University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Senior Chemical Engineering (ChE) major Julie Boshar from North Andover, Massachusetts, is a straight-A student “with a passion for improving healthcare,” the recent winner of a $1,000 Hannah Frilot Memorial Scholarship and $10,000 William M. Bulger Presidential Scholarship, and a member of the prestigious Commonwealth Honors College. But this highly thoughtful, idealistic, and talented young woman can trace her accomplishments to her beloved Giddo (Arabic for grandfather) and his kitchen.

A group of 54 brilliant undergraduate researchers, working on cutting-edge summer projects, will present a joint poster session of their Research Experience for Undergraduates on Friday, August 5, from 10:00 a.m. until noon in the Campus Center Auditorium at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The four REU programs that will participate in the poster session are all funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Neil S. Forbes, chemical engineering, was recently quoted in a story in New Scientist about how scientists are using Salmonella bacteria that have been detoxified to deliver drugs to kill cancer tumors, as in Forbes’ own long-term research. First published in 1956, New Scientist is a weekly science and technology magazine with a weekly audience of more than 3-million readers.

The hits just keep coming for CASA. The Engineering Center for “Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere,” a radar network designed to generate geographically specific, real-time information on severe weather storms, recently inspired a very informative feature article in an unlikely place: on the Dell website.

Assistant Professor Juan Jiménez of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department has received an Innovation and Career Development Award from the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), awarded to early career professionals to promote career development in the field of biomedical engineering. Dr. Jiménez was awarded the honor due to his impressive body of work related to biomedical engineering.

The student team of UMass electrical engineering majors Alex Breger, Chris Boselli, Jason Danis, and Sandra McQueen received first place for the winning design in the “Runway Safety/Runway Incursions/Runway Excursions” category of the 2015-2016 Transportation Research Board (TRB) Airport Cooperative Research Program's University Design Competition for Addressing Airport Needs. The team’s winning design would establish a virtual “geofence,” similar to an invisible fence for dogs, around the perimeter of an airport to keep drones from intruding into that airspace and creating hazards for manned airplanes.

Professor Jungwoo Lee of our Chemical Engineering Department was recently the co-author of an article published in Biomaterials Research that reports a new advance in human tissue engineering applied to mouse models. BioMed Central later asked Professor Lee to explain this research in a blog article. As part of a team of researchers from UMass Amherst and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Lee and his colleagues developed a new bioengineering strategy to improve humanized mouse models and the throughput of in vivo research using implantable biomaterials. See the blog.

Principal Investigator Maureen Lynch and Co-Principal Investigator Yahya Modarres-Sadeghi of our Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department have received a three-year, $425,000 National Science Foundation award for a project entitled “Mechano-regulation of bone metastatic cancer: linking cell strain to cell function.” Their research is aimed at relieving one of the most deadly problems related to the epidemic of cancer in modern society: cancers metastasizing into the bones. See NSF description of grant.

Mario Parente, an expert in the analysis of hyperspectral images and a professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, plays a critical role in a new $1.2-million National Science Foundation grant to apply recent advances in biologically inspired deep learning methods to analyze large amounts of scientific data from Mars. Parente’s research on hyperspectral camera images is being applied to direct the analysis of data gathered by a NASA orbiter, which is currently examining the chemical composition of rocks and dust on Mars.

Karen Skolfield, a lecturer and writer-in-residence at the College of Engineering, helped organize the upcoming live poetry readings at the Northfield Drive-in in Hinsdale, N.H., on July 7. “Highbrow at the Drive-In” is an evening of poetry, outdoor movie watching, and fun with members of the local community. The event will take place at the drive-in on 981 Northfield Road, Hinsdale, New Hampshire. Live poetry readings will precede the showing of two movies, Badlands and The Dinner Game. Read Daily Hampshire Gazette article.

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