The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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“Imagine a world in which half of our electricity is generated renewably by offshore wind farms,” as a recent article by Shayla Costa '19 posed in Research Next. “Now imagine a powerful hurricane hitting the coast where that farm is located. If developers, engineers, and policy makers haven’t prepared for this event, the coast could face major consequences such as blackouts and brownouts.”

Thanks and a tip of the hat to Chemical Engineering (ChE) Professor Sarah Perry, who for two years now has been advocating the creative artistry of her lab student, Savannah Szemethy, a graduating ChE senior with a gift for turning her science into astonishingly fine art. In 2017 and again this year, Szemethy placed her science-based artwork in the finals of the Science as Art Competition at the Materials Research Society (MRS) Spring Meeting and Exhibit in Phoenix. Saemethy is also a powerful advocate for the Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM) movement, which teaches that the arts should be incorporated into STEM-based curricula.

Professor John Tobiason of the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department has been awarded the 2019 Charles R. O’Melia Association of Environmental Engineering & Science Professors (AEESP) Distinguished Educator Award. Tobiason was also recently selected to receive the 2019 College of Engineering Outstanding Teacher Award and in 2015 won the College of Engineering Senior Faculty Award. In addition, he earned the James L. Tighe Outstanding Teaching Award from CEE alumni in 2003.

Assistant Professor Jungwoo Lee of the Chemical Engineering (ChE) Department has won the President Young Investigator Award from the Korean Institute of Chemical Engineers (KIChE). According to the KIChE, “The award is intended to recognize Korean and Korean-American scientists and engineers who, while early in their research careers, show exceptional potential for leadership at the frontiers of scientific knowledge in the general field of chemical engineering.”

Professor David Reckhow of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department has won the 2019 A.P. Black Research Award from the American Water Works Association (AWWA). The citation reads, in part, “Dr. Dave Reckhow has made significant contributions to the field of drinking water through his outstanding research that has helped to identify and understand the mechanism of formation of various halogenated and non-halogenated disinfection byproducts (DBPs).”

As Acting Dean for the College of Engineering Christopher Hollot announced last week, “Please join me in congratulating Doctors Christos Dimitrakopoulos, Eleni Christofa, and Stephen Nonnenmann for being selected as outstanding faculty in the College of Engineering in 2019.” Professor Dimitrakopoulos of the Chemical Engineering (ChE) Department was selected for the Outstanding Senior Faculty Award, while the review committee chose Assistant Professors Christofa of the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department and Nonnenmann of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department as joint awardees of the Barbara H. and Joseph I. Goldstein Outstanding Junior Faculty Award.  

Promise McHenga recently joined our engineering family as the Assistant Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. He has more than 10 years of deep experience with non-government organizations, educational non-profits, and higher education institutions, much of it in an international setting. He says his professional goal in the Diversity Office is “global justice achievement by making higher education attainable to the least and last in society.”

Chemical Engineering Ph.D. student Ryan Carpenter has received an AACR-Bristol-Myers Squibb Scholar-in-Training Award in the amount of $1,500 from the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), based on the quality of his award application and abstract entitled “Implantable tumor attracting niche models to study disseminated tumor cell biology.”

Alumna Karen D. Skolfield, a lecturer in the College of Engineering Junior Year Writing Program and a writer-in-residence in the college’s Career Development and Experiential Learning Center, has been named Northampton’s ninth Poet Laureate for the 2019–2021 term. In addition to being a longtime staff member in the College of Engineering, Skolfield earned her Master of Fine Arts degree from UMass Amherst.

Sanjay Raman, associate vice president for the Virginia Tech National Capital Region and president and CEO of the Virginia Tech Applied Research Corporation, has been named the new dean of the College of Engineering.  He begins his duties at UMass Amherst in August.

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