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Multi-disciplinary group developing infrastructure for offshore wind 

A team of scientists including Alison Batesenvironmental conservation and School of Earth & Sustainability, and Sanjay Arwadecivil and environmental engineering, has been awarded an NSF Engineering Research Center (ERC) Planning Grant to identify with industry partners the key priorities for offshore wind. 

On July 19, Professor Krish Thiagarajan Sharman, the newly appointed Endowed Chair in Renewable Energy within the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, made an official visit to the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center along with College of Engineering Dean Tim Anderson. This meeting was set up with the aim of introducing the endowed chair to the DOER. Dr. Sharman is an expert on marine renewable energy and energy producing offshore structures.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a four-year grant of $953,300 to a research team led by Professor Guangyu Xu of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst to study the neural activity underlying complex animal behaviors. The research being funded by the NSF will allow scientists to find precise connections within and between different regions of the brain and trace the origin of animal behaviors down to cellular levels.

Once again the UMass Amherst College of Engineering ranks among the nation’s top engineering programs, climbing this year to No. 33 public in the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges 2019.

Sierra Magazine, the national magazine of the Sierra Club, has placed the University of Massachusetts Amherst at No. 7 in its 12th annual “Cool Schools” ranking of North America’s greenest colleges and universities (See UMass News Office Story). The College of Engineering certainly must be considered in the forefront of this UMass surge toward the top of greenest schools in North America. A list of just a few recent projects will confirm this fact.

Erin Baker, the Armstrong Professional Development Professor in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department and the director of the UMass IGERT Offshore Wind Energy Program, has been appointed the new associate dean in the College of Engineering, a key position that includes more than a dozen significant job responsibilities.

Krish Thiagarajan Sharman, an expert on marine renewable energy and energy producing offshore structures, has been appointed to the Endowed Chair in Renewable Energy in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department at the UMass Amherst College of Engineering. The chair was established in 2014 with $2.5 million in funding from the state Department of Energy Resources (DOER) to attract a preeminent scholar in the field to provide leadership in positioning both the university and the Commonwealth to take advantage of opportunities in emerging areas of renewable energy. Thiagarajan Sharman will collaborate with DOER staff on renewable energy research and projects. (Renewablesnaps.com, 7/24/18; News Office release)

On August 10th, an eight-person team from the UMass Amherst Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Chapter travelled to Saviefe-Deme in Ghana to implement an inexpensive biosand water filter project. Saviefe-Deme is a small community in the Volta Region, along the southern part of Ghana, which houses a few hundred people. The EWB group tackled a big challenge during its August trip, to implement a low-maintenance and cost-effective strategy for bringing clean water to Saviefe-Deme.

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Fluids Engineering Division has presented Professor David Schmidt of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department and three co-authors with ASME’s prestigious 2018 Lewis F. Moody Award for their paper on "Modeling Sealing in Transient Injector Simulations.” Among other innovations, the award-winning paper described groundbreaking research to create the first simulation of a multiple injection event.

A team of researchers including Assistant Professor Yubing Sun of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department has demonstrated that human pluripotent stem cells can be guided to become the precursors of the central nervous system and that mechanical signals play a key role in this process. Sun and his colleagues outlined their findings in a recent paper published in the journal Nature Materials. Sun is a co-first author and co-corresponding author of the paper.

See Science & Technology Research News and News Office release.

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