The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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This fall the College of Engineering welcomes three very talented new faculty members to its ranks: Zachary (Zack) Westgate of the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department as an associate professor; Robert (Bob) Niffenegger of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department as an assistant professor; and Stacyann Bailey of the Biomedical Engineering (BME) Department as an assistant professor.

Alumnus Parag Patel, who graduated from the UMass Electrical and Computer Engineering Department in 2004, is the co-founder and chief operating officer of Invoiced, a leading accounts receivable automation platform, which was just named to the Inc. 5000 List of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies. Inc. claims that its 5000 List is the most prestigious ranking of its kind for rating emerging companies.

Assistant Professor Jeremy Gummeson of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department was a guest on BYURadio’s “Top of Mind” program exploring the concept of the human wrist serving as the charging dock for wireless wearable devices. Gummeson is part of a UMass Amherst team that has designed a prototype system called “Shazam,” which uses skin to charge smartwatches and other wearable devices such as health and fitness trackers.

Professor Aura Ganz of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department is retiring from UMass Amherst as of August 31 after more than 34 years of dedicated service to the ECE department and UMass Amherst. During her very fruitful time in the ECE department, Ganz has undertaken pioneering humanitarian research through her Mobile Evolution Lab, exerted a deep impact on the engineering curriculum, and helped to educate hundreds of young engineers.

Five College of Engineering faculty members are among the 46 UMass ADVANCE Faculty Fellows for 2021-2022. The College of Engineering ADVANCE Fellows are: Seth Donahue, Biomedical Engineering; Ashish Kulkarni, Chemical Engineering; Konstantinos Andreadis, Civil and Environmental Engineering; Michael Zink, Electrical and Computer Engineering; and Shannon Roberts, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering.

Professor Paul Siqueira of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department was recently quoted by business columnist David Lazarus in the Los Angeles Times exploring the new 60 GHz radar technology called “Soli” developed by Google and deployed by Amazon for tracking sleep patterns.

 

Doctoral Student Sachin Bhat of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department won the Best Paper Award at the 2021 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computer Society Annual Symposium on Very-large-scale Integration (VLSI), a premier VLSI conference. Bhat, whose faculty advisor is ECE Professor Csaba Andras Moritz, was the primary author of the winning paper.

Brandon Tory, who graduated from the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department in 2010, has traveled a long and perilous journey from living as a teenager in a Brockton, Massachusetts, homeless shelter to working as a senior software artificial intelligence engineer at Google in Southern California and moonlighting as a well-known rapper. His poignant and inspiring story has most recently been featured in the Brockton Enterprise, but in the past has made the pages of Forbes and the Wall Street Journal.

Assistant Professor Jeremy Gummeson and his Ph.D. student Noor Mohammed, both of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department, are members of a UMass Amherst team that has designed a charge-free, wearable device called “Shazam,” which uses the skin of the human body to charge smartwatches and other wearable devices.

Xiaomeng Liu, a doctoral candidate in the research lab of Assistant Professor Jun Yao of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, has received a prestigious, two-year, $61,000 Link Foundation Energy Fellowship to support his innovative research on the Yao Research Group’s pioneering “Air Generator” (or Air-Gen), which constantly harvests electricity “out of thin air” from the atmosphere.

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