The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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UMass alumnus Brett Towler (B.S. in Civil Engineering, 1996) recently received a prestigious award from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for his work to advance the science of fish-passage engineering. He received one of just three national science awards given each year to the service’s employees for their extraordinary contributions to conservation science. Towler, a hydraulic engineer, took home the Sam D. Hamilton Award for Transformational Conservation Science, presented during a ceremony at the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources conference in Denver on March 7, 2019.

Stephen Nonnenmann of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department has received a grant from the prestigious NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program. Nonnenmann’s CAREER research will focus on energy conversion and storage applications.

As Nonnenmann explains, many energy conversion and storage applications require chemical reactions along some critical surface or interface to effectively operate.

In a long feature article by Joseph Bednar, published on February 19, Business West sang the praises of the Advanced Digital Design & Fabrication Lab, or ADDFab for short — one of 31 “core facilities” in the Institute for Applied Life Sciences at UMass Amherst. Professor Sundar Krishnamurty, the head of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, is also the co-director of the ADDFab and contributed mightily to the Business West article.

Professor David McLaughlin of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department has been chosen to receive the 2019 Northeast Section Teaching Award from the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). The award will be presented to McLaughlin at the ASEE Zone 1 Conference at Buffalo/Niagara Falls, New York, to be held from April 11 to 13.

Alumnus Ekundayo Shittu, who is currently on the faculty of the Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering at George Washington University (GWU) in the District of Columbia, has been awarded a five-year, $500,000, Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program grant from the National Science Foundation. His CAREER project is titled “Adaptive Investments into Resilient Electricity Infrastructure Systems.” At UMass, Dr. Shittu was a Ph.D. student of Professor Erin Baker in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department.

A recent article by LMI, a consulting firm dedicated to improving the management of government, focused on a UMass alumna and graduate of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, Karen Britton ’87, who is now LMI’s vice president of digital services. She earned a B.S. in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from UMass. Britton returned to UMass on November 30, 2017, to give the 18th annual Tang Lecture.

Assistant Professor Ashish Kulkarni of the Chemical Engineering Department has been selected as one of 10 NextGen Stars by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). As a NextGen Star, Kulkarni will present his groundbreaking research project – titled Immunotheranostic probes for monitoring cancer immunotherapy response – at the “Advances in Diagnostics and Therapeutics” session on Molecular Imaging for Cancer Immunotherapy, scheduled for April 2 at the AARC Annual Conference in Atlanta.

In February, 40 Girl Scouts, ranging from kindergartners to fifth-graders, visited campus for one of the Diversity Office’s regular Girl Scout Days and took part in an innovative national program designed to address cybercrime and other cybersecurity issues. As NBC News announced last spring, “For the first time, millions of Girl Scouts nationwide are taking on hacking and cybercrime as they work towards earning newly introduced cybersecurity badges.

The National Academy of Inventors (NAI) has named Professor Christos Dimitrakopoulos of our Chemical Engineering Department as one of 66 academic inventors in the inaugural class of NAI Senior Members. Dimitrakopoulos, who joined the university as a professor in 2013, holds 87 U.S. patents and has authored or co-authored more than 90 publications in journals and proceedings, with a total citation count of more than 21,000.

David A. Reckhow of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department was interviewed on Radio Station WGBY-TV 57 in February about how to interpret a recent finding of slightly elevated levels of haloacetic acids in Springfield’s drinking water. Interviewed on the local public television show Connecting Point, Reckhow said the temporarily elevated levels are caused by the interaction between organic matter in the water, as produced by excessive rainfall over the last few months, and chlorine that is added. He said there should be no alarm about this issue on a short-term basis.

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