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. 

Evan Gaertner, a graduate student in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department, has been selected from a pool of several highly qualified applicants to receive the 2014-15 Edwin V. Sisson Doctoral Fellowship, starting this coming September (2014). Sisson is a 1968 alumnus from the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department, and his fellowship fund is geared toward first-year doctoral candidates from any of the four departments in the College of Engineering who do research in sustainable energy or other environmental subjects, the main areas of the donor’s concerns. His graduate research, performed under faculty advisor Matthew Lackner of the MIE department, is focused on modeling unsteady aerodynamics of floating offshore wind turbines.

The Engineers Without Borders (EWB)-USA UMass Amherst student chapter needs your support! And you can give it quite painlessly during a festive night of eating, drinking, socializing, and auctioning, dubbed “Kenya Night.” On Saturday, April 12, from 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., the EWB-USA UMass Amherst student chapter will hold its seventh annual fund-raising social and auction at the “Duda Barn” on the property of Gillian Haven and Jim Duda, 18 Harkness Road in Pelham. The gala evening will feature appetizers, a cash bar, presentations, and silent and live auctions offering more than 100 great items, including a one-week Nantucket vacation rental. All proceeds will directly benefit the EWB-USA UMass Amherst student chapter. The first silent auction tables close at 8:00 p.m., so come early. The suggested donation for the event is $25 for non-students and $10 for students. You can RSVP now at

On Monday, April 7, you can show up at 5:00 p.m. in the Event Hall of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Commonwealth Honors College and watch five teams of student entrepreneurs compete for more than $50,000 in prize money by pitching their pioneering business plans based on inspired innovations created on campus. This event is the culmination of the ninth annual University of Massachusetts Innovation Challenge. The competition is free and open to the public, and the media are cordially invited. However, the coordinators of the event ask that anyone wishing to attend please RSVP at

Massachusetts Senator Marc R. Pacheco, a UMass Amherst alumnus, will be speaking on campus on April 14 at 3:00 p.m. in Room 203 of the Morrill Science Center (III). This event is hosted by the Northeast Climate Science Center. The Senator will focus on the Commonwealth’s status as a leader on green policies and clean energy practices, as well as plans for future climate legislation. The title of his talk is “Massachusetts Action on Climate Change: A discussion of the Commonwealth’s leadership in climate action and plans for the future.” For more information click on

Tony McCaffrey, a former postdoctoral researcher and current collaborator in the Center for e-Design at our Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department, has produced a short video to explain the new “Brainswarming” tool he has created for Innovation Accelerator, Inc., the company he founded with its CEO, James O. Pearson, an alumnus of the MIE department. Brainswarming, consisting of software that provides a better, more efficient process as an alternative to brainstorming, is the latest tool to emerge from McCaffrey’s research and will soon become an online platform for remote group work. A game version of Brainswarming is also available. Watch the video for more information on what Brainswarming is and how you can implement it:

Assistant Professor Wei Fan of the Chemical Engineering Department has been selected to receive the prestigious 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award from 3M Corporation. The Award recognizes “outstanding new faculty who were selected based on their research, experience, and academic leadership. The purpose of the award is to help the young faculty members achieve tenure, remain in their teaching position, and conduct research.” Fan is a young leader in the field of engineering porous materials as catalysts and carriers for biorefinery and drug delivery. His research group focuses on the rational synthesis and characterization of nanoporous materials based on the comprehensive understanding of their crystallization mechanism.

Karen Skolfield, a lecturer in the College of Engineering who teaches the required Engin 351 “Writing in Engineering” course, has won a PEN New England Award for Literary Excellence for her book of poetry, Frost in the Low Areas. The PEN New England Awards honor literary excellence in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction by New England authors. As the PEN New England website noted about Skolfield: “Frost in the Low Areas (2013) won the First Book Award for Poetry from Zone 3 Press. She is a 2014 Massachusetts Cultural Council fellow and winner of the 2014 Split This Rock poetry prize and the 2012 Oboh Prize from Boxcar Poetry Review.” See Read the blurb in the Boston Globe:

The American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE) has presented alumnus Joseph A. Carnevale – a rear admiral in the U.S. Navy retired, the senior defense advisor for the Shipbuilders Council of America, and a 1971 alum of the Chemical Engineering Department – with its 2013 Frank G. Law Award, given annually since 1980 in recognition of long-term significant contributions of service to the society. A longtime supporter of the college, Carnivale has created an endowed scholarship fund here, is a frequent guest speaker, and serves on the UMass Rising Campaign Committee for the D.C. region. The ASNE citation said in part that “Over more than three decades of active involvement with the society, Rear Admiral Joe Carnevale has frequently and reliably stepped forward to assume leadership and volunteer positions to support the society and its mission in a wide variety of roles and circumstances.” 

The Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department seeks to raise a minimum of $30,000 to fund the Stephen Malkin Annual Lecture Series in honor of the late Professor Malkin (1941-2013), a visionary, a leader, and, above all, an excellent mentor, who was the MIE department head for more than six years. The purpose of the Malkin Lecture Series will be to attract a wide variety of expert speakers, who will inspire our learning community on issues of innovation and progress in engineering fields involved with manufacturing. Several of Malkin’s academic and professional colleagues have already contributed to the endowment, with more than $10,000 raised. Now you can help us grow the fund to a sustaining level of $30,000 and thus enable this wonderful lecture series. Will you join us in making a contribution to the Stephen Malkin Lecture Series Endowed Fund?