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Electrical engineering junior Maxine Attobrah of Yonkers, New York speaks from good experience when she addresses high school students about finding a career path in college. “Be passionate about anything you want to do!” she advises. “Whatever you want to be, just make sure you love what you’ll be doing.” One thing Attobrah is passionate about is encouraging minority students like herself, as well as every young person everywhere, to follow their star. This lesson was impressed upon her by caring teachers, mentors, family, and friends while she was growing up in Yonkers, and she plans to give the same kind of guidance to young people once she becomes a professional engineer.

Movik Networks, whose CEO John St. Amand is a 1991 graduate of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at UMass Amherst, was announced recently as one of the top 15 emerging companies in the wireless industry. The honor came from FierceWireless, a daily email newsletter focused on matters relating to the wireless technology industry. Movik was also ranked 27th in The Wall Street Journal's third annual ranking of the top 50 venture-capital-backed companies. Chosen from a pool of nearly 6,000 candidate companies, Movik is recognized as having the potential to make a technological breakthrough, topping The Wall Street Journal's "Next Big Thing" list.

Rafael D. Guzman (B.S. ’88, EE) is a dedicated alumnus and high-honor graduate of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, the president and CEO of RM Technologies, Inc. (RMT) of Lawrence, Massachusetts, and a powerful supporter of the Lawrence community and surrounding area, with a special commitment to local young people. All these passions of his came together this year when Guzman’s company created the RM Technologies, Inc. Award in the College of Engineering. The first recipient of the award is freshman Erick Aponte of Lawrence. 

On Thursday, October 4, Dr. Ellen J. Ferraro (’89 B.S., ’94 Ph.D., ECE), the director of the Systems Architecture Design and Integration Directorate for Integrated Defense Systems at Raytheon in Waltham, Mass., delivered the 13th annual Tang Lecture on the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus. The title of her lecture was “The Art of Systems Thinking Within the Science of Systems Engineering.” Dr. Ferraro has been profiled as one of the “Women to Watch” in Massachusetts by Mass High Tech Magazine. Among other responsibilities since joining Raytheon in 1994, Ferraro has worked as a department manager in the Radar Systems Laboratory, where she oversaw 80 engineers working on four major radar programs.

Professor Aura Ganz of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department has been awarded a $1.6-million, four-year grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to continue the research on her life-saving, disaster-management solution known as DIORAMA II. Ganz’s solution is supported by the leadership of the disaster management community. This electronic computer system can quickly organize chaotic, mass-casualty, disaster scenes, such as airliner, bus, and train wrecks, and cut the evacuation time of survivors in half. DIORAMA II works both in daylight and nighttime while overcoming physical obstacles.

Professor Stephen Frasier of the Electrical and Computer Department gave one of the keynote addresses at the 7th European Conference on Radar in Meteorology and Hydrology (ERAD-2012), hosted by Météo France in Toulouse, France this summer. His keynote address, entitled “Signal processing challenges in phased-array radar meteorology,” surveyed the state of the art in phased-array weather radar and the challenge of implementing cost-effective systems that will support the recent adoption of dual-polarization by many national weather services. Frasier also chaired the session on Signal Processing and co-authored six additional papers related to theory and observations by X-band radar in meteorology. 

Doctoral students Akshaya Shanmugam of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department and Jalil Johnson from the School of Nursing have been named the 2012-2013 Hluchyj Fellows at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The Hluchyj Graduate Fellowship was started by Dr. Michael Hluchyj, a 1979 alumnus of the ECE department, and his wife, Theresa “Terry” Hluchyj, a 1977 alumna from the School of Nursing. The fellowship supports two graduate students per year in the College of Engineering and the School of Nursing with annual stipends so they can do interdisciplinary research in the area of clinical healthcare.

The António Champalimaud Foundation has announced that Eric A. Swanson, a 1982 alumnus of the UMass Amherst Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and a research affiliate in the MIT Research Laboratory of Electronics, is one of the recipients of the 2012 António Champalimaud Vision Award. Presented annually, the award recognizes contributions to overall vision research and to the alleviation of visual impairments. Swanson and his collaborators were recognized for the invention of optical coherence tomography (OCT), which plays a key role in the diagnosis and treatment of the most important blinding diseases of the industrialized world: macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma.

Alumnus Paul Engel (B.S.’74, Computer Systems Engineering) and his wife Debi Engel have been long-time supporters of the College of Engineering, and their legacy here includes a scholarship they established in 2000 and named after the local company they co-own. The scholarship is officially called the Quabbin Wire & Cable Co., Inc. Scholarship Endowment, which supports students from Western Massachusetts who are matriculating in the College of Engineering. The company is a manufacturer and supplier of Polyofin, PVC, TPU, TRE, and low-smoke halogen insulated low-temperature thermoplastic-shielded and unshielded cables. Quabbin employs approximately 100 workers. In total, the renewable scholarship has supported 11 undergraduates since 2000. 

Professor Neal Anderson of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department was awarded first place for the Best Oral Conference Paper at the 12th annual Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers International Conference on Nanotechnology (IEEE NANO), the top IEEE annual conference in nanotechnology and one of the biggest nanotechnology conferences in the world. The paper, co-authored by Anderson’s graduate students Ilke Ercan and Natesh Ganesh, was entitled "Toward Nanoprocessor Thermodynamics." As ECE Department Head Christopher Hollot noted, “This is a very exciting and newsworthy accomplishment, and I believe it’s a harbinger of the discipline’s further recognition of Neal’s contribution to understanding fundamental limitations in the engineering of nanoscale computing.”