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Research Highlights

A group of brilliant undergraduate researchers, working on cutting-edge summer projects, will present a poster session on Friday, July 31, from 10:00 a.m. to noon in the Campus Center Auditorium at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. All the students are participating in various programs under the umbrella of the Research Experience for Undergraduates, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The poster session is free and open to the public.

Examples of the exciting and topical research on display will include: a habitat-use analysis of breeding bald eagles near...

The College of Engineering recently received a $632,369 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through the Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM) program. The S-STEM program “addresses the need for a high quality STEM workforce” by increasing the success of “low-income academically talented students with demonstrated financial need” who are pursuing degrees in STEM fields, according to the NSF. See NSF S-STEM Program Description

This grant, entitled...

Professors Guoping Zhang and Don J. DeGroot of the Geotechnical Engineering Program within the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department (CEE) are overseeing research being funded by GeoEngineers, a Seattle-based earth science and technology company. GeoEngineers awarded the CEE department a $10,000 unrestricted grant and $20,000 in fellowship money, both supporting coastal research to be conducted by the department.

DeGroot noted that the main person at GeoEngineers to take the initiative for the fellowship donation is David S....

A significant discovery by a team of researchers that includes Assistant Professor Zlatan Aksamija and graduate student Arnab Majee of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department has been covered widely in many scientific news outlets, including Science Daily,  Nanowerk News, Chemeurope.com,...

Faculty members and students from the UMass Amherst departments of chemical and mechanical and industrial engineering recently collaborated with University of Minnesota researchers to discover a new behavior of woody biomass that makes it levitate above heated surfaces in a way similar to what is called “the Leidenfrost effect” in liquids. Announced in Nature Scientific Reports, the research captures via high speed photography a particle of cellulosic biomass floating above a surface by aggressive generation of gases. The surprising new property can enhance biofuel production and has...

Neil S. Forbes of the UMass Amherst Chemical Engineering Department recently commented in a story in the Boston Globe about the use of the bacterium E. coli in a new test that accurately detects liver cancer in urine. He noted that bacteria naturally flourish in tumors. “You could tune them for difference cancer sites, different stages, use them for detection, use them for therapy,” Forbes said. Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of...

Cutting-edge collaborative work between the research teams of Professors Qiangfei Xia (PI) and Joseph Bardin, both with Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at UMass Amherst, has resulted in a publication in Nature Communications. The title of the article is “Nanoscale Memristive Radiofrequency Switches,” and the authors are Shuang Pi, Mohammad Ghadiri-Sadrabadi, Joseph Bardin, and Qiangfei Xia. The original article can be viewed here.

Nature...

An important article in The Scientist recently quoted Neil Forbes, chemical engineering, commenting on how researchers are using probiotics and microbes to detect, diagnose, and treat cancer, a subject closely associated with Forbes’ own research. The article was about researchers at MIT and the University of California, San Diego, who have programmed a probiotic Escherichia coli strain to detect cancer metastases in the liver. The team used these...

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