The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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On June 25, about 22 electrical and computer engineering alumni living in the San Diego area gathered at the Morehouse Campus of Qualcomm to catch up on old times, network, share life stories, and enjoy each other’s company. The hosts for the event were Roberto Padovani ’83 MS, ’85 PhD, the executive vice president and a fellow of Qualcomm, and Christopher Hollot, head of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. The conversation and good fellowship were enhanced by a tasty selection of wine, beer, and hors d’oeuvres, as well as a fine selection of old friends reuniting.

The College of Engineering welcomes five new faculty members for the fall semester of 2013: Boris Lau and Gouping (Gregg) Zhang, who will join the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department; Christos Dimitrakopoulos, joining the Chemical Engineering Department; Zlatan Aksamija, who will be a member of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department; and Stephen Nonnenmann, in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department.

In 2001, electrical enginineering alumnus James M. Smith, who was at that time the CEO of the EDO Corporation, established the James M. Smith ’67 Scholarship Fund at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Today, the fund, established to support excellent engineering students in need of financial assistance, has helped 206 Smith Scholars earn their degrees from the College of Engineering. In addition, Smith has sponsored numerous summer research projects for undergraduates seeking enrichment beyond the academic year.

Graduate student Krzysztof A. Orzel of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department and the Microwave Remote Sensing Laboratory (MIRSL) was interviewed on WGGB-TV 40 about the dangers faced by those who study tornadoes and other severe weather. Orzel was on teams from MIRSL in 2009 and 2010 that tracked tornadoes throughout the Great Plains.

The Journal of Chemical Physics has identified an article written by Eric Polizzi and his graduate student Brendan Gavin of our Electrical and Computer Engineering Department on the list of its “Top 20 Most Read in May 2013.” Gavin is the first author of the manuscript, entitled "Non-linear eigensolver-based alternative to traditional SCF methods." As Marsha I. Lester, the editor of The Journal of Chemical Physics, wrote to Polizzi, “This is an impressive accomplishment with which you must be very pleased.

Alumna Leslie Jelalian, VP of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance at BAE Systems, has been named by Mass High Tech as one of its 20 “Women to Watch” in 2013. Jelalian is a 1988 graduate of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. Now in its 10th year, the annual Women to Watch program recognizes women in tech and life sciences who are judged to be leaders in their field and shaping the future of their industries for years to come. According to Mass High Tech, “Leslie Jelalian has become part of BAE’s DNA.

An enterprising team of student innovators from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department was the object of an admiring feature story on Yahoo! News (black-box-html). Though the UMass team did not win any prizes for its Personal Black Box as one of 30 finalists in the 2013 Cornell Cup competition during the first weekend in May, Yahoo!

A weather-radar unit developed by the Engineering Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA), a consortium based at UMass Amherst, has been installed at the University of North Texas in Denton.

The College of Engineering has chosen three highly accomplished academics to receive 2013 Outstanding Faculty Awards, which were distributed at the Senior Recognition Celebration for the Class of 2013, held on May 11. Dr. Lixin Gao of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department was the recipient of the Outstanding Senior Faculty Award, and Dr. Paul Dauenhauer of the Chemical Engineering Department and Dr. Casey Brown of the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department each accepted the Barbara H. and Joseph I. Goldstein Outstanding Junior Faculty Award. Dr.

On April 20, the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department at UMass Amherst held its first ECE Showcase, a celebration of the undergrads who are designing and building the products of the future. The ECE Showcase was two fabulous technical events under one roof. The Senior Design Project Expo featured 13 teams of ECE students demonstrating their creative, useful, and socially conscious electronic inventions, created as the capstone projects of their ECE education.