University of Massachusetts Amherst

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David Irwin of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department is one of the researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst who are conducting a pilot project with the Holyoke Gas & Electric Co. (HG&E) that will show the utility and its customers how smart electric meters can save money and power. The project is funded by a $200,000 grant from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources.

The all-freshman team of Justin Marple, Aaron Lucia, Rohan Kapoor, and Dylan Pare of our Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department won the Micromouse contest at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Region 1 Student Conference, held at New Jersey’s Science and Technology University (NJIT) on the weekend of March 29 and 30. The winning team, named IEEE Micromouse Venus, also won $800. Micromouse is an event in which small robot mice solve a 16 foot by 16 foot maze.

As Ralph Waldo Emerson observed, “Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.” Now, some 150 years later, somebody has finally built one! On Friday, April 25, not only was a better mousetrap on display, but also 22 other creative, useful, and socially conscious electronic inventions. The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department (ECE) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst hosted its 24th annual Senior Design Project Day on campus, when 23 teams of ECE students unveiled a high-tech floor show for the electronics of the future.

Qiangfei Xia of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department was one of five researchers from UMass Amherst who are sharing $100,000 in technology grants from the university system’s Commercial Ventures and Intellectual Property (CVIP) Technology Development Fund to assist in accelerating the commercialization of their inventions. Eight $25,000 grants to faculty at the Amherst, Lowell, and Worcester campuses were announced by President Robert L. Caret.

The ninth annual University of Massachusetts Innovation Challenge final business plan competition was held on April 7. The event culminated in awards to five competing teams from a prize pool of $50,000 provided by private sector contributions as well as two special $5,000 named awards – The David Wolf Prize and The Glass Prize. Rescue Collar won the top prize of $25,000, followed by mDiagnostics which won a total of $15,000. Fiberessence and Nine Brain each won $7,500, while Acne Free, Naturally received $5,250 at the event.

Michael Zink of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has come up with a brilliant solution for a very expensive problem: The various applications for networks of electronic sensing devices such as radars or cameras cannot be shared. For example, radar networks are applied for either weather forecasting or tracking aircraft. Camera systems might be applied for border security or Coast Guard life-saving activities.

Aura Ganz of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department has been selected to receive the 2014 Outstanding Senior Faculty Award, and Shelly Peyton of the Chemical Engineering Department will receive the 2014 Barbara H. and Joseph I. Goldstein Outstanding Junior Faculty Award. “Their excellent contributions to scholarship and the profession bring distinction to our college,” said Dean Tim Anderson while announcing the annual awards.

Dean Tim Anderson is pleased to announce the appointment of three faculty members and one administrator as the new associate deans for the College of Engineering.

Alumnus Bob Cramer, a CEO coach and advisor, board member, and private investor with 29 years experience in high-growth, venture-backed businesses, gave an informal talk in M5 (Marcus Hall, room 5) on Tuesday, April 15, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Mr. Cramer is a 1980 graduate of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. His topic was “Lessons Learned from 30 Years of Tech Start-up Companies.”

The University of Massachusetts Amherst Alumni Association has announced the recipients of its annual student scholarships and awards, and six high-achieving undergraduates from the College of Engineering were among them. The engineering recipients were: Industrial Engineering major Avery Stroman ’16, who won a $750 Alumni Merit-Based SAA Scholarship; Mechanical Engineering major Aaron Annan '15, Computer System Engineering major Michael Bjorge '15, Civil Engineering major Marissa Shea '15, and Chemical Engineering major Marianne Sleiman '15, who all received $750 William F.

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