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Professor Wei Fan and his graduate student Hong Je Cho, both of the UMass Amherst Chemical Engineering Department, are part of a multi-institutional research team that has invented a new technology to produce automobile tires from trees and grasses. The new process could potentially shift the tire industry toward using renewable resources found right in people’s backyards. The research has attracted plenty of media coverage in scientific media, including Phys.org, R&D magazine, Biomass magazine, Science Daily, Minnesota Ag Connection, Ohio Ag Connection, Lab Manager, Rubber World, and SpecialChem4bio.com. The research is led by former UMass Chemical Engineering Professor Paul Dauenhauer, now at the University of Minnesota.

The Senior Design Capstone course in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department – called MIE 415 or “The Design of Mechanical Systems” – has made a quantum leap in the number of sponsored projects its students are working on this semester. This required course for every MIE senior, which is designed as the zenith of the entire undergraduate engineering education for every student in the department, currently features 13 industry-sponsored projects introduced by 10 sponsoring companies in need of creative, practical, and economical mechanical designs from our budding engineers.

Professor John Klier, head of the UMass Amherst Chemical Engineering Department, has added yet another distinguished accomplishment to his record by being selected as a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). The NAI Fellows Selection Committee chose Klier for induction because he has “demonstrated a highly prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society.”

On January 20 through 22, a multi-institutional team, including graduate student Vanessa Martinez of our UMass Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department, presented a very creative, beneficial, and practical proposal for a new humanitarian company called Rx4All, a medication-recycling program which was chosen for one of four prizes from 33 competing projects in the Yale Healthcare Hackathon, held at the Yale Medical School in New Haven, Connecticut. The theme of the hackathon was “Re-engineering Patient Experience and Provider Engagement.”

Assistant Professor Sarah Perry of the Chemical Engineering (ChE) Department and ChE Department Head John Klier are the co-principal-investigators on a research project in collaboration with Camco Manufacturing of Leominster to identify environmentally benign windshield-washer fluids as viable alternatives to those containing volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are a significant source of environmental pollution and contribute to ground-level ozone and smog.

Shelly Peyton, chemical engineering, and Jae-Hwang Lee, mechanical engineering, are part of a team working to understand cavitation damage in soft tissues and gels with $2.6 million grant from the Office of Naval Research. Read more from the UMass News Office.

Professor Frank Sup of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department is collaborating with Professor Jane Kent of the Kinesiology Department on a groundbreaking non-magnetic ergometer, which can be used in conjunction with a magnetic resonance (MR) machine to conduct pioneering MR imaging and spectroscopy studies of human muscle function.

Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Professor David Reckhow, who is the director of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Water Innovation Network for Sustainable Small Systems (WINSSS), will present the next University of Massachusetts Amherst Distinguished Faculty Lecture on Wednesday, February 8, at 4:00 p.m. The title of his lecture is “Drinking Water in Crisis: Lead, Lignin, and Legionella.” Reckhow’s lecture will take place in the Bernie Dallas Room of the Goodell Building, is free and open to the public, and will be followed by a reception.

Professor Yong Liu, a UMass alumnus and former Ph.D. student of Professor Weibo Gong of the UMass Amherst Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, has just been elected by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers as an IEEE Fellow. Liu serves as a professor of electrical engineering in the New York University Tandon School of Engineering and a faculty member of the research center NYU WIRELESS. The IEEE Grade of Fellow is conferred by the IEEE Board of Directors upon a person with an outstanding record of accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest. Liu was recognized “for contributions to multimedia networking.”

The College of Engineering At UMass Amherst is pleased to welcome four new faculty members, beginning in the spring semester of 2017. All four have impeccable credentials and a track record of eye-catching accomplishments. The new arrivals are Emily Kumpel of the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department, Amir Arbabi of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department, Lauren Woodruff of the Chemical Engineering (ChE) Department, and Jay Taneja of the ECE Department.

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