The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Points of Pride Spring 2021

Omar Abdelrahman, Simos Gerasimidis, and Guangyu Xu

Three New NSF CAREER Awards

Omar Abdelrahman, Simos Gerasimidis, and Guangyu Xu of the UMass Amherst College of Engineering have just received awards from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Early Career Development (CAREER) Program, among the most prestigious grants that the NSF offers. All awards are in the approximate range of $500,000.

Abdelrahman will develop dynamic catalysts that can utilize renewable electricity to generate more environmentally sound and inexpensive chemical production. Gerasimidis will exploit the unique mechanical properties of architected metamaterials to create a new class of reinforced concrete structures, known as “metastructures.” Xu, the Dev and Linda Gupta Endowed Assistant Professor, aims to establish two lab-on-a-chip technologies that will ultimately lead to enabling tools in next-generation precision therapeutics.


UMass Engineering Rises in U.S. News Graduate Rankings

We’ve climbed in the annual U.S. News & World Report's “Best Graduate Engineering Schools” rankings, placing #54 nationally, a rise of two spots. Among public engineering institutions, the college advances three places to #28 and remains the #1 public engineering program in New England.
Read more »


UMass medallion

Share Best Wishes With our Class of 2021

Families of graduates, alumni, faculty, and staff are invited to submit congratulatory messages to our Engineering Class of 2021. Keep it to 100 words or less, and be sure to include your name and affiliation. Pictures are welcome but not required. Send to

Priority submission date is May 10 to be guaranteed inclusion on our celebratory webpage in time for commencement, but we will continue to add them as they arrive.

We also encourage you to use the hashtag #UMassEngineering2021 on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Celebrate our Student Innovators

Join the virtual Electrical and Computer Engineering Senior Design Project Demos Days: April 30 and May 1 from noon–3 p.m. each day.

Event registration is requested but not required.


Alumni News


Victor Bahl, Jeffrey Elkins, Robert Ivester, Edward H. Kalajian, Christine Seymour, Kokui Adesokan,  Jacob Lauzier, Christine Roy, Banafsheh Seyed-Aghazadeh, and Akshaya Shanmugam

2021 Outstanding Alumni Awards

The UMass Amherst College of Engineering is proud to announce the recipients of its 2021 Outstanding Alumni Awards. Awardees represent the college’s five departments, and include five Distinguished Alumni and five Outstanding Young Alumni. There will be an evening of conversation with the recipients on Thursday, April 29, 2021, at 6:00 p.m., with the theme of The Impact of Mentorship for the Future of Engineering. The discussion will be facilitated by Dean Sanjay Raman.


Dragana Perkovic-Martin; March 2020 rover; MIRSL logo; mars surface

UMass to Mars

Congratulations to Dragana Perkovic-Martin ’08PhD for the successful operation of the landing radar for the Mars 2020 rover, Perseverance. She led the system engineering team for the mission's landing radar, which is now in a pile of rubble somewhere in the Jezero Crater after the descent stage safely lowered the rover. Read more »


Student News


Nicholas Sbalbi in a wooded area. Ribbon with

Goldwater Scholar

Nicholas Sbalbi, a junior chemical engineering major, has been awarded a prestigious Goldwater Scholarship from the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. His mentors include Peter Beltramoand Sarah Perry. Read more »


Selena Y. Cho, Joshua McGee, and Lars Howell

NSF Graduate Fellowships

Thirteen UMass Amherst students and alumni received awards from the Graduate Research Fellowship Program. These include Selena Y. Cho, mechanical engineering; Joshua McGee, chemical engineering; and Lars Howell, a current graduate student in chemical engineering. Read more »


Hack UMass logo overlaid on the virtual HackUMass VIII website

Students Pull off Successful HackUMass VIII

A group of brilliant and dedicated students from the College of Engineering and the Computer Science Department managed to hold a very successful HackUMass VIII, in a totally virtual format because of the pandemic. Read more »


Faculty News


Kara Peterman

Kara Peterman, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, has received the Terry Peshia Early Career Faculty Award from the American Institute of Steel Construction in recognition of her research, teaching and other contributions to the structural steel industry. Read more »



Jungwoo Lee

Jungwoo Lee, assistant professor of chemical engineering, is leading a multidisciplinary team of researchers at the UMass Institute for Applied Life Sciences that has developed a technique to replicate bone tissue complexity and bone remodeling processes. Read more »



Jinglei Ping

A team of UMass Amherst researchers, led by Jinglei Ping, assistant professor of mechanical and industrial engineering, have developed the thinnest and most sensitive flow sensor, which could have implications for medical research and applications, according to new research published recently in Nature Communications. Read more »


Erin Baker

Wind energy experts, in a study by researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory along with Erin Baker of UMass Amherst, predict significant reductions in the cost of wind energy by 2050, according to new research published in the journal Nature Energy. Read more »



Jun Yao

Jun Yao, assistant professor in electrical and computer engineering, is the principal investigator for a Sony Faculty Innovation Award of $100,000. The award is based on Yao’s device, called an "Air Generator," or “Air-Gen,” which can create inexpensive, renewable, clean energy on a constant basis. Read more »