On December 6 in the Campus Center Auditorium, 170 junior and senior students in the ECE 361 Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering course showed off some 40 model “smart cars” they had designed during the course as collision-avoiding vehicles. This course is intended to provide non-electrical engineering majors, in this case students from the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department, with the relevant electrical and electronic engineering concepts and device knowledge to work effectively in multi-disciplined design, development, and manufacturing teams. View You Tube video:

To date donations of just over $26,000 have been raised toward our $50k challenge from Altra Industrial Motion. Altra Industrial, led by President and CEO Carl Christenson ('82 B.S., '84 M.S., Mechanical Engineering), has made a substantial challenge grant that will double every gift to the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department’s Innovation Shop up to $50,000. Mr. Christenson has been a longtime supporter of the College of Engineering and a personal annual donor to the undergraduate scholarship program within the college. What his challenge means is that your gift today will have twice the impact on future engineers and the practical experience they get in the Innovation Shop. For every dollar you give, Altra Industrial will contribute a dollar – doubling the funds that will help expand opportunities for students, and keeping the shop state-of-the-art. Step up and take the Altra Ultra Challenge!

On December 5, the MIE 415 Senior Capstone Design course held its end-of-semester poster contest, and the winning team of students is creating an invention to improve the quality of life for children with Pediatric Multiple Synostosis Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder characterized by multiple bone fusions involving the face, limbs, and middle ear. The winning team was assisted by a portion of the recent $125,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to enable “Integrative Capstone Design Experiences for Engineering and Nursing Students,” awarded earlier this year to Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Professors Frank Sup and Sundar Krishnamurty, who teach the MIE 415 course. Professor Cynthia Jacelon of the UMass College of Nursing also collaborated on the grant proposal. The second- and third-place teams also featured posters explaining two new inventions: a Hardwood Floor Nail Gun Stand; and a Yankee Candle Wax Floor Tank Redesign.

Jorge L. Salazar, a doctoral graduate from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, was awarded a prestigious National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Advanced Study Program Postdoctoral Fellowship. The postdoctoral program provides an opportunity for recent Ph.D. scientists and engineers to continue to pursue their research interests in atmospheric and related sciences. Salazar is currently working at the Earth Observing Laboratory at NCAR in Boulder, Colorado, developing an emerging technology for two-dimensional, electronically scanned, and dual-pol phased array radars for use in atmospheric research.

On December 3, twelve teams of creative, enterprising, young innovators pitched their business ideas and shared more than $10,000 in prize money during the University of Massachusetts Innovation Challenge Executive Summary & Elevator Pitch Competition. Building on previously submitted written materials, each team leader presented a two-minute pitch to a panel of judges from the private sector with wide-ranging expertise in creating new ventures. After hearing from all 12 teams, the judges deliberated and announced the awardees: innovation/announcements/judges-award-10000. Since 2005, the UMass Innovation Challenge has provided over $500,000 in awards to 69 different student-led teams.

Organizations that recruit UMass Amherst engineers often ask us about ways to improve their visibility and recruitment efforts on campus. The answer is through a $5,000 Corporate Partnership. The Engineering Career and Student Development Center offers a unique opportunity for your organization to strengthen its status on campus, while also supporting the professional development of potential future employees. The Corporate Partnership Program gives companies multiple resources to promote their brand and to develop lasting relationships with students, faculty, and the Engineering Career Center staff while on the UMass Amherst campus.

The research of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Professor Yossi Chait and his colleagues was recently featured on the UMass Research Next website in an article entitled “Patient Protocol: Improving treatment outcomes for dialysis patients.” Chait, a feedback systems engineer, is part of a multidisciplinary team that has been approved by an institutional review board to begin clinical testing of a groundbreaking new protocol for administering a key drug for managing patients in the final stage of kidney disease. “We are developing protocols for patients who have kidney disease and are undergoing dialysis and need precise, effective doses of recombinant human erythropoietin hormone,” says Chait. The hormone, also known as EPO, manages the production of red blood cells, which, among other things, controls anemia. Read the article:

Civil Engineering Major Jessica Boakye has been honored as a 2013-2014 “Rising Researcher” ( by Research Next, the UMass Amherst publication and website that recognizes the outstanding research, scholarship, and creativity of the students and faculty on campus. Boakye’s work recently won her a spot as one of the “New Faces of Civil Engineering” in the nation by the American Society of Civil Engineers, which annually honors 10 students throughout the United States. The Rising Researcher Award was launched last year as a way to bring to the forefront outstanding young researchers—undergraduate students who have demonstrated leadership and impact in their chosen area of study. The Rising Researcher program acknowledges the excellent work of UMass Amherst undergraduate students.

Michael F. Malone has been honored as one of the 2013 Innovation All-Stars in higher education by the Boston Business Journal and Mass High Tech. Malone is the vice chancellor for research and engagement at UMass Amherst and is also the Ronnie & Eugene Isenberg Distinguished Professor of Engineering. The awards were given to two individuals and 15 companies at a ceremony and reception held in Boston on Nov. 20. Malone has played a key role in encouraging innovation in research and education at UMass Amherst.

Alexana Cranmer of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department is the 2013-14 recipient of the Kenneth A. Lloyd Fellowship, awarded annually to a qualified incoming doctoral student in the MIE department who shows exceptional potential for success in his or her field, with a preference given to female applicants. Mr. Lloyd of Duxbury, Massachusetts, graduated from the College of Engineering in 1973, having majored in mechanical engineering. He is currently the vice president and general manager of Electro Switch Corporation in Weymouth, Massachusetts. A longtime supporter of the College of Engineering, Mr. Lloyd has a history of generosity to UMass Amherst, having made previous gifts to create the Kenneth A. Lloyd Scholarship Endowmentand the Kenneth A. Lloyd Engineering Scholarship Endowment. Lloyd also received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the MIE department.