University of Massachusetts Amherst

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The first phase of the UMass Amherst 2015–16 Innovation Challenge kicked off its 11th year of competition on October 28, with two teams from our College of Engineering capturing the first- and third-place prizes of $1,000 and $500 respectively.

At this first Innovation Challenge event of the semester, more than 50 campus entrepreneurs and innovators participated in the MinutePitch Competition. Thirty-six teams pitched their ideas to a panel of judges, and, after three rounds, three teams emerged victorious. Two of them were from the College of Engineering. The first-place prize...

Joseph Bardin of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has received an $844,000 equipment grant from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP), which supports instruments necessary to carry out cutting-edge research relevant to the Navy’s concerns. See ONR DURIP website

Bardin’s ONR DURIP...

A long article written by Senior Editor Sally Cole of Military Embedded Systems and published on October 1, 2015, reported on the research of Joseph C. Bardin and Qiangfei Xia, electrical and computer engineering, who have developed ultra-tiny, electronic, radio-frequency (RF) switches with reprogrammable features and based on “memristor” technology.

As the Military Embedded Systems article reported, “So, what exactly is a memristor and its role in...

Three researchers in our Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department have been developing and testing the prototypes of two portable weather stations that can monitor weather and road-surface conditions on Massachusetts highways. The two “Road Weather Information Systems” (RWIS) provide a cost-effective and accurate solution for monitoring road and weather conditions in places where permanent weather stations are not feasible due to costs, accessibility, siting concerns, or rugged terrain.

The work is being carried out by ECE Professor Russell Tessier and his graduate...

Ph.D. student John Logan of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department won the “Best Student Paper” Award at the 39th Allerton Symposium on Antenna Applications, held from September 22 to 24 in Monticello, Illinois. Logan’s faculty advisor is ECE Professor Marinos Vouvakis, and the title of his winning paper was “Low Cross-Polarization Single-Polarized Vivaldi Arrays.”

According to the abstract of the article, Logan and Vouvakis are presenting a class of single-polarized Vivaldi antenna arrays with greater than a decade bandwidth and low cross-polarization....

David Irwin, a professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, is one of three co-principal investigators in a three-year, $1-million grant from the National Science Foundation (see National Science Foundation news) to create smart energy services in conjunction with the Holyoke Gas & Electric Company (HG&E). The NSF’s Partnerships for Innovation: Building Innovation Capacity program is funding Irwin and two other UMass Amherst researchers and others to work with HG&E...

Professor Zlatan Aksamija of our Electrical and Computer Engineering Department is a co-principal investigator for a multi-disciplinary team of researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), MIT, and UMass Amherst that has received a National Science Foundation (NSF) $1,999,966 grant to study the heterostructures of 2D materials and their thermal properties. The grant was awarded by the NSF’s Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI) Program, and the research project is entitled “Thermal Transport in 2D Materials for Next Generation Nanoelectronics - From...

The news website of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has posted an article about the nanoscale memristive radiofrequency switches developed by two of DARPA’s Young Faculty Award (YFA) recipients, Qiangfei Xia and Joseph Bardin, both assistant professors from our Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. The DARPA story is entitled “New Nanoscale Programmable Switches Promise Faster, More Versatile Chip-scale Devices.”...

From July 12 through 24, the College of Engineering held its third annual Summer ENGineering Institute (SENGI), this year running well-planned science and engineering learning activities for 43 high school students from around New England and beyond. The director of SENGI was Paula Rees, who is also the director of the Diversity Programs Office at the college.

From July 12 through 24, the College of Engineering held its third annual Summer ENGineering Institute (SENGI), this year running well-planned science and engineering learning activities for 43 high school students from...

A group of brilliant undergraduate researchers, working on cutting-edge summer projects, will present a poster session on Friday, July 31, from 10:00 a.m. to noon in the Campus Center Auditorium at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. All the students are participating in various programs under the umbrella of the Research Experience for Undergraduates, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The poster session is free and open to the public.

Examples of the exciting and topical research on display will include: a habitat-use analysis of breeding bald eagles near...

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