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College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences
UVM CEMS Quarterly Update: June 2020
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A Note from Dean Linda Schadler

Greeting from CEMS in the era of COVID-19. We hope you are healthy and safe and have adjusted to the unusual time we are living through.  

Our apologies for missing the March Newsletter – we were busy putting everything else in the College online!

I am extremely proud of CEMS and how we have adjusted to COVID-19 and have continued to support the current students and each other, recruit new students, and make progress towards our strategic plan.  I thought you might like to see the timeline for this spring and the actions we have taken.

And this past weekend, we celebrated our graduating Seniors with a virtual commencement. We missed the pomp and circumstance of graduation, but we know our graduates will take this experience into the world and help change society for the better. 

The faculty and staff were fantastic and the community support of each other was outstanding!  We plan to be providing some in person instruction in the fall and are in the midst of re-opening the labs (carefully), and solidifying the protocols for social distancing while in the building.  

In the midst of all the adjustments, there was also a lot of good news and our faculty and staff have made their share of contributions to the cause!  I hope you enjoy reading about it all below.

CEMS COVID Champions

Jason Bates_100x100 Vermont Team Invents Emergency Ventilator
UVM’s engineers seek swift roll out for device that could save lives.


Catcoders_100x100UVM's CatCoders Connect COVID-19 Data with Context

The CatCoders program connects UVM Computer Science students with stakeholders in the broader research and business community with paid opportunities to gain experience with real-world projects.


PaigeHamiltonandVadishaPeru_100x100Paige Hamilton (‘20) Helps Repair UVM Medical Center’s Equipment Supply
The senior Biomedical Engineering major gives back and discovers her purpose.


Jacob Leopold-large imagePutting the Human in Human Resources
Jacob Leopold, CEMS’ HR Representative, reflects on his role as Chief of Shelburne Rescue during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Jenny WeatherholtzYou Can Help Make a Difference!
Do you want to support the important work that CEMS' faculty, staff, and students are doing to positively impact our world during the Coronavirus pandemic? Get in touch with Jenny Weatherholtz, our new Director of Major Gifts for CEMS!


McGinnis100x100The Right Time for the PanicMechanic
BME’s Ryan McGinnis is one of the developers of a new app that could help panic attack sufferers manage their anxiety—during the Coronavirus pandemic and beyond.


Living Robots Create Global Media SplashXenobots CNN feed_100x100
New creatures, called “xenobots,” were designed on a supercomputer at UVM by CS professor Joshua Bongard and his graduate student Sam Kriegman. The whole world is talking about them, from The New York Times, CNN, and more!


Ben Ogden_100x100Engineering for Speed: Ogden Wins NCAA Championship
The CEMS sophomore triumphs in a major 10-kilometer ski race.




BRAID Funding Boosts Diverse CS Students’ Work

UVM has received $30,000 in BRAID funding for 2020. The BRAID initiative (Building, Recruiting, And Inclusion for Diversity), co-led by AnitaB.org and Harvey Mudd College, launched in September 2014 in partnership with 15 universities across the nation. BRAID Schools implement efforts to increase the participation of students from underrepresented groups in their undergraduate CS programs.


UVM’s team placed in the Top 5 and earned the award for best international team at the annual Engineering and Commerce (ENGCOMM) case competition at Concordia University in Montreal in February. UVM was the only US team, with other teams coming from Egypt, Ireland, Israel, the Netherlands, and throughout Canada. Cases combined engineering and business, requiring integrated solutions, and were real problems provided by sponsors GlobalMedic (disaster relief), L3 Harris (defense), and ESB (electric utility). UVM team members were Nate Gourd (Finance and Global business), Ian Kosnik (Environmental), Cameron Nash (Marketing), and Dante Newman (Mechanical).


  • Cold Region Research Laboratory awarded a joint $3.7 million grant to UVM over the next 3 years.
  • The CS department received a $1 million pilot grant with Google to study open source software team optimization.
  • Senator Leahy announced a $3 million grant to establish a National Center on Restorative Justice at Vermont Law School. Members of UVM CEMS, including Abigail Crocker, form the Justice Research Initiative to engage in this important work.
  • Vermont Space Grant recently celebrated NASA’s Space Grant’s 30th anniversary by being chosen to present an exhibit at a consortium in Washington, D.C.


  • Frederic Sansoz has been named an ASME Fellow.
  • Matthew Scarborough is the Early Career winner for the Environmental Engineering Division of ASEE for the 2020 conference.
  • Rachael Oldinski won the GSS Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award.
  • John Lens is one of two winners of UVM’s Outstanding New Service-Learning Faculty Awards.
  • Niccolo Fiorentino won the U.S. Bone and Joint Initiative Young Investigator Award.
  • CEE graduate student Bijay KC has been selected as the Graduate Teaching Assistant of the Year (in the lab/field instruction) by the Graduate College.
  • Mathematics graduate student Patrick Mullins has been selected Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) of the Year in the Lecture Instruction category.

Congratulations to all of our CEMS faculty and students for their hard work and excellence!


College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences
109 Votey Hall 33 Colchester Avenue
Burlington, VT 05405-0156

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