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.
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.
Writing in Forbes, a leading international expert in weather and climate referenced a groundbreaking study published by the Electricity Growth and Use in Developing Economies (e-GUIDE) Initiative as led by Assistant Professor Jay Taneja of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department. “A new analysis by scientists reveals that minority populations were greater than four times as likely to suffer from an energy blackout than predominantly white areas,” wrote Dr. J. Marshall Shepherd.
A research team from the University of Massachusetts Amherst has created an electronic microsystem that can intelligently respond to information inputs without any external energy input, much like a self-autonomous living organism. This is possible because the microsystem is constructed from a novel type of electronics that can process ultralow electronic signals and incorporates a novel device that can generate electricity “out of thin air” from the ambient environment.
Lixin Gao, University Distinguished Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, has been named the 2021–22 Katherine Hampson Bessell Fellow as part of the celebrated Harvard Radcliffe Institute fellowship program. Among 1,383 international applications, only 2.4 percent were accepted as fellows for the Radcliffe program.