The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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The University of Massachusetts Amherst ADVANCE Program has awarded a competitive collaborative research seed grant to Associate Professor Shelly Peyton of the Chemical Engineering Department and Assistant Professor Michelle Farkas of the Chemistry Department. Their ADVANCE research will develop a new tool for studying, stopping, and reversing the immunosuppression of the immune system in patients with cancer and other diseases.

As the public has seen during the testing of lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines, refrigeration is one key to their distribution. According to an article from the UMass News Office, Associate Professor Sarah Perry of the Chemical Engineering Department at UMass Amherst has teamed up with Caryn Heldt, director of the Health Research Institute at Michigan Technological University and professor of chemical engineering, to develop a method using proteins to keep vaccines stable without the need to refrigerate them.

Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Professor Stephen de Bruyn Kops and a team of multidisciplinary researchers from four international institutions were recently granted special supercomputer access by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DoE) Office of Science through its Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program. de Bruyn Kops is the principal investigator on a project studying fluids and turbulence, which will be greatly enhanced by access to powerful supercomputers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, including the fastest in the nation.

Sankaran Thai Thayumanavan will serve as interim department head of Biomedical Engineering (BME) starting in January of 2021 and has already taken on the role of an associate department head in BME in order to collaborate closely with the current interim BME department head, Tilman Wolf, during the transitional phase.

Professor T. J. (Lakis) Mountziaris of the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has been elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). AAAS is the world's largest multidisciplinary scientific society, with members in more than 91 countries around the globe.

Professor Neil St. John Forbes of the Chemical Engineering Department will receive a Manning-Institute for Applied Life Sciences Award (IALS) from the UMass Applied Proof-of-Concept Seed Fund Program.

 

This semester Assistant Professor Emily Kumpel of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and Associate Professor Anita Milman of the Department of Environmental Conservation are teaching a groundbreaking service-learning class focusing on “Potable Water for Small and Disadvantaged Communities.” As Kumpel explains about this collaborative course, “We hope that students learn that the challenges small community water systems face require knowledge and skills from many different disciplines,” explains Kumpel.

Professor Joseph Bardin (principal investigator) of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at UMass Amherst and College of Engineering and Dean Sanjay Raman (co-principal investigator) have received a $500,000 grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), administered by the Office of Naval Research.

Dr. John E. Tobiason, P.E., BCEE, a professor and the head of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, has been selected as a Fellow of the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP). This recognition is provided by AEESP to members who have demonstrated the highest levels of teaching, research, and/or service in the environmental engineering or science professorate and who have 15 or more years of continued membership within the organization.

The Biomedical Engineering (BME) Department and the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department at UMass Amherst are adding a total of six new faculty members to the College of Engineering during the fall of 2020 and spring of 2021 semesters. The BME department is adding Assistant Professor Prabhani Atukorale (January 2021) and Assistant Professor Siyuan Rao (January 2021), as well as Lecturers Martin Hunter (September 2020) and Qianbin Wang (December 2020). The CEE department is adding Assistant Professor Mariana Lanzarini Lopes (January 2021) and Lecturer Jessica Boakye (September 2020).

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