Several deeply committed UMass Students didn’t want to let the water crisis in Puerto Rico go unchecked! A brilliant and idealistic five-person interdisciplinary team, which included three engineering majors, won four prizes at the HackUMass hackathon on November 3 through 5 by creating LiveWaterMap, invented to counteract the devastation and resultant water shortage and contamination caused by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. As the team explains its product, “LiveWaterMap is an online web service that collects and maps water quality data using GPS and time data - information that can be easily understood and made available for anyone, anytime, anywhere.”
The first phase of the UMass Amherst 2017–18 Innovation Challenge, called the MinutePitch, kicked off its 13th year of competition on October 25 with a team from the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department winning the $750 second prize for its new approach to catching deadly pancreatic cancer in its crucial early stages.
Professor Emeritus James Donovan of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department passed away on Friday, November 3. As MIE Department Head Sundar Krishnamurty said, “It is with great sadness that I share with you the news that Professor Emeritus Jim Donovan passed away Friday night. Jim taught in our department for many years before retiring in early 2000. As many of you may recall, Jim was an extraordinary faculty mentor to students and younger faculty. He was there for us whenever we needed him, always helpful and supportive. He was energetic and enthusiastic about new ideas and initiatives—and he loved international travel. I will miss him greatly.”