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Shannon Roberts of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department and Eric Gonzales of the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department were two of the campus experts who spoke about autonomous vehicles at a May 29 “listening session” convened by the Governor’s Commission on the Future of Transportation and held in the UMass Amherst Cape Cod Lounge at the Student Union. Roberts spoke about “Human Factor Needs in an Autonomous Vehicle World,” while Gonzales focused on “Autonomous Vehicles for Ride Sharing.”

See media coverage: Gazette, WWLP-TV 22, News Office release.

The project of Associate Professor Chul Park of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department was one of four UMass Amherst projects to receive $25,000 Technology Development Grants from UMass President Marty Meehan’s office. The name of Park’s project is “Promoting the co-op anaerobic digestion for communities in New England using the UMass Anaerobic Side-stream Reactor Process.” His project aims to implement a system to minimize the production of sludge—a byproduct generated from wastewater treatment—using anaerobic side-stream reactor treatment and anaerobic digestion.

Undergraduate student Leigh Hamlet of the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department is one of nine UMass Amherst students to earn a prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship. Hamlet’s three-year NSF award will provide her with an annual stipend of $34,000 and a yearly $12,000 cost-of-education allowance to the graduate institution she will attend.

Congratulations to eight exceptional engineering students who will be receiving alumni scholarships and awards. The students were recognized by the UMass Amherst Alumni Association at a reception on Sunday, April 22, in the Student Union Ballroom.

Assistant Professor Kara Peterman of the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department has won the prominent Norman Medal, the highest honor granted by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) for a technical paper that "makes a definitive contribution to engineering science." As CEE Department Head Richard Palmer said about her accomplishment, “I congratulate Dr. Peterman on the outstanding award. ASCE has been giving it for over 100 years, so that puts her in very, very good company.”

Professor Daiheng Ni's Longitudinal Control Model (LCM), a mathematical model that captures vehicle dynamics in road traffic, has been implemented by Caliper in its TransModeler traffic simulation software as one of the underlying algorithms of traffic flow modeling. Derived from first principles, LCM model is a state-of-the-art tool to help transportation engineers analyze highway traffic flow, congestion, and mitigation. Caliper Corporation (https://www.caliper.com/) is a technology leader in the development of geographic information systems (GIS) and transportation software. It is well known in the transportation profession for its TransCAD® transportation planning software and TransModeler® traffic simulation software.

Five of the best and brightest academics from the College of Engineering (COE) have been chosen to receive COE’s 2017-2018 Outstanding Faculty Awards. Professor Russell Tessier was selected for the Outstanding Senior Faculty Award. The review committee designated Assistant Professors Caitlyn Butler and David Irwin as joint awardees for the Barbara H. and Joseph I. Goldstein Outstanding Junior Faculty Award. Finally, Professors Matthew Lackner and Shelly Peyton were named the co-recipients of the COE Outstanding Teaching Award. All five award winners will be recognized during the COE Senior Recognition Celebration to be held on Saturday, May 12, 2018.

An article in the Journal for Civil Aviation Training reports that UFA, Inc., a developer of air traffic control simulation systems based in Burlington, Massachusetts, has delivered an ATTower air traffic control simulator to the Transportation Center in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the UMass Amherst College of Engineering.

The UMass ASCE Student Chapter received an honorable mention for their activities as reported in their last annual report. The group was selected by the ASCE Committee on Student Members to receive a Letter of Honorable Mention for their outstanding activities as recorded in the 2017 chapter annual report. This recognition received by only the top third of all Student Organizations. 

By some estimates, more than 1,000 American citizens have lost their lives in Puerto Rico as one chilling aftermath of Hurricane Maria on September 17, 2017, and the whole island is still imperiled by the immediate risk of waterborne illness due to lack of purified water. In answer to this national emergency, a group of dedicated, highly-principled, and brilliant students from the University of Massachusetts Amherst raised enough money to visit Puerto Rico from January 2 to 14 and carry out an intensive campaign of water purification, water contamination education, the distribution of food and medical supplies, and other forms of physical and emotional support for the ravaged island.

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