The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Five outstanding undergraduates from the College of Engineering have won awards from the Alumni Association at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Kelly Kennedy, a senior in Electrical Engineering, won a Senior Leadership Award, recognizing graduating seniors who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and service to the UMass Amherst community. In addition, juniors Myles Baidy of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Justin Calderara of Mechanical Engineering, Jose Lasalle of Electrical Engineering and Physics, and Eric Rice of Chemical Engineering received the William F. Field Alumni Scholars Award.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has chosen UMass Amherst as one of 12 colleges and universities to compete in the 2016 Department of Energy Collegiate Wind Competition. The interdisciplinary UMass team hails from the departments of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE), Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Landscape Architecture & Regional Planning, as well as the Isenberg School of Management. A UMass Amherst team finished third in the inaugural DOE wind competition in 2014

Professor Russell Tessier of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department has been selected as a Chancellor’s Leadership Fellow for the 2015-16 academic year. The UMass Amherst Fellows program provides a 50-percent course release for the 2015-16 academic year, as well as one month of summer salary. The ECE department will receive compensation for the teaching release at the rate of $7,000 in each of the two semesters of the fellowship. 

Maura Maloney (University of Massachusetts Amherst, B.S., Electrical Engineering, 1985), the Principal Technology Business Operations Analyst at ESPN, visited campus on February 26th along with four of her colleagues from ESPN to give a presentation on “Women in Technology Careers” as part of the UMass Amherst Information Technology TechTalk series.

There are few things more frustrating than being on an online real-time phone call when it suddenly gets the jitters, your caller’s voice doesn’t match up to his or her facial expressions, and your conversation doesn’t sync correctly. Likewise, gamers are infuriated when sudden lags cause them to lose at what they’ve been playing for hours. These lags and jitters are caused by a phenomenon known as “bufferbloat.”

The Imaging Wind and Rain Profiler (IWRAP) developed and built by the Microwave Remote Sensing Laboratory at the University of Massachusetts Amherst was being used for sophisticated measurements of precipitation and the ocean surface during repeated flights in January and February as conducted by NOAH’s Center for Satellite Applications and Research (STAR). IWRAP is a C-band and Ku-band dual-polarized (vertical and horizontal polarization) profiling scatterometer system designed to measure the backscattered signal from precipitation and the ocean surface.

Professor David McLaughlin of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department is leading an initiative to light up a February 28 dance party, sponsored by the UMass Amherst Stonewall Center, with computerized Arduino lighting and thereby electrify the event in every possible way. The theme of the dance is “Come out as You Are: An LGBTQIA+ Dance.” The affair, taking place in the Student Union Ballroom from 9:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m., aims to include everyone.

According to the UMass Amherst Research Next website, Professors Michael Zink and Tilman Wolf of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department are key researchers in two campus projects funded by the Future Internet Architecture (FIA) Program, which is supporting five multi-million-dollar projects nationwide. As part of the two UMass Amherst projects, computing and engineering experts Jim Kurose, Arun VenkataramaniWolf, and Zink are leading the way.

A holiday feature story (see feature here: Globe) and sidebar (see sidebar here: Globe) in The Boston Globe looked at the indoor navigation system to help the visually impaired designed by Aura Ganz of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. Her system will be installed in the Arlington Street station of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). The system uses electronic tags placed in the station that can be read by an application on smart phones and tells a visually impaired person how to move through the building.