University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Points of Pride

Congratulations to the Class of 2015! The job market is looking positive with new opportunities coming your way. We look forward to your future achievements.

I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Professor David McLaughlin, ECE, to the position of Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Administration. Dave is replacing Kathy Rubin, who is retiring after 32 years of invaluable service to the College of Engineering. In her critical position, Kathy has worked closely with the college dean, department heads, and chief undergraduate advisors to develop and execute policies...

Sarah Perry

Chemical Engineering Department Assistant Professor Sarah Perry has been named one of the two Armstrong Fund for Science winners for 2015, which this year is granting $20,000 to each researcher to encourage transformative research on campus that introduces new ways of thinking about pressing scientific or technical challenges. Physics assistant professor Jun Yan also received an Armstrong award. They were recognized at the UMass Amherst Honors Dinner on April 22.

Benefactors John and Elizabeth Armstrong established their Fund for Science in 2006 to identify and support...

Erin Baker

As part of a course taught by Andrew Danylchuk and Curtice Griffin of the Natural Resources Conservation Department, an interdisciplinary group of students from the UMass IGERT Offshore Wind Energy Program has performed a hands-on site assessment and feasibility plan for offshore wind energy production for the Center for Sustainable Development on the island of Eleuthra in the Bahamas. Watch video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vS6ciPf0msg.

The UMass IGERT...

Kristie Stauch-White

Civil and Environmental (CEE) Department graduate student Kristie Stauch-White has received a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship from the NSF Directorate for Education and Human Resources Division of Graduate Education. Stauch-White works in the lab of her CEE advisor Professor Caitlyn Butler, who is pursuing pioneering research on special “Algal-Sludge Granules,” which can produce their own oxygen during wastewater treatment, thus cutting electricity consumption in half, while also cleansing wastewater.

The Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP...

On Wednesday afternoon, April 29, 19 student teams from the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department and College of Nursing will demonstrate their brilliant, useful, and humanitarian inventions. Their fascinating innovations include a new and improved walker for a patient suffering from debilitating rheumatoid arthritis, a more efficient and economic device for farmers to remove seeds from squash, an ergonomically correct apparatus for pulling beer kegs off storage racks in a warehouse, and a dynamometer to help rehabbing patients assess the proper positioning of their...

"Otto" the camera-equipped quadcopter

On Friday, April 24, seniors from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department (ECE) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst will present, display, and demonstrate 21 clever and useful electronic inventions for the public. The ECE will host its 25th annual Senior Design Project Day on campus, when 21 teams of seniors will unveil a high-tech floor show for the electronics of the future. This year’s senior design projects include an electronic navigation system for visually impaired individuals, a drone model quadcopter that automatically videotapes action sports such as mountain...

Yahya Modarres-Sadeghi

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a $250,000 grant, augmented by $62,500 from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, to a team led by researchers at UMass Amherst to develop a blade-mounted, ultrasonic whistle on wind turbines to deter and protect bat species. As air flows over the wind turbine blade, the device will produce a deterrence signal. The project will address the challenge of deterring bats across the entire wind-turbine rotor and test whether a pulsed noise, similar to a bat call, can act as an effective warning. The project, entitled “A Biomimetic Ultrasonic...

Katharine Greco

Chemical Engineering junior Katharine Greco has won a highly selective scholarship from the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program (https://goldwater.scholarsapply.org/sch-2015.php). Each scholarship covers eligible expenses for undergraduate tuition, fees, books, room, and board, up to a maximum of $7,500 annually. Greco’s scholarship was one of only 260 awarded nationally this year.

The purpose of the Goldwater program is to provide a continuing source of highly qualified...

Katrina Rieger

Katrina Rieger, a fourth-year doctoral candidate in the Chemical Engineering (ChE) Department, has been chosen to receive a highly selective and very prestigious 2015-16 Fulbright U.S. Student Award in conjunction with the Germanistic Society of America Award. Rieger will serve as a Fulbright researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany. The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program of the United States. 

As Rieger’s acceptance letter from the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board said, “You will...

Raphael Guzman

The University of Massachusetts Amherst Alumni Association will present Raphael Guzman (ECE ’88) with a Distinguished Alumni Service Award at the State House on April 23. The award honors alumni for outstanding and significant contributions of service to a particular community and to the university in the way of financial, volunteer, or advocacy support. Guzman’s award is part of a set of Distinguished Alumni Awards which each represent the highest honor bestowed by the UMass Amherst Alumni Association on alumni, faculty, and friends. Recipients of this prestigious award have translated...

Shelly Peyton

The method that pharmaceutical companies use to develop new chemotherapy drugs is highly inefficient and expensive, costing one-to-ten-billion dollars and seven to 20 years for each drug. Shelly Peyton of the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is addressing this critical problem with her new research project, funded by a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation CAREER Program.

Peyton’s research team engineers artificial tissue, which realistically mimics various human organs, then tests how cancer cells in this “biomaterial”...

Boris Lau

Assistant Professor Boris Lau of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has been awarded a grant of $500,000 from the prestigious National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program to study the behavior of natural and engineered nanoparticles in our waterways and water supplies. Lau’s CAREER project will not only inform the scientists who synthesize nanoparticles how to design them to be more environmentally friendly, but it will also provide invaluable information for removing nanoparticles in water...

Student-driven ideas were on display at the HackUMass hackathon held at the Integrative Learning Center April 11 and 12. Engineering students Michaela Shtilman-Minkin and Amanda Pellerite helped coordinate the event, and many teams from the College of Engineering participated. More than 600 participants, including representatives from 70 companies and students from across the region, took part in the event in the new, technology-rich Integrative Learning Center, which offers robust Wi-Fi and spacious work areas. The largest gathering of its kind in the Pioneer Valley, HackUMass sold out...