The January 31, 2012, issue of Medical Device + Diagnostic Industry magazine published another long article on the Vayu deep-pressure therapy vest for treating people with autism by giving them a “portable hug.” The vest is the brainchild of College of Engineering alumnus Brian Mullen (right), who developed it as a graduate student in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has notified Dr. Jenna Marquard of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department that she has been awarded a $400,000 NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) grant for a research project entitled “Computational Approaches to Model Physicians' and Patients' Interactions with Health Information Technology.” Specifically, her project will focus on computerized health information technology designed to improve the health, clinical care, and cost of management for diabetics and patients with high blood pressure.
When UMass Amherst alumni Mike and Terry Hluchyj created a fellowship in 2008 to support one graduate student per year from the College of Engineering and one from the School of Nursing, Terry Hluchyj summarized their motivation this way: “Quality healthcare ranks among the most important issues our society faces, and the collaborative research initiatives between nursing and engineering at UMass Amherst can make a real difference.” Indeed, during the ensuing four years, the Hluchyj Graduate Fellowship has done just that.
On January 23, two media reports focused on efforts to educate young people about the dangers of texting while driving by introducing them to “Distractology 101,” a program created by the Arbella Insurance Human Performance Laboratory, whose director is Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department Head Don Fisher. The first report was aired on WWLP-TV 22, while the second was a feature article in the Springfield Republican.
Donald Fisher, head of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, director of the Human Performance Laboratory, and expert on distracted driving, was interviewed on January 13 by WFCR public radio about the dangers of texting while driving. “Drivers of all ages are 17 to 20 percent more at risk when they’re texting than when they’re not texting,” explained Professor Fisher. “And that increased risk comes because they glance down longer than two seconds.” Dr.
Assistant Professor Ashwin Ramasubramaniam of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department has been chosen by the Minerals, Metals, & Materials Society (TMS) as one of two recipients for the 2012 TMS EMPMD Young Leader Professional Development Award. His nomination was recently approved by the TMS Electronic, Magnetic, & Photonic Materials Division Award Committee.
A feature story in the January 3 Springfield Republican looked at the Sneakers 4 Success program started by mechanical engineering undergrad Samuel Del Pilar at the Renaissance School in Springfield to teach urban children about real-world business through what he calls “sneaker culture.” Del Pilar developed Sneakers 4 Success as an educational program that teaches city students real-life marketing, design, and business skills through their affinity for basketball sneakers.
Six teams containing engineering students or faculty members scored prize money in the recent Executive Summary & Elevator Pitch phase of the University of Massachusetts Innovation Challenge, which handed out $10,000 to promising teams of aspiring entrepreneurs. Innovation Challenge competitors are interdisciplinary teams developing marketable business concepts while working in consultation with faculty members and external advisors. SMASH, based on a new software technique to reduce the energy consumption of battery-powered devices, nailed one of the four top prizes of $1,750 apiece.
On December 9, seven teams of mechanical engineering students gathered in the second-floor hallway of the ELab Building to present their useful, practical, and inventive projects for the “Senior Capstone Design Project.” The Senior Capstone Design Course, taught by Professor Frank Sup of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, acts as a proof of concept for the MIE curriculum.
Imagine being a summer intern and being thrust into the cleanup planning for one of the three most famous nuclear events in history. That’s what happened last summer, when senior mechanical engineering major Richard Lau was doing an internship for The Shaw Group office in Stoughton, Massachusetts, and suddenly found himself on a team working on the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.