The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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An interdisciplinary team of researchers from the College of Engineering and the College of Information and Computer Sciences has received a $5,000 2021 UMass Amherst ADVANCE Mutual Mentoring grant to help lay the groundwork for a collaborative center of excellence in robotics.

Xiaomeng Liu, a doctoral candidate in the research lab of Assistant Professor Jun Yao of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, has received a prestigious, two-year, $61,000 Link Foundation Energy Fellowship to support his innovative research on the Yao Research Group’s pioneering “Air Generator” (or Air-Gen), which constantly harvests electricity “out of thin air” from the atmosphere.

Writing in Forbes, a leading international expert in weather and climate referenced a groundbreaking study published by the Electricity Growth and Use in Developing Economies (e-GUIDE) Initiative as led by Assistant Professor Jay Taneja of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department. “A new analysis by scientists reveals that minority populations were greater than four times as likely to suffer from an energy blackout than predominantly white areas,” wrote Dr. J. Marshall Shepherd.

Ganesh Pai Mangalore, a Ph.D. student in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, has been awarded a $32,500 Link Foundation Fellowship in Modeling, Simulation, and Training. Pai Mangalore, who is a member of the research group headed by Assistant Professor Anuj K. Pradhan, will be studying how to conceptualize, develop, and evaluate a training program to help drivers realize the finer points of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), whose safety benefits are largely negated when utilized by uninformed users.

Michael Knodler Jr., a professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department and director of the University of Massachusetts Transportation Center, is the winner of a UMass 2021 ADVANCE Faculty Peer Mentor Award. This annual award recognizes the critically important work faculty members perform in mentoring and supporting the professional development and success of their colleagues.

Assistant Professor Christian D. Guzman and graduate student Cielo Sharkus of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department are spearheading a project that was awarded a $12,000 grant from the Institute of Diversity Sciences (IDS) to study the vulnerability of communities to flooding based on their various demographic characteristics. The goal of the IDS grants is to advance equity through multidisciplinary and socially impactful STEM research and to provide mentored research experience for students.

Assistant Professor Shannon Roberts of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department has received a UMass ADVANCE Faculty Fellow position for the 2021-2022 academic year. Advance Fellows partner with the UMass ADVANCE leadership team to promote gender equity for faculty at UMass. The UMass ADVANCE program is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in order to generate gender and racial equality for faculty in science and engineering.

A research team from the University of Massachusetts Amherst has created an electronic microsystem that can intelligently respond to information inputs without any external energy input, much like a self-autonomous living organism. This is possible because the microsystem is constructed from a novel type of electronics that can process ultralow electronic signals and incorporates a novel device that can generate electricity “out of thin air” from the ambient environment.

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection recently awarded a grant for $1,072,791 to a group led by Research Professor Dr. David A. Reckhow of the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department to sample for a key form of contaminant – per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances or PFAS – from approximately 1,600 public water systems and 3,500 private water wells in 84 selected communities across the state.

The Natick Service Council (NSC) honored UMass Amherst alumnus, businessman, and philanthropist Robert Brack on May 19 with its Founders Award at the council’s annual meeting. Brack graduated from the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department in 1960.

 

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