The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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First-year undergraduate Connor MacFarlane of the Chemical Engineering Department won $5,000 at the UMass Innovation Challenge Seed Pitch on November 20 for his Improved Insulin Delivery venture. MacFarlane’s groundbreaking idea is an improved insulin delivery system for all diabetics that reduces pain, plastic waste, the amount of supplies they need to carry, and the amount of time spent managing their disease, thus “allowing for a life with increased happiness and freedom,” according to MacFarlane.

See full recap of the event with photos »

Chemical Engineering (ChE) majors Hansen Tjo and Elizabeth Voke each won second-place awards in the undergraduate poster contest at the annual conference of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) in Orlando, Florida, from November 10 to 15. The ChE department helped to send 10 ChE majors to the conference, at which Hansen finished second in the Materials Science & Engineering category, and Elizabeth won second place in the Food, Pharmaceuticals, and Biotech classification.

Associate Professor Yu Chen, formerly at the University of Maryland and now joining UMass Amherst’s Biomedical Engineering (BME) Department, will play a pioneering new role for campus faculty members. “[Dr. Chen] will have his research lab at the UMass Medical School, with only a very small footprint on the Amherst campus,” says Acting BME Head Tilman Wolf. “This is a new model to improve collaboration between the Amherst campus and the UMass Medical School.”

Chemical Engineering (ChE) Department Head John Klier reports that a ChE team consisting of himself, Shelly Peyton, and Sarah Perry is collaborating with Todd Emerick in the UMass Polymer Science and Engineering Department and Anna Balazs at the University of Pittsburgh to investigate a new class of materials, known intriguingly as “cryptic materials,” which undergo strengthening in response to mechanical deformation.

Professor Christos Dimitrakopoulos of the Chemical Engineering Department has been named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). Election to NAI Fellow status is the highest professional distinction accorded solely to academic inventors. Dimitrakopoulos, who joined the university in 2013, holds more than 89 U.S. patents and has authored or co-authored more than 90 publications, with a total citation count of more than 22,450. Dimitrakopoulos has also given more than 70 invited talks at national and international conferences and academic, government, and industrial institutions.

Chemical Engineering (ChE) undergraduate Josh McGee won first place in the Food, Pharmaceuticals, and Biotech group of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Undergraduate Poster Session at its recent AIChE Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Woodrow W Winchester III, Ph.D., a lecturer and the director of Engineering Management in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, wrote a defining article in the American Society for Engineering Management’s (ASEM) Fall 2019 issue of Practice Periodical – Articles for the Practicing Engineering Manager. Winchester’s article was titled “Great Time to Be an Engineering Manager."

Professor Sundar Krishnamurty, the head of the UMass Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, has been elected to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Mechanical Engineering Department Head/Chair Executive Committee (MEDHEC). The MEDHEC is an ad hoc committee consisting of elected mechanical engineering department heads and chairs at institutions of advanced learning.

Associate Professor Marco Duarte of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department is part of an interdisciplinary, inter-institutional team of researchers who recently received a three-year, $1.5-million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to further develop the foundations of data science in a project that will create one of NSF’s TRIPODS Institutes for Theoretical Foundations of Data Science. TRIPODS stands for Transdisciplinary Research in Principles of Data Science. See UMass News Office article: Computer Science-Math-Engineering Team Forms New NSF Institute .

Associate Professor Shelly Peyton and Professor Neil St. John Forbes, both of the Chemical Engineering Department, were two of the six winners of the inaugural Manning Prize given by the UMass Amherst Institute of Applied Life Sciences (IALS). The mission of so-called Manning/IALS Seed Grants of $100,000 apiece, according to the IALS website, “is to move the cutting-edge science at UMass Amherst into the real world.”

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