The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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What if cancer cells could help doctors cure two of humanity’s most heartbreaking and debilitating conditions, paralysis and brain damage? Assistant Professor Chase Cornelison of the Biomedical Engineering Department has received a three-year, $400,000 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Trailblazer Award to pursue his research into harnessing the proliferating power of cancer cells to treat spinal cord injuries and restore function following brain damage.

A new analysis published by the Electricity Growth and Use in Developing Economies (e-GUIDE) Initiative, led by Assistant Professor Jay Taneja of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department, found that areas with a high minority population were four times as likely to experience power outages than did predominantly white areas during February’s blackouts in Texas. The analysis was completed in collaboration with Zeal Shah, a Ph.D. student in Taneja’s STIMA Lab in the UMass ECE department, along with researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Colorado School of Mines.

Professor Wayne Burleson of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department has been selected by UMass Amherst to deliver one of the prestigious presentations in the Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series for academic year 2021-2022 and, in the process, receive the Chancellor’s Medal. The topic of Burleson’s lecture will be, "Embedded Security: An Ongoing Challenge for Healthcare." The dates for the 2021-2022 lecture series have not yet been set.

Weiyue Xin, a Ph.D. student in the Chemical Engineering Department, is the lead author of a paper recently published in Science Advances explaining how a UMass Amherst research team has discovered how to use elasticity to control the positions of solid micro-plates on curved 2D fluids.

Paul Hirsh, a student in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department who is working as a laboratory intern, has won a Scanlon Student Employee of the Year Award. Hirsh will also be returning to the MIE department in the fall of 2021 as a graduate student. As a Scanlon recipient this year, Hirsh will receive a monetary award of $500 and a certificate documenting his meritorious service to the university.

According to the UMass News Office, Daniel Holcomb, an associate professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, recently participated in a National Science Foundation media briefing on fundamental research and the future of semiconductors. Joining faculty from Duke University, Boston University, Stanford, and Penn State, Holcomb answered media questions related to semiconductors and the current global shortage of chips.

College of Engineering Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Paula Rees has announced the 2020–2021 recipients of the college’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Award. “From a pool of truly inspiring nominations,” said Rees, “the two recipients this year are Shelly Peyton and Cielo Sharkus.” Peyton is a professor in the Chemical Engineering (ChE) Department, while Sharkus is a doctoral candidate in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department studying environmental and water resources engineering.

Vernon Lamb, the lab support engineer and manager in the Biomedical Engineering (BME) Department, is the recipient of the inaugural Dean’s Outstanding Student Support Award. The purpose of this award is to recognize a staff member for significant contributions that enrich the student experience and/or have a positive impact on student development in the College of Engineering.

Mark Gauthier, a technician in the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department is the 2021 recipient of the College of Engineering Dean's Outstanding Service Award. As the committee that made this decision said about Gauthier, his breadth of knowledge, along with his attention to safety issues and effective training of students on equipment use, “has transformed what the faculty can do in the teaching and research laboratories.”

Jessica Boakye, a lecturer in the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department, is one of Ten UMass Amherst Faculty Selected as 2021-22 TIDE Ambassadors by the UMass Center for Teaching and Learning. As she says, “I haven’t selected a project yet, but I want to design something that can be integrated into [a course in] Structural Analysis, which I will be teaching.”

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