The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Bots Prepare for Battle

UMass Amherst alumnus engineers a robot for gladiatorial combat

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In September of 2019 Dr. Richard N. Palmer, P.E., is stepping down as head of the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department at UMass Amherst after 11 successful and productive years. He is also the university director of the Northeast Climate Science Center (NE CASC), which he helped to establish in 2012 with a $7.5-million grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior to study how climate change affects ecosystems, wildlife, water, and other natural resources. Palmer was inducted by the American Society of Civil Engineering as a Distinguished Member in 2017 and was awarded the Chancellor’s Medal in 2014 by UMass Amherst. 

Xian Du of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department has received a two-year National Science Foundation (NSF) grant of $498,764 to support his research into a novel sensing and control technology for a roll-to-roll printing process.

Peter Beltramo of the Chemical Engineering Department has received a grant of $110,000 over two years for his research project on "Interferometric Imaging and Assembly of Nanoparticles at Fluid Interfaces" from the American Chemical Society (ACS) Petroleum Research Fund. As he says, “We will develop new imaging techniques to understand the electric field response of colloidal particles pinned at liquid-liquid interfaces. This work could lead to new strategies for oil extraction, where electric fields could be used to break down and separate water-in-oil emulsions, which is of great interest to the petroleum field.”