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On Saturday, May 7, the College of Engineering and Dean Tim Anderson celebrated the successful completion of another academic year by paying tribute to several award-winning students, honoring this year’s outstanding faculty award winners, and sending some 400 seniors into the engineering profession with words of wisdom, advice, and good humor.

Each year seniors from the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst present, display, and demonstrate some 24 clever and useful electronic inventions for the public. This year five teams of senior ECE majors won the nine prizes given out for the event. See full descriptions of all projects.

During the 2015-2016 academic year, the College of Engineering was fortunate to have six talented new faculty members join us from all four departments. Our new academics included John Klier, the head of the Chemical Engineering (ChE) Department, Simos Gerasimidis and Kara Peterman of the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department, Juan Jiménez and Yubing Sun of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE)Department, and Guangu Xu of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department.

“Come to M5 for Tech Talks and Workshops by Facebook, Dropbox, Intel, Fitbit, Circuitmaker, OpenBCI, Pair, RSA, Autodesk, Barnstorm Studio, and many more to come!” It is any tech-driven student’s ultimate dream.

Three out of the six teams that won prizes in this year’s $65,000 University of Massachusetts Innovation Challenge Final Competition were spearheaded by engineering students. The three engineering winners were third-place finisher Brobar and two other finalists, Glow and Lumme.  Coordinated by the Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship, an Isenberg-based initiative that promotes entrepreneurship across the UMass Amherst campus, this culminating event of the multi-stage Innovation Challenge featured a Shark Tank-style contest presented to six judges and an enthusiastic audience.

David McLaughlin, the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Administration and a professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, has been selected for two major honors by the UMass Institute for Teaching Excellence and Faculty Development (TEFD). First, McLaughlin received a Distinguished Teaching Award, the university’s highest honor for classroom excellence. TEFD then named McLaughlin one of the 12 TIDE Ambassadors for the campus, with TIDE standing for Teaching for Inclusiveness, Diversity, and Equity.

Dean Tim Anderson has announced that faculty members Erin Baker of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department, Joseph Bardin of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department, and Wei Fan of the Chemical Engineering (ChE) Department have been selected as outstanding faculty in the College of Engineering for 2016.

Four College of Engineering undergraduate students were among the eight so-called “Rising Researchers” throughout the whole university campus as designated by the UMass Amherst website Research Next (Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity for a Brighter Future). All four engineering winners were recently profiled, along with the four other Rising Researchers from across the UMass campus, on Research Next. See entire article.

The UMass Microwave Remote Sensing Laboratory (MIRSL) is participating in the 2016 Verification of the Origin of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment (VORTEX), specifically in the Southeast (VORTEX-SE) region, sponsored by NOAA's National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL). During March and April 2016, MIRSL is deploying two mobile radar systems to northern Alabama to study the environment leading up to tornadoes and the severe weather outbreaks that can directly produce tornadoes. MIRSL is partnering with the Purdue University Department of Earth Atmosphere and Planetary Sciences in this project. 

Professor Zlatan Aksamija of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Departments has been named as a Lilly Teaching Fellow. The Selection Committee of the Lilly Fellows Program has chosen Aksamija as one of only eight recipients nationally to get the Lilly Fellowship for Teaching Excellence. This is a significant achievement, given the high volume and quality of nominations this year, which the committee members described as “absolutely incredible.”

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