The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Assistant Professor Qiangfei Xia of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department has received a Young Faculty Award (YFA) of approximately $300,000 from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The objective of the program is “to identify and engage rising research stars in junior faculty positions at U.S. academic institutions and expose them to Department of Defense (DoD) needs as well as DARPA’s program development process.” This year, the YFA competition was intense -- of the 560 applications received, only 51 awardees were selected.

Sandra Gross, Administrative Assistant for the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, and Pamela Rivest, Administrative Assistant for the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, have been chosen as the 2012 winners of the Dean’s Service Award.

The College of Engineering welcomes new faculty members Dr. Eleni Christofa, who will join the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department after recently earning her Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley, and Dr. David Irwin, who will join the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department after earning his doctorate in Computer Science at Duke University. Christofa’s main research areas of interest are intelligent transportation systems, traffic operations and control, sustainable infrastructure management, public transportation systems, and incident detection and management.

Ten College of Engineering students from the summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) will be participating in a joint poster session with the Institute for Cellular Engineering and the Collaborative Undergraduate Research in Engineering REU programs on Friday, July 27. The sophisticated research being carried out by our REU students ranges from preventing carcinogens in drinking water, to studying fluid dynamics in space, to creating a sturdy rotating base for CASA’s revolutionary phased array radar.