The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Lixin Gao, University Distinguished Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, has been named the 2021–22 Katherine Hampson Bessell Fellow as part of the celebrated Harvard Radcliffe Institute fellowship program. Among 1,383 international applications, only 2.4 percent were accepted as fellows for the Radcliffe program.

In late April, UMass Alumna Amy Bunszel ('91 M.S.) of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department was honored by the National Diversity and Leadership Conference as one of its “2021 Top 50 Women in Tech.” As executive vice president of Architecture, Engineering, and Construction Design Solutions at Autodesk, Bunszel manages product strategy and execution for the company’s 3D design portfolio, including the Autodesk Architecture, Engineering, and Construction Collection, AutoCAD family, Autodesk Revit, and more.

Xian Du and Meghan Huber of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department have been selected to be Panel Fellows in the 2021 cohort of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation’s (CMMI) Game Changer Academies for Advancing Research Innovation (CGCA).

S. Thai Thayumanavan, interim head of BME and distinguished professor in the Chemistry Department, is part of a UMass team of researchers that has engineered a nanoparticle with the potential to revolutionize disease treatment, including cancer. This new research involves a conjugate nanoparticle that can more precisely and effectively deliver treatment to the specific cells affected by cancer. 

Undergraduate Patrick Thompson (ECE) has received a United States Department of State Critical Language Scholarship to undertake his second, intensive, all-expenses-paid, eight-week, Chinese language program abroad this summer. He is already fluent in Mandarin Chinese and aspires to work in the semiconductor industry in a career that requires frequent travel to Asia. 

Professor David Irwin (ECE) is part of an interdisciplinary, multi-institutional team that has been awarded $3 million to make cloud computing more low-carbon, sustainable, and “green” by addressing its huge energy output.

 

Ali Abdel-Maksoud ’21, electrical engineering, and Nicholas Sbalbi ’21, chemical engineering, have been named Rising Researchers by UMass Amherst Research Next.

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A team of six UMass Amherst students from the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department recently placed among the top nine teams in the design-only supplemental phase of the American Institute of Steel Construction’s (AISC) annual Student Steel Bridge Competition. The team won its regional competition, which qualified it to move on to the national finals.

What if cancer cells could help doctors cure two of humanity’s most heartbreaking and debilitating conditions, paralysis and brain damage? Assistant Professor Chase Cornelison of the Biomedical Engineering Department has received a three-year, $400,000 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Trailblazer Award to pursue his research into harnessing the proliferating power of cancer cells to treat spinal cord injuries and restore function following brain damage.

A new analysis published by the Electricity Growth and Use in Developing Economies (e-GUIDE) Initiative, led by Assistant Professor Jay Taneja of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department, found that areas with a high minority population were four times as likely to experience power outages than did predominantly white areas during February’s blackouts in Texas. The analysis was completed in collaboration with Zeal Shah, a Ph.D. student in Taneja’s STIMA Lab in the UMass ECE department, along with researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Colorado School of Mines.

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