The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Professor Yossi Chait of the Mechanical an Industrial Engineering Department was one of the two co-chairs for the "Fostering Innovation in Fluid Management" working group, a project formed by the Kidney Health Initiative (KHI) to produce a supplement to the KHI’s Technology Roadmap for Innovative Approaches to Renal Replacement Therapy. Chait’s supplement and the accompanying report are aimed at spurring innovation in fluid management devices and techniques that will improve the quality of life of people with kidney failure.

This summer 43 high school students from 13 states and countries participated in the two-week Summer Engineering Institute (SENGI) here on campus as taught by 22 faculty and staff, 10 graduate students, and three graduate and undergraduate mentors, all from the College of Engineering. The purpose of the SENGI coursework was for students to gain a broad understanding of engineering through an introduction to biomedical, chemical, environmental, structural, transportation, industrial, mechanical, electrical, and computer engineering.

Associate Professor Jessica Schiffman, the Professor James M. Douglas Career Development Faculty Fellow in the Chemical Engineering Department, is the principal investigator on a three-year, $340,541 award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The NSF grant will support her research team’s investigation into new membrane technology that was inspired by the Nepenthes Pitcher Plant.

When alumnus Peter Bannon, the guy in charge of Tesla’s chip architecture and part of the team designing the self-driving computer/car, steps to the podium at the Great Hall in the Old Chapel on October 3 at about 4:00 p.m., it will be a very big deal. Bannon has variously been called “a chip architecture titan,” “an inventor named on dozens of patents related to processors,” and “one of two of the most sought after processor architects working today.”

Civil engineering major Jihan Eljadidi was featured liberally in a posted article by the U.S. Army after she participated in the 13th Annual Future Workforce Poster Presentation at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Soldier Center on Aug. 15 in Natick. Eljadidi was a Pathways intern in the Expeditionary Maneuver Support Directorate, where she worked on products designed to protect soldiers in the field. Among other comments, she said that "I've had the opportunity to work with knowledgeable and helpful people who really took the time to explain things."

Krish Thiagarajan Sharman, the Endowed Chair in Renewable Energy and a professor in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, will be working with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) on a one-year, $211,386 grant supported by the Department of Energy (DOE) to create variable geometry wave energy converters. Such devices “can provide a paradigm shift in the offshore renewable community that will push the industry towards commercialization of electricity generation from ocean waves,” as Sharman and his colleagues say.

See DOE release: Four Water Power Project Recipients in Latest Round of Technology Commercialization Fund »

An article posted by the Naval Sea Systems Command reports how Chemical Engineering major Zachary Young says that his experience participating in the Undersea Technology Apprentice Program Unmanned Underwater Vehicle Robotics Competition, sponsored by the United States Navy, gave him hands-on experience to help define his professional goals once he graduates from UMass in 2020. Young is currently an intern working for the Navy’s Division Newport’s Chief Technology Officer.

According to an article in Forbes, Aclarity, a company birthed from the Ph.D. research of Julie Bliss Mullen from the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, has surpassed $1 million from an initial venture capital pre-seed round. The funds will be invested into further research and development for Aclarity's water-purifying device, which went on sale commercially earlier this year, made in the town of Springfield. Forbes had previously named Mullen in the magazine’s all-star listing of “30 Under 30 for Science” for 2018.

A team of researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has received a four-year, $1.75-million NSF Designing Materials to Revolutionize and Engineer our Future (DMREF) award to study and construct a new class of soft and stretchable electronic devices that can be used in future healthcare, security, and communications applications. 


 

UMass Amherst has climbed into the Top 25 of the nation’s premier public universities in the Best Colleges 2020 guide published by U.S. News & World Report. Advancing from No. 52 in 2010 to No. 24 in 2020, our ascent makes us the fastest-rising, top-tier public-research university in the country. Our revolutionary ideas and impact is on par with the best universities in the nation and the world. As the largest producer of undergraduate STEM degrees in the Commonwealth, we play a vital role in filling the talent pipeline that drives the Massachusetts knowledge economy. Go UMass!

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