University of Massachusetts Amherst

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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”...

After winning the UMass Amherst Innovation Challenge and its $25,000 top prize on March 30, a team of UMass graduate students is opening eyes and defogging windshields with a clever invention known as FogKicker. On April 10, Team FogKicker presented its product, a coating technology with potential applications for millions of people, during the Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council 2015 Innovation Tour. Made from natural materials, the FogKicker coating is biodegradable, easy to apply, low-cost, and long-lasting. FogKicker creates a film on a surface, which prevents...

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...

In late March the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department held its 2015 Ph.D. Poster Session, in which Azadeh Sheikholeslami won first place and the Special Tang Award, Prasana Ravindran took second place, and Hongtao Wang took third.

Sheikholeslami’s poster title was “Leveraging an Ephemeral Key to Obtain Everlasting Security in Wireless Environments,” and the faculty advisor was Dennis Goeckel. Sheikholeslami’s award was sponsored by the Shirley and Ting-Wei Tang Endowment.

The title of second-place finisher Ravindran was “Power-Optimized Temperature-...

On Saturday, April 11, from 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., the EWB-USA UMass Amherst student chapter held its eighth 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 featured appetizers, a cash bar, presentations, and silent and live auctions offering more than 100 great items, including a one-week Nantucket vacation rental and two other Cape Cod three-day-two-night rentals. All proceeds will directly benefit the EWB-USA UMass Amherst student chapter.

The money raised will...