Message from Kris Hollot
Dear UMass Amherst ECE alumni and friends,
The undergrads have graduated and left campus, and the ECE Department has now turned its full attention to research and preparation for the upcoming academic year. We hope our newsletter finds you also savoring the summer months ahead.
In May, we graduated 57 undergrads, 27 CSEs and 31 EEs. At that time, 76% had job offers or acceptance to graduate schools, including MIT, Harvard, the University of Michigan, the University of Minnesota, the University of Texas, and Stanford. From experience we expect this placement percentage to be around 90 percent six months out, an improvement over the past three years. The incoming class of freshmen engineers will be 400 large. We admitted less than half the applicants, and the matriculated students have an average SAT score of 1285 and high school GPA of 3.85.
ECE Senior Design Project Day was held in April, and it was great to alums. The Automated Relearning Hand Therapy Project (Team Ganz) won first place, and it was encouraging to see projects inspired by special needs students from West Springfield. In addition, two teams, Augmented Reality - Head Up Display (Team Wolf) and Automated Aero-Painting System (Team Mortiz), participated in the Cornell Cup.
Alongside Ted Koppel (think Nightline), alumnus Mark E. Russell (MS, ’85) received an Honorary Doctorate of Engineering Degree at the UMass Amherst Commencement ceremonies for his groundbreaking technological contributions to radar components and systems. Russell is the Raytheon Corporate Vice President of Engineering, Technology, and Mission Assurance. Russell was recently elevated to the honorary status of Fellow by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
The mid-1980s were good years for ECE, as attested by Russell’s MIRSL lab mate Professor David McLaughlin (EE’84, PhD’ 89) receiving the Chancellor's Medal, the highest honor bestowed to faculty by the campus, and giving a Distinguished Faculty Lecture entitled: "Chasing Interdisciplinarity while Chasing Tornadoes." The Engineering Research Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere, conceived by Professor McLaughlin and his collaborators, comprises a dense network of small radars that communicate with one another to sense hazardous weather patterns and distribute accurate warnings to people who need them.
Professor Paul Siquiera is headed on sabbatical in the upcoming academic year, and he has recently received a Charles Bullard Fellowship from Harvard University to conduct research at the Harvard Forest in Petersham, MA. Also, as you will read further in the newsletter, Paul has been selected to serve on the Science Definition Team for a NASA space-borne radar mission meant to study earth deformation, ecosystem science, and the dynamics of ice.
I hope you enjoy catching up with our ECE Department. Please send me a note at email@example.com, and best wishes for a relaxing and productive summer!