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The College of Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst held its first annual Outstanding Alumni Awards Luncheon during Homecoming Weekend, on Saturday, October 16, 2010. The luncheon included the presentation of College of Engineering Outstanding Junior/Senior Alumni Awards to individuals who, through exemplary accomplishments, epitomize the potential of an education at the UMass Amherst College of Engineering. The event happened from 12:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. in the 10th floor Amherst Room of the UMass Amherst Campus Center.

Frank Sup, a new faculty member in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, has spent the past five years developing a next generation lower-limb prosthesis. The device is an example of "wearable robotics," in which the knee and ankle joints are battery powered and guided by sensors that help the device adjust continually to terrains, slopes, and steps. It has been tested both in the field and in the lab by amputees for the past two and a half years.

After Arnold Most graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 1964 with one of our early Industrial Engineering degrees, he arrived at powerhouse IBM with many other engineers from the most prestigious universities in the country. At that time, UMass was still trying to establish its reputation and break away from the old Mass Aggie image. Most’s rise through the ranks of the IBM hierarchy during the early days of the semiconductor boom was proof positive that our engineering education had already arrived. 

Majdouline Touil is hoping to ride her very productive internship with the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, maker of the Black Hawk and Seahawk helicopters, right into her future. The multi-talented industrial engineering major, who is also active in the UMass Amherst Theatre Guild and the Society of Women Engineers, has already made her mark at the Sikorsky plant in Stratford, Connecticut, where she was an INROADS intern this past summer. She hopes it will leave a lasting impression.

On September 24 at 3:00 p.m., the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department will be holding a poster competition open to all current graduate students. The posters will be displayed and judged in the Gunness Student Center. Light refreshments will be served. The MIE department will provide easels, poster board, and printing assistance, as well as cash prizes. The first prize is $300, $150 for the second prize, and the third prize is $50.

This fall, the College of Engineering welcomes two new faculty members and one former faculty member. The new members are Dr. Wei Fan of the Chemical Engineering Department and Dr. Frank C. Sup of the Mechanical Engineering Department. We are also happy to welcome back a former longtime member of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department (ECE), Dr. William J. Leonard, who served variously as a research associate, senior research associate, lecturer, research assistant professor, and research associate professor in the department from 1988 to 2009.

The University of Massachusetts Amherst Wind Energy Center (WEC) recently made news when it was recognized by the Smithsonian Institution for its gift of the historic Wind Furnace #1 to the National Museum of American History. Built at UMass Amherst in the 1970s, the 25-kilowatt facility was at one time the largest electricity-producing wind turbine in the world. It featured the first design to include several technologies now standard in modern utility wind turbines.

The “Distractology 101” driving simulation test created by the Human Performance  Laboratory was praised by an editorial in the Fall River Herald-News, while the lab’s Director, Don Fisher, was interviewed about distracted driving for the second time this summer by WWLP-TV Channel 22 News. “Thumbs up to the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Arbella Insurance Group’s charitable foundation,” said the Herald-News editorial, “which spent more than $500,000 and two years developing a simulated program that mimics real-life driving.”

What if we could cure diabetes, save the Great Lakes, relieve sleep deprivation in surgeons, and figure out a faster way to rescue disaster victims, all in one summer? In fact, those goals were only part of the agenda when 25 undergraduate students from the University of Massachusetts Amherst presented posters and talked about their summer research projects on July 30 in the Gunness Engineering Student Center.

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