The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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It’s official. The Institute for Cellular Engineering (ICE) and its Director, Professor Susan Roberts of the Chemical Engineering Department, have unveiled the first campus graduate certificate targeting the critical interface between engineering and the life sciences. The certificate also gives students a big edge when applying for jobs. The 19-credit curriculum for this concentration includes new courses, a diverse array of electives, a graduate seminar series, a student-run journal club and research seminar, ethics training, hands-on lab modules, and professional development activities.

MassTraveler.com, the free public information website at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Regional Traveler Information Center (RTIC), is featuring a brand new application that will allow drivers to see all the travel and construction advisories in the state at a glance. It went live on May 6. The site, provided by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and called MassDOT Travel Advisories, gives viewers a zoom-in or zoom-out map, on which every advisory in the state is marked with an orange traffic cone icon. Click on any cone, and you get the lowdown on the potential delay expected in that location.

Nationally recognized “green gasoline” researcher and advocate George Huber, from the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has been selected for an esteemed Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, which includes an unrestricted research grant of $75,000. Dr. Huber becomes the third member of the Chemical Engineering Department’s current faculty to win this highly selective national award in the chemical sciences.

InterDigital Communications Corporation will make a donation of $15,000 in the name of its employee Dr. Fatih Ozluturk (pictured on the left with InterDigital's Lawrence F. Shay to the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at UMass Amherst, his alma mater. The gift recognizes Ozluturk's accomplishments as an inventor and owner of 150 U.S. patents. “We are so proud of the accomplishments of Dr. Ozluturk ('90 M.S., '94 Ph.D. ECE) and are honored to be the beneficiary of a $15,000 gift from InterDigital,” said Director of Engineering Development Paula Sakey.

Three engineering majors were among the 13 outstanding students being honored at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Undergraduate Commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 13. Caitlin C. Bogdan of Neptune, New Jersey, a mechanical engineering and classics major, and Saranthip Rattanaserikiat (pictured) of Northampton, a civil and environmental engineering major, have been chosen as two of the 11 21st Century Leaders.

Dr. Paul Dauenhauer of the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has been awarded a prized Early Career Award in Basic Energy Sciences from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The award will provide $800,000 for five years to support his research on “Natural and Primary Catalysts for Molten Cellulose Pyrolysis to Targeted Bio‐oils.” “Our ability to provide fuels and chemicals in a sustainable manner for future generations presents the largest global challenge for reaction engineering in the 21st century,” says Dauenhauer.

Dr. Jessica D. Schiffman, who is currently a postdoctoral associate in the Environmental Engineering Program and Chemical Engineering Department at Yale University, will join the faculty of our Chemical Engineering Department in September of 2011. Before arriving at Yale, Dr. Schiffman completed her Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering at Drexel University. Dr. Schiffman has received Drexel’s Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award and was named “Best of the MatPac” based upon her graduate research.

Undergraduate Brian Giang of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department has been chosen to participate in a very selective pilot program for summer research in South Africa. It is run by the National Science Foundation Northeast Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program and called the South Africa Research Experience for Undergraduates. 

WGGB-TV ABC 40 in Springfield has aired an interview with Dr. Michael Zink about the relatively unusual phenomenon of tornados in New England. Dr. Zink is the deputy director of the Research Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA). He cited tornados in Suffield, Connecticut, in 1979 and great Barrington, Massachusetts, in 1995. But the closest and most recent was a so-called “gustado” in 2009 that picked up a tobacco barn in Sunderland and moved it into the middle of Route 47. Dr. Zink said that the technology behind CASA’s network of four Distributed Collaborative Adaptive Sensing (DCAS) radars, now being tested in Oklahoma, would help evacuation people to save lives and property. Watch the video.

The fourth annual Auction & Social run by the campus chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) netted more than $13,000 in 2011, approximately $2,225 more than the 2010 event. The generous amounts contributed by six sponsoring individuals, groups, and companies added greatly to the total: $2,500 from Vanasse Hangen Brustlin; $1,500 from Dr. Dennis Bushe (with a matching gift to come); $1,000 each from Bob Brack of Barker Steel Company, the Hudson Design Group, and Tighe & Bond; and $500 from the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. The auction itself cleared $4,459.

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