Co-Principal Investigators Shannon Roberts (Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department) and Philip Thomas (College of Information & Computer Sciences) are receiving a $36,000 award from the 2018 Armstrong Fund for Science, administered by the UMass Amherst Office of Research Development. The grant will fund their two-year project entitled “Improving Warning Systems of Driving Automation Systems through Reinforcement Learning,” aimed at optimizing precisely when a driving automation system should safely alert a human driver to take control of the vehicle when approaching a hazard.
James F. Manwell, an international expert on offshore wind energy, the director of the UMass Amherst Wind Energy Center, and a professor in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, recently commented on the NBC News MACH science and technology website about plans for General Electric’s gigantic new offshore wind turbine, the Haliade-X, which will stand 853-feet tall when built. For comparison, that will make the Haliade-X slightly smaller than the Eiffel Tower (1,063 feet) and slightly larger than the Seattle Space Needle (605 feet). But Manwell said it’s not yet clear how large offshore wind turbines can get. The NBC News MACH story was reported in Inland News Today.
As the 21st century buries us all in a frenzy of information, cyber-security issues, societal unrest, political divisions, and hyperactivity, it is becoming apparent that solutions to complex technology, work, and racial issues are going to require the concerted efforts of many interdisciplinary experts “to understand the promises and perils of these major societal shifts.” So says Professor Shannon Roberts of our Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department as she attempts to address these major societal problems with a new $99,970 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Assistant Professor Shannon Roberts of our Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department has been selected by the UMass Amherst Center for Research on Families (CRF) for the 2018-2019 CRF Family Research Scholars Program, which will provide funding to release Roberts from teaching one of her courses over the next year, among other benefits. Roberts’ CRF proposal is entitled “Studying and Mitigating Socioeconomic Inequalities in Teenage Driving.”
The College welcomes Krish Thiagarajan – Professor, Endowed Chair in Renewable Energy, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department; Peter Beltramo – Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering Department; Tingyi “Leo” Liu – Assistant Professor, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department; and Xian Du – Assistant Professor, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department.
Krish Thiagarajan, the Endowed Chair in Renewable Energy in our Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, recently authored a welcome message from the division chair in the March 2018 Ocean Offshore & Arctic Engineering Newsbrief, published by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). Professor Thiagarajan, a Member of ASME, is the coordinator of the Ocean Renewable Energy Symposium as well the current Chair of the Ocean Offshore and Arctic Engineering Division. He leads the Ocean and Marine Engineering Group at UMass Amherst.
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Three teams featuring faculty and students from the College of Engineering were recently selected for inclusion in the Innovation Challenge Final on April 5, when $65,000 in seed money will be distributed. During the Semifinal on Wednesday, February 28, a panel of four judges listened to 12 student-led teams each give a five-minute pitch describing its venture and participate in a 10-minute Q&A session.
Mechanical engineering alumna DeAnna Robear ’15, a partner enablement engineer at PTC, has been named as one of the 10 Pioneers 2018 by Connected World magazine. As Connected World describes this honor, the recipients are trailblazers, innovators, and pioneers representing “10 technology leaders under 40 who help pave the way for a more connected society.” Robear’s interest in industrial consumer products such as cars and airplanes evolved into a mechanical engineering degree and, eventually, a career in the Internet of Things, all fueled by a weekend wearable electronics tutorial offered by Professor David McLaughlin of our Electrical and Computer Engineering Department.
Pancreatic cancer remains one of the most deadly cancers in the world, with a five-year survival rate of only 8 percent. This high mortality rate is mainly due to a lack of early symptoms in patients and the absence of specific biomarkers and diagnostic platforms for early detection. Now Professors Yubing Sun and Byung Kim of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department have conducted a groundbreaking new study that demonstrates a novel system for multiplex detection of pancreatic biomarkers as an early warning diagnostic system for the initial stages of pancreatic cancer.
Professor Jae-Hwang Lee and his graduate students in our Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department have collaborated with other researchers at Washington University in St. Louis to further develop pioneering work on promising new nanocomposites that can be tailored as revolutionary ballistic armor significantly stronger and lighter than current armor materials. Lee and his collaborators authored a January 9 paper on their work in the high-profile materials science journal Nano Letters.