University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Vroom Vroom Carbon Fiber 1 (VVCF-1), the 2010 entry for the UMass Amherst Supermileage Team (SMV) in the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) national supermileage competition in Marshall, Michigan, on June 10 and 11, finished a very respectable eighth in the field of 33 teams by logging an impressive 828 mpg. It was a big improvement over the performance of VVCF-1 last year, which did 536 mpg in the same competition.

An article in the May issue of Industrial Engineer Magazine, the magazine of the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE), covered the research of Matthew Romoser, a senior research assistant in the Human Performance Laboratory. The article was entitled “Don’t text, or drink, behind the wheel.” Romoser’s statistics indicate that texting while driving increases your chances of crashing by at least 20 times over driving without such a distraction, while driving while cell-phoning ups your chances of an accident by four to six times.

Art Teixeira (B.S. Mechanical Engineering 1966, M.S. Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering 1968, Ph.D. Food and Agricultural Engineering 1971) has been named a Fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). He'll receive the honor at the organization's annual meeting this July in Chicago. Dr. Teixeira, now a professor with the University of Florida's (UF) Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department, was one of 18 academic, government, and industry experts elected as 2010 IFT Fellows.

Professional baseball scouts use the ungrammatical but colorful adjective “toolsy” to describe players who have all the “tools,” or abilities, to play the game at its highest level. “Toolsy” also serves as an accurate modifier to describe all the industrial engineering seniors who recently completed Dr. Jenna Marquard’s MIE 478 capstone course. It makes them toolsy enough to ply their trade at the highest professional level. According to the official course description, MIE 478 acts as “an integration of industrial engineering/operations research principles and procedures into the design of an operating system.”

Professor Emeritus Klaus E. Kroner of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department died on May 13 in Northampton surrounded by his family. Professor Kroner started his teaching career at NYU, followed by two years at the University of Maine Orono, before coming to the UMass Amherst College of Engineering in 1957. He also taught occasionally at Holyoke and Greenfield Community Colleges.

The UMass Amherst chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) annual auction, held on May 1 to raise money for its projects in Kenya and the Amazon, netted $11,000 this year, $3,000 more than last year’s event. The EWB chapter is a student organization dedicated to helping local and international communities create sustainable engineering projects to improve their quality of life. This year’s fund-raising was aided by gold-level sponsorship contributions of $2,500 from Robert Brack ’60, chairman of the Barker Steel Company of Milford, Massachusetts, and the Tighe & Bond company, with offices in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

The UMass News & Media Relations Office has produced two very informative and complimentary videos about The Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA) and our campus chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB). The videos demonstrate quite graphically how CASA and EWB are both making big waves reaching far beyond campus. The CASA video describes the organization’s revolutionary new weather-sensing radar networks, while the EWB video (UMass Engineers Without Borders Head to Kenya) covers the group’s new well, installed this fall in Western Kenya.

Work done by the college’s Human Performance Laboratory for the Arbella Insurance Group Charitable Foundation, a program called Distractology 101 that teaches novice drivers how to pay attention at the wheel and forgo using electronic devices, was featured on the Today Show. The creation of Distractology 101 was directed by Donald Fisher, head of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department and director of the Human Performance Laboratory.

Thomas Sebastian, a graduate student in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, has won the Solar Energy Division Graduate Student Award for 2010, as presented by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). The international award is representative of the top graduate student in renewable energy, including wind energy. Sebastian’s research deals with floating, offshore, wind turbines.

Precision Slip – a team led by mechanical engineering graduate student Robert Daniello and his faculty advisor, Dr. Jonathan Rothstein of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department – has won the $50,000 grand prize in the University of Massachusetts Amherst Innovation Challenge Final Business Plan Competition. The winning team plans to produce drag-reducing marine coatings, a nanotechnology developed by Rothstein that will dramatically cut fuel consumption and significantly increase speed of watercraft.

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