Professor Don DeGroot traveled to Boston to deliver an invited lecture for the Boston Society of Civil Engineers. His lecture, "Geotechnical Engineering Site Investigation Practice for Design of Offshore Energy Systems," described the exceptional challenges faced by civil engineers involved in the design of offshore oil and gas exploration infrastructure, pipelines, and wind farms. Energy exploration and installation activities are now approaching water depths of 5,000 meters, and plans for renewable energy systems continue to intensify. Design loads include complex combinations of wind, wave, ice, and current forces requiring development of innovative foundation systems. The presentation discussed gee-engineering site investigation solutions for characterization of offshore sediments, assessment of offshore geohazards, and design and installation of offshore energy infrastructure.

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. Rescue Collar offers a wearable device that reunites lost pets with their owners through community and technology at the push of a button. Both mDiagnostics and Fiberessence are teams from the College of Engineering.

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.

Matthew Lackner of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department was recently featured on Research Next, the web magazine about research, scholarship, and creativity at UMass Amherst. As the Research Next article noted, “The UMass Wind Energy Center, a leading wind energy research institution since 1972, is what drew Lackner to UMass Amherst a decade ago—it was one of the few institutions offering programs focused solely on wind energy. Now, as a member of the center and an executive faculty advisor for the campus’s federally funded IGERT (Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship) Offshore Wind Energy program, Lackner is researching the next generation of offshore wind turbines.” Read full story:

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. “Aura and Shelly, along with the CoE Outstanding Teaching Award winner Rama Janaswamy, will be recognized during the CoE Senior Recognition Celebration to be held on Saturday, May 10, 2014. Congratulations, Aura and Shelly!”

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. The new appointments are: Professor John Collura, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, as the Associate Dean for Research and Innovation; Professor David Ford, Chemical Engineering Department, as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs; Professor Tilman Wolf, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, as the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Operations; and Kathleen Rubin, the current Assistant Dean, as the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Administration. The College of Engineering is indeed fortunate to have these dedicated individuals available to serve in four key positions at this crucial time of growth, evolution, and advancement within the institution.

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.” Among other companies, Cramer has served as CEO of: LiveVault, one of the first SaaS businesses targeting the SMB market (acquired by IRM in 2005); FirstSense, one of the first application performance management companies (acquired by CCRD in 1999); and Nimbit, one of the first direct-to-fan online sales and marketing platforms (acquired by PreSonus in 2012). The talk was free and open to the public, and refreshments were served.

Dr. David Reckhow will be participated in a workshop entitled, "Developing Modeling Capability to Simulate Water Supply Dissolved Organic Carbon and Disinfection By-product Levels". This workshop was sponsored by the New York Department of Environmental Protection and its focus is on NYC's water supply reservoirs. (April 2014)

An engineer’s engineer, Bill Swanson almost took a different path in pursuing his American Dream more than four decades ago. But then his aptitude for tinkering got the best of him. “As a young man, I originally wanted to become a pro golfer. But I also liked taking things apart, putting them back together, making them work better,” he told a rapt audience of 14 engineering students from UMass Amherst on February 20. “That’s how I drifted into engineering.” That’s also how he signed on with the Raytheon Company in 1972 after graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from California Polytechnic State University.

On Thursday, April 10, the Engineering Career and Student Development Center held its Fourth Annual College of Engineering Networking Night from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the Gunness Student Center in Marcus Hall. “Based on national surveys,” says Cheryl Brooks, the director of the career center, “it is clear that networking is the best way to find a job or internship!” Finding a job or internship was especially effective on Networking Night, when at least 28 College of Engineering alumni from 25 key engineering firms were on hand to offer career advice and help students build their own professional networks. Remember: Our alumni were once in exactly the same position you are in, looking for career opportunities. Now they returned, having launched their careers in important companies.