The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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The 2021 U.S. News & World Report “Best Graduate School” engineering rankings are out, and UMass Amherst Engineering rose two slots to #56 overall and remains the #31 public in the nation and #1 public in New England. 

There is international news coverage of a device that uses a natural protein to create electricity from moisture in the air, a device developed by Jun Yao of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and Derek Lovely of the Microbiology Department. So far, the breakthrough has been reported internationally in more than 45 media outlets, including: Science, The Science Times, The Engineer [U.K.], Market Insider, Popular Science, Cosmos, Environmental Journal, Digital Information World, The Weather Channel, Good News Network, EcoWatch, Phys.org, Nanowerk, The Naked Scientists [BBC], News Office release.

As reported in Nature, the laboratories of electrical engineer Jun Yao and microbiologist Derek Lovley at UMass Amherst have​ developed a device that uses a natural protein to create electricity from moisture in the air. “We are literally making electricity out of thin air,” says Yao. The device, called "Air-gen" generates clean energy 24/7.  It could have significant implications for the future of renewable energy, climate change and in the future of medicine.

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Professor Jianhua (Joshua) Yang of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department has been chosen as one of the speakers in the UMass Amherst Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series, which celebrates the value of academic excellence and recognizes the distinguished achievements of faculty. Those chosen for the series also receive the Chancellor's Medal, the highest honor bestowed upon faculty by the UMass campus. The proposed topic for Professor Yang’s talk is “Towards a Brain-like Computer.”

A paper published in the prestigious journal Nature in October and co-authored by Associate Professor Joseph Bardin of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department is ranked Number 12 in the annual Altmetric Top 100 highlights of research published in 2019. The list includes research papers that have generated outstanding international online attention and discussion. Altmetric tracks and analyzes the online activity associated with scholarly research.

Professor Maciej J. Ciesielski, the associate head of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has been elected as a 2020 Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) with a citation that reads, “for contributions to logic synthesis and formal verification of arithmetic circuits.” The Fellow is the highest grade of membership in the IEEE and is afforded annually to less than 0.1 percent of the more than 423,000 voting members in over 160 countries. As ECE Department Head Christopher Hollet responded, “This is a great achievement of which we are very proud!”

Associate Professor Marco Duarte of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department is part of an interdisciplinary, inter-institutional team of researchers who recently received a three-year, $1.5-million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to further develop the foundations of data science in a project that will create one of NSF’s TRIPODS Institutes for Theoretical Foundations of Data Science. TRIPODS stands for Transdisciplinary Research in Principles of Data Science. See UMass News Office article: Computer Science-Math-Engineering Team Forms New NSF Institute .

Nicholas Bowen, Ph.D., a 1992 alumnus of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, published an article in the Harvard Business Review this September. In the article, Bowen observes that software-enabled disasters are often caused by software defects that go ignored.

 

The UMass News Office reports that University Distinguished Professor Lixin Gao of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department has collaborated with computer scientist Arun Venkataramani to land a a three-year, $1.2-million grant from the National Science Foundation to develop and test a method to improve interdomain routing. It is “the top-level protocol that holds the entire Internet together,” the two researchers explain. They add that these new routing strategies should improve fundamental robustness, security, and manageability and “benefit anyone who relies on the Internet today.” See News Office story: Using Cloud Resources to Dramatically Improve Internet Routing .

Christopher Merola, a PhD student of Associate Professor Marinos Vouvakis, won the Best Student Paper Award at the 2019 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Phased Arrays Systems and Technology conference. His paper was entitled: “An RF beamforming Architecture for UWB continuous Time-Delay Control” by Merola and Vouvakis.

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