University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Recently a team of students in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department (MIE) designed and built an invention that would wow any dog owner. It’s a sort of dog-operated fetch-o-matic. The machine hurls a ball and is then re-triggered each time the canine retrieves it and drops it in a funnel. MIE Head Donald Fisher uses this example to demonstrate the kind of clever idea that needs a place to incubate within a warm and welcoming space, where his students can gather, connect, brainstorm, and collaborate.

A long feature article and related editorial in Business West detailed the collaboration between the new Precision Manufacturing Regional Alliance Project (PMRAP) with two departments at UMass Amherst, including Professor Sundar Krishnamurty and other faculty members in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department. The collaboration fosters open dialogue designed to develop ways in which research at UMass Amherst can help area manufacturers create new products, develop more efficient processes, and use lighter, stronger materials.

Erin Baker of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department is one of four researchers from the University of Massachusetts Amherst on the "cutting edge" of global warming science who will be interviewed in an upcoming series on the Research Channel. Baker, Julie Brigham-Grette and Raymond Bradley of the Geosciences Department, and Duncan Irschick of the Biology Department will all be featured in the National Science Foundation-sponsored series, "To What Degree? What Science is Telling Us About Climate Change," which airs on the Research Channel from January 7 through January 23.

The Wiley-Blackwell publishing house has just issued the second edition of the bestselling text book, “Wind Energy Explained: Theory, Design and Application,” by James. F. Manwell and Jon G. McGowan of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department and former MIE Senior Research Fellow Anthony. L. Rogers.

Ana Muriel, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, is the 2009 winner of the Moving Spirit Award, as chosen by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS). The award was established to recognize outstanding INFORMS volunteers who have been "moving spirits" in their respective forums within the organization.

James MacGregor Smith of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department was part of a research team that just won this year’s “Best Paper Award,” as chosen by the Computational Optimization and Applications (COAP) editorial board from the journal’s previous year’s (2008) articles.

The October 2009 Physics Today cover story looks at the work on superhydrophobic surfaces being done by several researchers in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department. As the story notes, “Researchers led by Jonathan Rothstein at the University of Massachusetts Amherst now offer a proof-of-principle demonstration of a new, passive option for reducing drag in a turbulent flow.

University of Massachusetts Amherst mechanical engineering sophomore Samuel del Pilar of Flushing, New York, is one of 75 students nationwide selected for scholarships from the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Conference (HENAAC). He is the second UMass Amherst engineering student to receive a HENAAC scholarship, the first being Rafael Santana, who graduated in 2004 with a degree in computer systems engineering.

Two mechanical engineering students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have literally taken advantage of a windfall from a prominent wind power company and used it to propel their futures. Jacque Heger and Samuel Deptula each received $5,000 scholarships for the 2008-2009 academic year from Vestas Americas, the leading supplier of wind power solutions with over 35,000 wind turbines installed.

The UMass Amherst Supermileage Vehicle Team successfully fielded two vehicles this year at the annual Society of Automotive Engineers Supermileage Vehicle competition, held at the Eaton Corporation Proving Grounds in Marshall, Michigan, on June 4th and 5th. 

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