling, manufacturing, and testing activities. The groundbreaking shop was named in honor of Altra Industrial Motion for its lead gift to support a fundraising effort to modernize the space.

A long feature story in the Daily Hampshire Gazette looked at Ryan Wade, a five-year-old Northampton boy who has a new mechanical arm he uses to feed himself because a genetic abnormality prevents him from full use of his arms and elbows. Students from Professor Frank Sup’s MIE 415 Senior Capstone Design course in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department invented the device.

Dr. Marshall Jones, an alumnus of the UMass Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department and an engineer at GE Global Research, was a recipient of the 2013 UMass Amherst “Salute to Service” award in Boston (read articles in Digital Journal and Dealbreaker.com). Since joining General Electric Global Research Center in 1974, Jones has received 54 U.S.

On Oct 18th at TedxSpringfield, alumnus Brian Mullen (B.S.M.E ’04, M.S.M.E. ’07, Ph.D. ’09) delivered a TEDx talk in which he shared his journey as an engineer entering the field of mental health and brain disorders to develop products to improve quality of life and enhance the quality of care for a variety of sufferers. View Mullen’s TEDx talk on You Tube. TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is a set of conferences owned by the private non-profit Sapling Foundation under the slogan "ideas worth spreading."

On December 6 in the Campus Center Auditorium, 170 junior and senior students in the ECE 361 Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering course showed off some 40 model “smart cars” they had designed during the course as collision-avoiding vehicles. This course is intended to provide non-electrical engineering majors, in this case students from the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department, with the relevant electrical and electronic engineering concepts and device knowledge to work effectively in multi-disciplined design, development, and manufacturing teams.

To date donations of just over $26,000 have been raised toward our $50k challenge from Altra Industrial Motion. Altra Industrial, led by President and CEO Carl Christenson ('82 B.S., '84 M.S., Mechanical Engineering), has made a substantial challenge grant that will double every gift to the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department’s Innovation Shop up to $50,000. Mr. Christenson has been a longtime supporter of the College of Engineering and a personal annual donor to the undergraduate scholarship program within the college.

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