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When UMass Amherst alumni Mike and Terry Hluchyj created a fellowship in 2008 to support one graduate student per year from the College of Engineering and one from the School of Nursing, Terry Hluchyj summarized their motivation this way: “Quality healthcare ranks among the most important issues our society faces, and the collaborative research initiatives between nursing and engineering at UMass Amherst can make a real difference.” Indeed, during the ensuing four years, the Hluchyj Graduate Fellowship has done just that. The research carried out by Hluchyj Fellows has already generated significant healthcare reforms, beneficial applications, important grants, prestigious journal papers, and key presentations, and it is beginning to earn fellows esteemed professional positions.

Six teams containing engineering students or faculty members scored prize money in the recent Executive Summary & Elevator Pitch phase of the University of Massachusetts Innovation Challenge, which handed out $10,000 to promising teams of aspiring entrepreneurs. Innovation Challenge competitors are interdisciplinary teams developing marketable business concepts while working in consultation with faculty members and external advisors. SMASH, based on a new software technique to reduce the energy consumption of battery-powered devices, nailed one of the four top prizes of $1,750 apiece. Dr. Wayne Burleson (pictured) of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department was one of the faculty advisors for SMASH.

On December 14, College of Engineering Dean Ted Djaferis was recognized with a 2011 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Control Systems Society (CSS) Distinguished Member Award. This was one of two Distinguished Member Awards given in 2011 and one of only 86 that have been given out since the formation of CSS in 1954. The award was presented during the CSS Awards Ceremony at the 2011 IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, held in conjunction with the 2011 European Control Conference in Orlando, Florida. 

The 11th edition of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering Annual Symposium on Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Design will be held at the University of Massachusetts Amherst on August 19 to 21, 2012. The conference is being staged on campus thanks in large part to the efforts of Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Sandip Kundu, one of the two program co-chairs and the local arrangements chair for the conference Organizing Committee. The symposium explores emerging trends and novel ideas and concepts in the area of VLSI.

Over the recent Homecoming Weekend, Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department Head Christopher Hollot presented the College of Engineering Outstanding Senior and Junior Alumni Awards to two individuals who, through exemplary accomplishments, epitomize the potential of an ECE education. Winner of the Outstanding Senior Alumni Award was the late Apostle G. “Butch” Cardiasmenos, who had retired as the Chief Technologist at Lockheed Martin. The recipient of the Junior Alumni Award was Brian Q. Huppi, the president and CEO of Huppco in San Francisco, California.

The Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department at UMass Amherst invites tech-loving and tech-skeptical visitors to attend the 3rd biannual Circuits & Code event this Saturday, December 3, from Noon to 2:00 p.m. in Marcus Hall, Room 5, at UMass Amherst. Circuits and Codes is a celebration of technology, engineering, science, mathematics, creativity, and the students who are designing and building the products and systems of the future. The event is being staged by M5, an educational initiative of the ECE department. For more info on the event, click http://umassamherstm5.org/circuits-and-code-fall-2011 or contact M5 at umassamherstm5@gmail.com.

More than 50 years after pioneering one of the first successful industry/university educational collaborations, participants in the General Electric/UMass Amherst Apprentice Program reunited on campus over the recent Homecoming Weekend. The event was sponsored by the College of Engineering and coordinated by Donald Robinson, the director of Environmental Health and Safety at UMass Amherst and an adjunct professor in the Public Health Department. Dr. Robinson participated in the apprentice program from 1960 to 1964. Some at the reunion had not seen each other in more than 40 years, although a similar reunion happened on campus in 2003.

Qualcomm has announced that Adam Polak of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Electrical and Computer Engineering Department was a 2011 recipient of the company’s Roberto Padovani Scholarship. Named after Roberto Padovani, who served as Qualcomm's chief technology officer for nearly a decade, the Roberto Padovani Scholarship is granted to Corporate Research & Development interns who have demonstrated technical excellence during their internships at Qualcomm.

An article written by Md Muwyid Uzzaman Khan, a graduate student in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, won the best student paper award at the 2011 IEEE International Symposium on Defect and Fault Tolerance in VLSI and Nanotechnology Systems, which took place in Vancouver, British Columbia, from October 3 to 5. Khan is a graduate research assistant in the Nanoscale Computing Fabrics Lab on the research team of Professor C. Andras Moritz. The title of the winning paper was “Biased Voting for Improved Yield in Nanoscale Fabrics.” Khan’s co-authors were Pritish Narayanan, Priyamvada Vijayakumar, Israel Koren, C. Mani Krishna, and Dr. Moritz.

University of Massachusetts Amherst junior Krysten Moore of Mahwah, New Jersey, was once an overweight middle school student who, by her own admission, got “bullied ruthlessly” by her school mates. Now, a scant seven years later, the electrical and computer engineering major is a national advocate for bullying victims. She is a National Youth Ambassador for Love Our Children USA™, has educated more than 100,000 school children about bullying, and has won several New Jersey pageants to give her a platform for her cause.