University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Five Teams Make Innovation Challenge Finals

On Tuesday afternoon, April 17, come watch five teams of student entrepreneurs pitch business plans based on brilliant innovations to a panel of expert judges. With over $50,000 in prize money available, the gala event is the culmination of the seventh annual University of Massachusetts Innovation Challenge. The competition will be held in the Amherst Room on the 10th floor of the UMass Amherst Campus Center, starting at 3:30 p.m. The competition is free and open to the public, and the media are cordially invited.

Alumnus Helps Build Cyborg Walking Machine

Mechanical engineering alumnus Michael McKinley, now a graduate student at the University of California Berkeley, was on a team of engineers that built a machine enabling a paraplegic senior to rise from his wheelchair and stride across the commencement stage for graduation. The story was told in a long and beautifully written feature carried by Popular Science Magazine. “Austin Whitney didn’t want to graduate from college in a wheelchair,” as the story began.

First Female African-American MIE Graduate Lectures Here on April 12

Cheryl Snead, the first African-American woman to graduate with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from UMass Amherst, will give a public lecture on April 12 on the 10th floor of the Campus Center from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Ms. Snead is the founder, president, and CEO of Banneker Industries of Smithfield, Rhode Island, and Indianapolis, Indiana.

College Proposes Seminar Series in Materials Science

The College of Engineering is responding to the insatiable demand for new materials in virtually all industries by proposing a Materials Science Seminar Series, which would help to integrate several different materials engineering disciplines and introduce our students to leading materials engineers throughout the country. “Materials engineering is all around us,” says Ashwin Ramasubramaniam of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, who is organizing the effort to establish the seminar series.

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