The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Nianqiang “Nick” Wu, the Armstrong/Siadat Endowed Professor in the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is the principal investigator on a $3.4-million grant from the National Institutes of Health to support his creation of a portable optical sensor system for assisting in the diagnosis of traumatic brain injuries, which impact some 27-million people worldwide each year. Wu’s new testing system could be used in the field – at the scene of an accident or injury – and would take only minutes to obtain results.

Assistant Professor Jeremy Gummeson of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department was a guest on BYURadio’s “Top of Mind” program exploring the concept of the human wrist serving as the charging dock for wireless wearable devices. Gummeson is part of a UMass Amherst team that has designed a prototype system called “Shazam,” which uses skin to charge smartwatches and other wearable devices such as health and fitness trackers.

Professor Aura Ganz of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department is retiring from UMass Amherst as of August 31 after more than 34 years of dedicated service to the ECE department and UMass Amherst. During her very fruitful time in the ECE department, Ganz has undertaken pioneering humanitarian research through her Mobile Evolution Lab, exerted a deep impact on the engineering curriculum, and helped to educate hundreds of young engineers.

Five College of Engineering faculty members are among the 46 UMass ADVANCE Faculty Fellows for 2021-2022. The College of Engineering ADVANCE Fellows are: Seth Donahue, Biomedical Engineering; Ashish Kulkarni, Chemical Engineering; Konstantinos Andreadis, Civil and Environmental Engineering; Michael Zink, Electrical and Computer Engineering; and Shannon Roberts, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering.

Matthew A. Lackner, a professor in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department and associate director of the UMass Amherst Wind Energy Center, authored an article about floating wind farms in the July 20 edition of Offshore Engineer titled, “California is Planning Floating Wind Farms to Boost its Power Supply – Here’s How They Work.”

The Board of Governors of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) has made Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department Alumnus Marshall Jones an honorary member. Jones is a General Electric (GE) engineer who holds more than 65 U.S. patents and is recognized as one of the foremost authorities in the field of laser material processing. ASME selected Jones for his “pioneering use of high-powered lasers for industrial materials processing; and for contributions to STEM education, including lifelong mentoring of young people, particularly underrepresented minorities.”

Assistant Professor Dr. Kara D. Peterman of the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department has been serving on the executive committee of the Cold-Formed Steel Engineers Institute (CFSEI). The committee is responsible for developing and maintaining the technology transfer activities related to cold-formed steel design.

Anuj K. Pradhan, an assistant professor in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department and co-director of the Human Performance Laboratory, will be receiving the Elaine Wodzin Young Achiever Award from the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine (AAAM).

Professor Paul Siqueira of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department was recently quoted by business columnist David Lazarus in the Los Angeles Times exploring the new 60 GHz radar technology called “Soli” developed by Google and deployed by Amazon for tracking sleep patterns.


Doctoral Student Sachin Bhat of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department won the Best Paper Award at the 2021 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computer Society Annual Symposium on Very-large-scale Integration (VLSI), a premier VLSI conference. Bhat, whose faculty advisor is ECE Professor Csaba Andras Moritz, was the primary author of the winning paper.