University of Massachusetts Amherst

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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.

Dr. Colin Gleason, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is already making a significant impact on his research discipline. The young but very accomplished faculty member, whose research group focuses on the study of rivers, currently serves as a member of the prestigious NASA Surface Water and Ocean Topography Science Team (SWOT), has completed many adventurous field projects in wilderness locations ranging from Greenland to the Mojave Desert, and discovered a revolutionary set of geomorphic relationships known as “at-many-stations hydraulic geometry” (AMHG).

UMass alumnus Eric Swanson is among a team of researchers that was awarded the $500,000 Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize from the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and has also been named by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers as an IEEE Fellow.

UMass alumnus Emmanuel Agu, an associate professor of computer science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Massachusetts, is leading a team of researchers to develop a smartphone app that will alert people when they are too inebriated to drive capably and safely. The app judges the level of inebriation by monitoring how unsteadily the user walks, and it can also estimate the blood-alcohol level.

Professor Michael Henson, a faculty member in the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is the principal investigator for a three-university collaborative project, which involves creating mathematical models of “circadian rhythm” generation to better understand sleep disorders and other diseases triggered by the malfunction of this 24-hour “body clock” in humans. The research is being supported by a very significant, four-year, $1,809,385 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Undergraduates Rune Percy and Alex Smith of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department won one of the eight prizes handed out at the second competition of the 2016-2017 Innovation Challenge series with their successful “Seed Pitch.” Calling their fledgling company ARBioDesign, Percy and Smith are researching and developing a groundbreaking on-line device that can quickly, continuously, and accurately measure key electrolytes such as potassium in dialysis patients without the need for additional blood testing at a lab. More about the Seed Pitch Competition »

Alumnus Christopher Ruf (ECE Ph.D. '87), now a Professor of Atmospheric Science and of Electrical Engineering at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, is the Principal Investigator of NASA’s Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS), which was launched from an aircraft over the ocean near the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida on December 15. Professor Ruf’s critical position on this historic NASA mission is yet more proof that UMass Amherst is a nationally recognized leader in microwave remote sensing. CYGNSS on nasa.gov »

Professor Symeon Gerasimidis from the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has been selected by The Greek Diaspora Fellowship Program to travel to Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and collaborate with Professor Anastasios Sextos of that university’s Civil Engineering Department on a variety of challenging projects.

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