University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Professor David McLaughlin of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department is a co-principal investigator on a five-year, $3-million ADVANCE Institutional Transformation Grant awarded to UMass Amherst from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The huge award will support the development of an innovative professional advancement model for underrepresented faculty in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). According to the NSF, the ADVANCE program seeks to develop systemic approaches to increase the participation and advancement of women in academic STEM careers.

A new paper by a research team led by Qiangfei Xia, Daniel Holcomb, and Joshua Yang of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst describes a pioneering new technique to support the safe use of all-important “digital keys” in protecting hardware security systems and producing more secure, compact, and efficient memristive hardware. The paper, titled "A provable key destruction scheme based on memristive crossbar arrays," has just been published in the prestigious peer-reviewed journal Nature Electronics.

In late October, College of Engineering Dean Tim Anderson will visit Ames, Iowa, to receive the 2018 Marston Medal presented by the Iowa State University College of Engineering. The Marston Medal recognizes alumni of the Iowa State College of Engineering for outstanding achievement in advancing engineering science, technology, or policy having national and international impact in academics, industry, public service, government, or other venues.

In late August Professor Ian Grosse of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department received the Distinguished Service Award from the Computers and Information in Engineering (CIE) Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). Grosse earned the award “in recognition and appreciation of leadership and outstanding service to the ASME Computers and Information in Engineering Division.” Grosse was elected an ASME Fellow in 2012.

Professor Wen Chen of the UMass Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department is on a team of scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), UMass Amherst, and Harvard University working on a process for hierarchical 3-D printing of gold that could revolutionize the manufacture of electrochemical reactors, sensors, and actuators. Chen, a former postdoctoral research scientist at LLNL, helped develop an alloying and de-alloying process that was the key to the findings.

See media coverage:, Science & Technology Research News, Nanowerk.

An international grant will support pioneering research into a new class of catalysts that will enable the efficient conversion of carbon dioxide to higher-value chemicals and fuels. The National Science Foundation and the US-Israel Binational Science Foundation have awarded a three-year, $340,884 grant to support a groundbreaking research project led by Professor Ashwin Ramasubramaniam of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

See NSF award »

Omar A. Abdelrahman of the UMass Chemical Engineering (ChE) Department is part of a research team which has discovered that molecular motion can be predicted with high accuracy when confining molecules in small “nano-cages.” This theoretical method can be used for screening millions of possible nanomaterials and could improve the production of fuels and chemicals. The research was recently published online in ACS Central Science, a leading open-access journal of the American Chemical Society.

Read paper »

Undergraduate student Matthew Eden of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department has been selected as one of six finalists for the 2018 Undergraduate O.R. Prize Competition at the annual meeting of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) in Phoenix, Arizona, from November 4 to 7. Eden’s research paper is titled "Evolving contact network algorithm: a new simulation method for modeling HIV, a disease with low prevalence but a critical public health issue in the US."

See more about INFORMS annual meeting »

According to two independent websites, Executive Biz and UASWeekly, the Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA) at UMass Amherst is part of a team including Bell Helicopter, Xwing, and Textron Systems that has just announced a cooperative agreement with NASA to help conduct an unmanned aircraft flight demonstration in 2020. CASA will provide weather avoidance technology for the ambitious project.

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.