University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Professor David Reckhow of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department recently told the Wall Street Journal that officials and scientists are reconsidering the use of chloramine, a combination of chlorine and ammonia, as a disinfectant in drinking water. “We’re questioning the wisdom of using chloramines as much as we do in this country,” said Reckhow, a national expert on the treatment of drinking water and the head of the UMass Amherst Water Innovation Network for Sustainable Small Systems (WINSSS), funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Professor Robert Hyers of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department has received a $600,000, four-year grant from NASA for a project investigating “Thermophysical Properties and Transport Phenomena Models and Experiments in Reduced Gravity.”     

Hao Cai, a Ph.D. Student in the Network Systems Laboratory of Professor Tilman Wolf in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, received the best student paper runner-up award at the 25th International Conference on Computer Communication and Networks (ICCCN 2016), run by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers from August 1 through 4 at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort Hotel in Hawaii.

An article appearing in the Washington PostIdaho Statesman, and Charlotte Observer, among other publications, recently sang the praises of Distractology 101, the life-saving program developed by engineers at UMass Amherst and the Arbella Insurance Foundation. Distractology 101, a program designed to teach novice drivers the dangers of distracted driving, was developed under the leadership of Emeritus Professor Donald Fisher, the retired department head of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department (MIE), in MIE’s Arbella Insurance Group Charitable Foundation Human Performance Laboratory.

Senior Chemical Engineering (ChE) major Julie Boshar from North Andover, Massachusetts, is a straight-A student “with a passion for improving healthcare,” the recent winner of a $1,000 Hannah Frilot Memorial Scholarship and $10,000 William M. Bulger Presidential Scholarship, and a member of the prestigious Commonwealth Honors College. But this highly thoughtful, idealistic, and talented young woman can trace her accomplishments to her beloved Giddo (Arabic for grandfather) and his kitchen.

A group of 54 brilliant undergraduate researchers, working on cutting-edge summer projects, will present a joint poster session of their Research Experience for Undergraduates on Friday, August 5, from 10:00 a.m. until noon in the Campus Center Auditorium at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The four REU programs that will participate in the poster session are all funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Neil S. Forbes, chemical engineering, was recently quoted in a story in New Scientist about how scientists are using Salmonella bacteria that have been detoxified to deliver drugs to kill cancer tumors, as in Forbes’ own long-term research. First published in 1956, New Scientist is a weekly science and technology magazine with a weekly audience of more than 3-million readers.

The hits just keep coming for CASA. The Engineering Center for “Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere,” a radar network designed to generate geographically specific, real-time information on severe weather storms, recently inspired a very informative feature article in an unlikely place: on the Dell website.

Assistant Professor Juan Jiménez of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department has received an Innovation and Career Development Award from the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), awarded to early career professionals to promote career development in the field of biomedical engineering. Dr. Jiménez was awarded the honor due to his impressive body of work related to biomedical engineering.

The student team of UMass electrical engineering majors Alex Breger, Chris Boselli, Jason Danis, and Sandra McQueen received first place for the winning design in the “Runway Safety/Runway Incursions/Runway Excursions” category of the 2015-2016 Transportation Research Board (TRB) Airport Cooperative Research Program's University Design Competition for Addressing Airport Needs. The team’s winning design would establish a virtual “geofence,” similar to an invisible fence for dogs, around the perimeter of an airport to keep drones from intruding into that airspace and creating hazards for manned airplanes.

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