News

Before Bob Raymond graduated as an electrical engineering major in 1949, he witnessed many of the momentous events of that time in our world, our campus, and our college. He experienced World War II, the GI Bill, the legislative action establishing the University of Massachusetts in 1947, the campus reorganization creating the School of Engineering in 1947, and the formation of the Electrical Engineering Department in 1948. So, you see, Bob Raymond is an eye-witness who can report first-hand on these larger-than-life events.

Inder Sidhu, who earned his master’s degree in 1983 from our Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, has become a bestselling author. Sidhu, a senior vice president of strategy and planning for Worldwide Operations at Cisco, wrote the New York Times bestseller, Doing Both: How Cisco Captures Today’s Profit & Drives Tomorrow’s Growth, published recently by FT Press. In Doing Both, Sidhu offers a practical guidebook to leaders looking to move their businesses forward in face of new realities.

Sandip Kundu and his Phd student, Aswin Sreedhar, of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department have just come out with a groundbreaking textbook, published by McGraw Hill and entitled, Nanoscale CMOS VLSI Circuits: Design for Manufacturability. This detailed guide offers proven methods for optimizing circuit designs to increase the yield, reliability, and manufacturability of products and mitigate defects and failure. Covering the latest devices, technologies, and processes, the text focuses on delivering higher performance and lower power consumption.

Alodeep Sanyal, a doctoral student in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, has won a third-place certificate in the influential E. J. McCluskey Doctoral Thesis Competition, sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Test Technology Technical Council. Selection was based on the quality of his thesis, a poster presentation, and an interview by the award committee. The name of Sanyal’s thesis is, “On Detection, Analysis, and Characterization of Transient and Parametric Failures in CMOS VLSI.”

Two projects developed in our Electrical and Computer Engineering Department were chosen as finalists for the Vodafone Americas Foundation’s Wireless Innovation Project and recognized at the Global Philanthropy Forum. One of the ECE finalists was DIORAMA ("Dynamic Information Collection and Resource Tracking System for Disaster Management”), which was developed by ECE Professor Aura Ganz and her colleagues to respond quickly to mass-casualty accidents and coordinate the rescue operation. The second finalist project was the CASA Emergency Management Information System (EMIS), which will allow smart phone users for the first time to control the information a sensor network is collecting and will permit emergency managers to deliver that information more accurately in the interest of public safety.

Calvin Swift, an emeritus professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, will receive an award jointly presented by the International Council for Science Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences for his pioneering work in synthetic aperture radar for earth remote sensing. “The Jeoujang Jaw Award recognizes scientists who have made distinguished pioneering contributions to promoting space research,” his citation states, “establishing new space science research branches, and founding new exploration programs.” Last January, Swift also received the Special Award from the American Meteorological Society at its Awards Banquet.

An article written about the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department’s M5 facility and its student-run recording business, Studio M5, recently appeared in the Hampshire Gazette, written by staff writer Kristin Palpini. The article was entitled, “UMass' hackerspace, Studio M5, promotes real-world learning.” M5 offers free access to electronic components, specialized test equipment, a design-oriented reference library, open hours staffed by undergraduates, a “junk room” with old electronics for students to use for parts or reverse-engineering, an instructional lab dedicated to electronics hardware and computing, an audio engineering workstation, and a place for ECE students to call home.

Electrical and computer engineers from the Microwave Remote Sensing Laboratory (MIRSL) are currently spending 15 hours per day scouring Oklahoma and the Great Plains in their two truck-mounted mobile Doppler radar systems as part of the largest, most ambitious study ever launched to figure out how tornadoes form and predict them more accurately. Overall goals of the national project, known as the Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment 2, or VORTEX2, include giving people earlier warning of severe weather and reducing the number of false positive warnings issued.

In the summer of 2009, Cisco Systems, Inc. hired more graduates from our Electrical & Computer Engineering Department (ECE) than from any other university, school, college, or department in the nation. Department Head Kris Hollot affectionately refers to the new hires as the "Cisco Kids." One of the Cisco Kids, Austin Cormier '09, wanted to give something back to the department right away. So he and three of his '09 classmates (Doug Frazer, Scott Richard, and Ivan Bercovich) pooled their resources and, with the generous support of Cisco, created "The Cisco Young Alumni Senior Design Project Award." 

The UMass News & Media Relations Office has produced two very informative and complimentary videos about The Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA) and our campus chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB). The videos demonstrate quite graphically how CASA and EWB are both making big waves reaching far beyond campus. The CASA video describes the organization’s revolutionary new weather-sensing radar networks, while the EWB video (UMass Engineers Without Borders Head to Kenya) covers the group’s new well, installed this fall in Western Kenya.