Professor Sanjay Raja Arwade of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department is one of seven UMass faculty members from across six departments and five colleges chosen as 2020 Public Engagement Faculty Fellows by the UMass Public Engagement Project (PEP). The faculty fellows will draw on their substantial research records to influence policy, the work of practitioners, and public debates. Faculty fellows receive a stipend and technical training in communicating with non-academic audiences and will travel to Beacon Hill to share their research with lawmakers.
Among other research interests, Arwade conducts research to improve the quality of offshore wind energy infrastructure. He says that society benefits from this research by having access to a clean, renewable, secure, and reliable energy source. Industry and the federal and state governments partner to realize the potential of offshore wind, Arwade continues, and supporting that partnership is the key goal of his public engagement plan.
Arwade notes that “Wind turbine research has concentrated largely on the energy producing turbine itself, yet construction of the support structure can contribute up to 25 percent of the total life-cycle cost of an offshore turbine.”
Arwade adds that “I am working with collaborators on new methods for multi-physics, probabilistic simulation of offshore wind turbine support structures to allow designers to use quantitative, risk-based approaches to design such structures.”
Arwade received his Ph.D. and M.S. in Civil Engineering from Cornell University and his B.S.E. in Civil Engineering from Princeton University.
As Lisa Troy, director of the Public Engagement Project, says about the seven faculty chosen for the program, “We are excited that the PEP Fellows program has a critical role to play in developing an interdisciplinary network of publicly engaged faculty at UMass and building relationships to share the high quality research produced at UMass beyond the walls of academia so that journalists, policymakers, practitioners, and others can use it.”
The Public Engagement Project is a faculty-driven initiative building on a collaboration between the Institute for Social Science Research and the Center for Research on Families. The Public Engagement Faculty Fellowship has been made possible by funding from the College of Education, College of Engineering, College of Humanities and Fine Arts, College of Natural Sciences, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, School of Public Health and Health Sciences, Provost’s Office, and University Relations, as well as the collaborating centers and institute. (April 2020)