University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Calling all MIE STUDENTS
COME HEAR Alumnus
 
CARL CHRISTENSON
B.S.M.E. 1982 & M.S.M.E. 1984
President and CEO
Altra Industrial Motion
Talk about creating opportunities with your engineering degree!
 
Wednesday, April 20th at Noon
Exploratorium – 203 - ELAB

 
Pizza and soda will
Be served
 

AMHERST, Mass. - Registration is open for the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s newest online wind energy course, "Engineering Wind Power Systems," developed by professors James Manwell and Jon McGowan, authors of the canonical engineering textbook Wind Energy Explained: Theory, Design and Application.

The graduate level wind course draws on their experiences as wind energy pioneers to provide students with a unique perspective on both proven and state of the art technologies, as well as fundamental principles.

Mechanical engineering sophomore Greg Margolis, the president of a new student organization called Let’s Go Design, was an engineer both by nature and nurture. His father was an engineer, so the genes are all in the family. And by the time Greg was a three-year-old wunderkind in San Antonio, Texas, he was busy taking apart his bathroom. It’s not too surprising, then, that by the time he reached the College of Engineering, he was itching to do some hands-on engineering.

When a pike is attacked, the fish escapes by performing a lightning-fast jackknife, which generates a remarkable 25 Gs of acceleration for a tenth of a second – more than three times the acceleration of an Apollo launch and faster than any manmade vehicle. In order to study this amazing reflex action, senior mechanical engineering student Chengcheng “Charlie” Feng used his summer research in the Research Experience for Undergraduates program to build a robotic fish, which can accurately mimic the escape mechanism of a pike.

They call it the “White Coat Syndrome.” Many people get stressed out when they visit their doctors, which makes their blood pressure readings go sky-high. The White Coat Syndrome is only one factor contributing to why the care for diabetics with high blood pressure is described as “woefully inadequate” – especially since two-thirds of diabetics suffer from high blood pressure, and their medication is based on intermittent office visits. To address this dangerous problem, industrial engineer Jenna Marquard is a key researcher in an almost $2-million project.

Mechanical engineer Matthew Lackner is working on the cutting edge of floating wind turbines, a technology that, according to MIT’s prestigious Technology Review, “could hold the key to exploiting” the powerful offshore winds blowing steadily off the Northeastern coast. In order to turn that “key,” Lackner has been working on clever, innovative devices such as “smart rotors” and “tuned vibration absorbers,” which reduce the severe stress placed on working parts of floating turbines and could go a long way toward making them economically feasible.

A crucial step for establishing a national climate change policy, one of the biggest policy decisions facing this country and the world, is deciding which developing energy technologies will best maintain that policy once it’s in place. The next step is calculating exactly how much money to invest in R&D for each of those chosen technologies. These critical steps, in fact, describe the ongoing research of Dr. Erin Baker of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department.

UMass Amherst alums Scot Chisholm ’04 and Pat Walsh ’03 were just “a couple of average guys” when they met as undergraduates in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, but ever since they staged a “StayClassy Pubcrawl” in 2005 to raise money for cancer research, they’ve found themselves as revolutionaries in fundraising for nonprofit organizations. The original San Diego-based event, which attracted 200 pub crawlers and derived its name from the popular Will Ferrell movie, Anchorman, mushroomed into a free online platform and social fundraising service for nonprofits.

Seven years ago, Ciriaco "Cid" da Silva, a 1982 mechanical engineering alumnus, and his wife, Corinne da Silva, left the virtual world of the computer industry for the very real and earthy world of avocado farming. The outgrowth of this major career move is Bella Vado (Avocado Oil), the first U.S. manufacturer of avocado oil. Now Bella Vado is a very real Southern California treasure. In 2003, Cid resigned from his job as a software architect, while Corinne gave up her job as managing director of an Internet marketing firm, so they could purchase a 40-acre avocado grove near Valley Center in Southern California.

When a pike is attacked, the fish escapes by performing a lightning-fast jackknife, which generates a remarkable 25 Gs of acceleration for a tenth of a second – more than three times the acceleration of an Apollo launch. In order to study this amazing reflex action, Dr. Yahya Modarres-Sadeghi of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department has spent the past two years working on two generations of robotic fish, which mimic the escape mechanism of a pike.

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