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Talented and accomplished students from all four departments at the College of Engineering have won numerous awards, scholarships, fellowships, and other distinctions this semester on the national, regional, and campus level. They range from the prestigious National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship, competing against the best undergraduates in the nation, to a host of awards presented by the chancellor.

Brushing our teeth and tuning a radio are activities that most people take for granted, but for some of us being able to do these simple tasks would be the chance of a lifetime. That’s exactly what happened on May 4 when 10 special education students from West Springfield Middle School visited UMass Amherst to test out engineering devices designed to make their lives much easier and more independent.

The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department placed two teams of student innovators in the final field of 24 from across the nation that competed in the Cornell Cup competition on May 4 and 5 at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. One ECE team designed and built an “Automated Aero-Painting System,” a model “quadrocopter” (helicopter with four propellers) that can spray-paint. The other team created an “Augmented Reality Head-Up Display,” a wearable augmented-reality system, displayed on the lenses of goggles and capable of creating an immersive 3-D environment.

The results are in for the annual Senior Design Project Day, when 20 creative, useful, and socially conscious electronic inventions were unveiled by seniors from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department (ECE) and judged on their technical design, understanding of realistic constraints, and other criteria. The judges awarded Team Ganz first place, Team Jackson second place, and Team Siqueira third place.

Paul Siqueira of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has been selected to serve on the Science Definition Team for DESDynI, a NASA space-borne radar mission meant to study “Earth Deformation, Ecosystem Science, and the Dynamics of Ice,” as the title of the project indicates. DESDynI is intended to be launched before the end of the decade. The Science Definition Team is a group of 15 scientists nationwide who are considered experts in their fields and who will help direct the formulation of the mission.  

The College of Engineering has chosen Professor Sandip Kundu of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department to receive its 2012 Outstanding Senior Faculty Award and Assistant Professor Jenna Marquard of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department to receive its 2012 Barbara H. and Joseph I. Goldstein Outstanding Junior Faculty Award. Associate Professor James Rinderle of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department was previously selected to receive the 2012 Outstanding Teaching Award.

On Friday, April 20, the 22nd annual Senior Design Project Day at the University of Massachusetts Amherst unveiled 20 creative, useful, and socially conscious electronic inventions produced by seniors from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department (ECE). The event was a high-tech floor show for the electronics of the future. This year’s inventions included devices that assist special needs students perform important everyday activities independently.

Associate Professor Paul Siqueira of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department has received a Charles Bullard Fellowship in Forest Research, worth more than $40,000 for the 2012-13 academic year, from Harvard University.

Five highly accomplished engineering students will be honored on April 1 by the UMass Amherst Alumni Association at its Scholarships & Awards Reception, held at 10:00 a.m. in the Marriott Center on the 11th Floor of the Campus Center on campus. Chemical engineering major Aidan Gilchrist ’13, electrical engineering major Dustin Lagoy ’13, civil engineering major Timothy Light ’13, and mechanical engineering major Natalie Zucker ’13 will receive William F. Field Alumni Scholarships, while mechanical engineering major Andrew Erwin will receive a Senior Leadership Award.

On April 4, Professor David J. McLaughlin from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering presented "Chasing Interdisciplinarity while Chasing Tornadoes" as part of the 2011-2012 UMass Amherst Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series. McLaughlin also received the Chancellor's Medal, the highest honor bestowed to faculty by the campus.

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