Kasey Packard Smart, an undergraduate researcher in our Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, was a member of UMass Amherst biologist Duncan J. Irschick’s lab, which developed “Beastcam,” a multi-armed platform of cameras and a computer system that can rapidly and easily create 3D models of living animals and other objects. Beastcam was co-founded by Irschick, UMass Amherst polymer scientist Al Crosby, Smart, and Smart’s fellow undergraduate Dylan Briggs.
On December 11, MIE students in Professor David McLaughlin’s Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering course gathered in a large circle in the Student Union Ballroom, laughing, shouting, and cheering as dozens of their scale-model smart cars darted across the floor in an exercise of vehicle avoidance. The occasion was the class’s annual end-of-the-semester Smart Car Extravaganza.
Professor Jonathan Rothstein of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department has been directing some outstanding outreach projects with his students involved in the 2015 National Society of Rheology’s Education and Outreach Campaign. Recently, Rothstein worked with more than 35 student volunteers to educate approximately 175 participants – ranging from K-12 students to industry professionals – in Baltimore, Maryland.
On Friday, December 11, Professor David McLaughlin of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and his students from the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) will hold their third annual “smart-car demo.” Visitors are invited to attend, watch, and enjoy this whirling-dervish demonstration of scale-model, collision-avoiding, smart cars, as built by the students in McLaughlin’s Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering course, ECE 361.
On November 2, Michael Prokle, a doctoral candidate in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, was honored with the 2015 Judith Liebman Award at the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. Prokle was the president of last year's interdisciplinary UMass Amherst INFORMS Student Chapter and is being honored with the national Liebman Award for his work in that capacity.
The purpose of the Liebman Award is to recognize volunteers who have made outstanding and sustained contributions to their student chapters.
Byung H. Kim, a professor of mechanical and industrial engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is using a three-year, $272,719 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a manufacturing process that imprints nano- and micro-scale features into a roll of continuously extruded material. Kim received the grant along with his research partner Donggang Yao, a professor at Georgia Tech and former UMass Amherst graduate student whom Kim supervised for master’s and doctoral degrees.
Researchers at the College of Engineering, led by principal investigator Yahya Modarres-Sadeghi of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department (MIE), together with their collaborator at Northeastern University have received a $440,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to conduct intensive research on controlling wind turbine blade instabilities.
An interdisciplinary group of undergraduate students from various departments on campus is currently taking a comprehensive, two-semester course as part of the 2016 Department of Energy Collegiate Wind Competition. In order for the UMass students to compete in the national contest, the course will prepare them to develop a business plan for a novel wind turbine used in off-grid applications, and then it will train them to design, build, and test that turbine.
UMass Amherst alumnus Tony McCaffrey has received a $724,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support his small start-up company, Innovation Accelerator, Inc., which was founded on the hypothesis that most great discoveries come from sideways thinking. For example, a hitch with the Hubble space telescope was fixed when a NASA engineer took a shower in a German hotel and repurposed the design of the shower head. Likewise, Alexander Graham Bell borrowed his idea for the telephone from the human ear.