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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...

Dr. William Leonard, a senior lecturer in the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department, has been chosen by the Office of the Provost to receive a 2015 University of Massachusetts Amherst Distinguished Teaching Award (DTA). The purpose of the DTA program, a feature of the UMass Amherst campus for 40 years, is to honor exemplary teaching at the highest institutional level. Both faculty and graduate students, nominated by students or alumni, are eligible for this highly competitive award.  DTA winners are honored at both the Undergraduate and Graduate Commencements.

As...

In a recent report published in the German journal Angewandt Chemie, Boston College Associate Professor of Chemistry Dunwei Wang and UMass Amherst Chemical Engineering Assistant Professor Wei Fan unveiled a new method of stabilizing carbon - a central structural component of any battery - that could pave the way to new performance standards in the hunt for lithium-ion components. It is considered a key step in developing smaller but more powerful batteries for cars and other manufactured goods. An article posted on...

On March 25, two members of the UMass Amherst-based Northeast Climate Science Center (NECSC), Civil and Environmental Engineering Department Head Richard Palmer and Distinguished Professor of Geosciences Raymond S. Bradley, spoke at a State House forum on climate change and resiliency. See Republican article. Palmer is the university director of the NECSC, while Bradley is the NECSC’s principal investigator.

Palmer's remarks focused on the work of the...

A team of researchers led by Professor Neil Forbes of the Chemical Engineering Department published an article in the March 3 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), one of the world's most-cited and comprehensive multidisciplinary scientific journals, publishing more than 3,800 research papers annually. The article, authored by Charles A. Swofford, Nele Van Dessel, and Forbes is titled “Quorum-sensing Salmonella selectively trigger protein expression within tumors.”

“This is a big deal...

The National Science Foundation has produced a lively and informative video about the revolutionary radar being developed and tested by the Engineering Center for the Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA), a national organization centered in our Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. CASA Co-director Brenda Philips lucidly explains the new radar system in the NSF video. When forecasters predict the chance of approaching severe weather, the CASA radar system swings into action, conducting “smart” scans focused on geographical areas of greatest concern and giving...

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