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Senior Mechanical Engineering Major Jamar Hawkins is among a small group of students who have been selected to receive the 2017-2018 UMass Amherst Rising Researcher student achievement award. This award recognizes exceptional UMass Amherst undergraduate students who excel in research, scholarship, or creative activity. Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Professor Yubing Sun nominated Hawkins for the award in recognition of his student’s research and academic achievements conducted under Professor’s Sun’s direction. Read more about the award and previous recipients »

Professors Qiangfei Xia and Joshua Yang of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department at UMass Amherst have just published an article about their research on a “computing engine using large memristor crossbars” in the opening issue of Nature Electronics, a research journal launched recently by the Nature Publishing Group. Xia, Yang, and their research colleagues say that “Memristor crossbars offer reconfigurable non-volatile resistance states and could remove the speed and energy efficiency bottleneck in vector-matrix multiplication, a core computing task in signal and image processing.”

Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Neal Anderson’s doctoral student Natesh Ganesh has won the Best Student Paper award at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 2017 International Conference on Rebooting Computing (ICRC). The title of his paper and presentation was "A Thermodynamic Treatment of Intelligent Systems." The conference was held on November 8 and 9 in Washington, DC. The goal of the IEEE ICRC was to discover and foster novel methodologies to reinvent computing technology, including new materials and physics, devices and circuits, system and network architectures, and algorithms and software.

As Aksamija says about the research in the Scientific Reports paper, “We study atomic monolayer materials, such as graphene, because of their potential applications in future ultra-nanoscale devices. Graphene is a material of superlatives, including very low electrical resistivity, but it’s missing a key property that other semiconductors have: an energy bandgap. The lack of a bandgap means graphene devices cannot be completely turned off.”


Sarah Perry of our Chemical Engineering Department is working with a colleague at the University of Illinois to create new bioinspired materials using electrostatic charge to direct the self-assembly process of long molecules. The research team, working with a class of polymers called coacervates, found they could be modified by changing the sequence of charges along the polymer chain. Coacervates are commonly used in food products and cosmetics. The findings are published in the journal Nature Communications. See media coverage:, Nanowerk, Electronics 360, Nanotechnology Now, Global News Connect.

On Thursday, November 30, Karen Gillett Britton ’87, the senior vice president and chief operating officer for the e-Management Company and a former special assistant and chief information officer for the Obama White House, will deliver the 18th annual Tang Lecture at 4:00 p.m. in the Amherst Room on the 10th Floor of the Campus Center on the University of Massachusetts Amherst Campus. A reception will follow the Lecture at 5:00 p.m. The title of Britton’s Tang Lecture: “Are emerging cyber threats stifling business innovation?” The public is invited to this free event.

Professors Yahya Modarres-Sadeghi (Principal Investigator) and Jonathan Rothstein (Co-Principal Investigator) have been awarded a $461,774 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Division of Chemistry, Bioengineering, Environmental and Transport Systems (CBET). The proposal, titled “Fluid-structure interactions between non-Newtonian viscoelastic fluids and flexible cylinders,” plans to study the interactions that occur between a flexible or flexibly-mounted structure and the elastic instabilities that can result from the flow of a non-Newtonian viscoelastic fluid past that structure.

Jay Taneja, an Assistant Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has been funded as a subawardee in a $680,265 grant from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) for a proposal entitled "A Pilot Study of Novel Low-Cost Technologies for Measuring Electricity Reliability in Urban Ghana." Taneja is collaborating with the Development Impact Lab (DIL) and the Energy Institute at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, to conduct a pilot deployment of a suite of DIL-developed technologies for monitoring and evaluating the performance and reliability of the electric power distribution grid in Ghana.

Special Issue: Grinding Technology — Commemorating the Scientific Contributions by Professor Stephen Malkin​



Several deeply committed UMass Students didn’t want to let the water crisis in Puerto Rico go unchecked! A brilliant and idealistic five-person interdisciplinary team, which included three engineering majors, won four prizes at the HackUMass hackathon on November 3 through 5 by creating LiveWaterMap, invented to counteract the devastation and resultant water shortage and contamination caused by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. As the team explains its product, “LiveWaterMap is an online web service that collects and maps water quality data using GPS and time data - information that can be easily understood and made available for anyone, anytime, anywhere.”