The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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When alumnus Peter Bannon, the guy in charge of Tesla’s chip architecture and part of the team designing the self-driving computer/car, steps to the podium at the Great Hall in the Old Chapel on October 3 at about 4:00 p.m., it will be a very big deal. Bannon has variously been called “a chip architecture titan,” “an inventor named on dozens of patents related to processors,” and “one of two of the most sought after processor architects working today.”

A team at UMass Amherst led by chemist Dhandapani Venkataraman and electrical engineer Zlatan Aksamija report in Nature Communications on an advance toward more efficient, cheaper, polymer-based harvest of heat energy. Aksamija explains that “Using polymers to convert thermal energy to electricity by harvesting waste heat has seen an uptick in interest in recent years. Waste heat represents both a problem but also a resource; the more heat your process wastes, the less efficient it is.” Harvesting waste heat is less difficult when there is a local, high-temperature gradient source to work with, he adds, such as a high-grade heat source like a power plant. See Design News and News Office release.

The Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department at UMass Amherst is privileged to have four outstanding new faculty members arriving to teach and do research in September of 2019. They are Assistant Professors Tongping Liu, Fatima Muhammad Anwar, Beatriz Lorenzo Veiga, and Jeremy Gummeson.

Associate Professor Do-Hoon Kwon of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department has received a research award of $367,004 over three years from the Army Research Office. Kwon’s project, "Single and dual polarized metasurface cloaks for microwave invisibility and low observability,” introduces and demonstrates a new electromagnetic cloaking physics applicable to large free-standing scatterers.

The UMass eXperimental X-band radar (UMaXX), a collaborative effort between the Microwave Remote Sensing Laboratory (MIRSL) and the Engineering Research Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA), is now providing a groundbreaking data feed from the UMaXX radar on Orchard Hill to the National Weather Service's (NWS) Eastern Regional Headquarters. The radar data will be used by NWS regional forecast offices – principally in the Boston, Albany, and Portland areas – and are viewable in near real time.

The College of Engineering is delighted to announce our newly-tenured and/or promoted faculty members, as voted by the UMass Board of Trustees on August 2, 2019. 

 

Assistant Professor Zlatan Aksamija of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department was part of the UMass team of chemists and electrical engineers who outlined a new way to advance a more efficient, cheaper, polymer-based harvest of heat energy to produce electricity. Aksamija and chemist Dhandapani Venkataraman reported their findings this month in Nature Communications.

Victor Bahl, an alumnus of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department and currently a Distinguished Scientist with Microsoft Research in Redmond, Washington, was presented with the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Distinguished Service Award on June 15 in San Francisco. The ACM citation rewarded Bahl for “significant and lasting service to the broad community of mobile computing and wireless networking, and for building strong linkages between academia, industry, and government agencies.”

The married research team of Zlatan Aksamija of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and Ajla Aksamija of the Department of Architecture are leading an interdisciplinary research team in an ongoing effort to reduce the carbon footprint of buildings by working to design more sustainable building façade systems, or so-called smart façades.

Assistant Professor Jay Taneja of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department is the lead principal investigator for a $3.8-million grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to support the collaborative work of researchers at UMass Amherst, Columbia University, Carnegie Mellon University, and the Colorado School of Mines. The research team will use enhanced data modeling to help transform electricity systems in emerging economies.

See UMass News Office story: UMass Amherst Researchers Share in Grant from Rockefeller Foundation

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