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Dr. Richard Palmer traveled to Providence, Rhode Island for the period of May 16- May 20th for the American Society of Civil Engineer’s World Environment and Water Resources Congress-2010.  The theme of the Congress was “The Challenges of Change.”  Dr. Palmer served as the Technical Chairman of the Congress, organizing the technical content of the three and a half day technical program that included over 600 technical presentations/papers and 850 participants. 

As part of a long feature article in the Metro West Daily News, Michael Knodler of our Civil and Environmental Engineering Department says Massachusetts is behind many other states in seat belt use, but the number of drivers who use them is still increasing each year. Dr. Knodler is the director of the UMass Traffic Safety Research Program, or UMassSafe, which has performed seat belt studies for the state for most of the past nine years.

A web-based teaching game developed by two Northeastern University faculty members in collaboration with Assistant Professor of Transportation Engineering Song Gao, from our Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, has won a 21st Century Learning Lab Award of $150,000 from the MacArthur Foundation. The game, NOx NO MORE, uses GPS data to teach students about the environmental impact of their family’s transportation choices.

Professional baseball scouts use the ungrammatical but colorful adjective “toolsy” to describe players who have all the “tools,” or abilities, to play the game at its highest level. “Toolsy” also serves as an accurate modifier to describe all the industrial engineering seniors who recently completed Dr. Jenna Marquard’s MIE 478 capstone course. It makes them toolsy enough to ply their trade at the highest professional level. According to the official course description, MIE 478 acts as “an integration of industrial engineering/operations research principles and procedures into the design of an operating system.”

Dr. Casey Brown attended the 2010 ASCE Environmental and Water Resources Institute Congress  (EWRI) held on May 16-20, 2010, in Providence, RI.

 EWRI is a specialty organization within the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and includes:

The UMass Amherst chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) annual auction, held on May 1 to raise money for its projects in Kenya and the Amazon, netted $11,000 this year, $3,000 more than last year’s event. The EWB chapter is a student organization dedicated to helping local and international communities create sustainable engineering projects to improve their quality of life. This year’s fund-raising was aided by gold-level sponsorship contributions of $2,500 from Robert Brack ’60, chairman of the Barker Steel Company of Milford, Massachusetts, and the Tighe & Bond company, with offices in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Westford, Mass., resident Patricia Fox, a graduating senior in civil engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, was one of 25 women who recently qualified for the New England Patriots Cheerleaders. Fox, who was a member of the UMass Amherst Dance Team for four years, is a Renaissance woman whose passions range from historic preservation – the field she desires to work in as a professional engineer – to the UMass Amherst chapter of Engineers Without Borders, an idealistic organization that works in Third World countries to create engineering projects such as clean water systems.

The National Geographic News interviewed Professor David Reckhow of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department for an article that appeared on its web site April 29. Though shampoo may seem harmless, according to the article, it could be contributing to the formation of a mysterious, cancer-causing substance studied by new Yale University research. The substance, called nitrosamine, forms when shampoo or other household products interact with the disinfectant called chloramine, used in many wastewater treatment plants.

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