The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Professor Maciej J. Ciesielski, the associate head of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has been elected as a 2020 Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) with a citation that reads, “for contributions to logic synthesis and formal verification of arithmetic circuits.” The Fellow is the highest grade of membership in the IEEE and is afforded annually to less than 0.1 percent of the more than 423,000 voting members in over 160 countries. As ECE Department Head Christopher Hollet responded, “This is a great achievement of which we are very proud!”

Assistant Professor Tingyi “Leo” Liu is one member of an international team of researchers from UMass Amherst, the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), and universities in China and Singapore that is using artificial intelligence to develop a system that minimizes the dosage of drugs used to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as a way to reduce side effects. Liu is the head of the Interdisciplinary Interface Engineering Laboratory in the College of Engineering. The findings are published in the journal Advanced Therapeutics. See Science Blog and News Office release.

Mechanical engineering doctoral student Ara Kim won the Best Data Presentation award at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) 2019 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition (IMECE), ASME’s largest research and development conference focused primarily on mechanical engineering. Kim’s presentation described her work with her faculty advisor, Assistant Professor Jae-Hwang Lee of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, researching “High-strain-rate Dynamics of Copolymer Microparticles for Advanced Additive Manufacturing.”

In a paper dealing generally with crash reductions and safety published in the September 2019 edition of the Accident Analysis and Prevention, Dr. Nicholas Fournier, Dr. Eleni Christofa, and Dr. Michael Knodler Jr. of the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department used a combination of methods that looked at both bicycle traffic volume and automobile traffic volume to assess bicycle crash rates.

First-year undergraduate Connor MacFarlane of the Chemical Engineering Department won $5,000 at the UMass Innovation Challenge Seed Pitch on November 20 for his Improved Insulin Delivery venture. MacFarlane’s groundbreaking idea is an improved insulin delivery system for all diabetics that reduces pain, plastic waste, the amount of supplies they need to carry, and the amount of time spent managing their disease, thus “allowing for a life with increased happiness and freedom,” according to MacFarlane.

See full recap of the event with photos »

Chemical Engineering (ChE) majors Hansen Tjo and Elizabeth Voke each won second-place awards in the undergraduate poster contest at the annual conference of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) in Orlando, Florida, from November 10 to 15. The ChE department helped to send 10 ChE majors to the conference, at which Hansen finished second in the Materials Science & Engineering category, and Elizabeth won second place in the Food, Pharmaceuticals, and Biotech classification.

Associate Professor Yu Chen, formerly at the University of Maryland and now joining UMass Amherst’s Biomedical Engineering (BME) Department, will play a pioneering new role for campus faculty members. “[Dr. Chen] will have his research lab at the UMass Medical School, with only a very small footprint on the Amherst campus,” says Acting BME Head Tilman Wolf. “This is a new model to improve collaboration between the Amherst campus and the UMass Medical School.”

Chemical Engineering (ChE) Department Head John Klier reports that a ChE team consisting of himself, Shelly Peyton, and Sarah Perry is collaborating with Todd Emerick in the UMass Polymer Science and Engineering Department and Anna Balazs at the University of Pittsburgh to investigate a new class of materials, known intriguingly as “cryptic materials,” which undergo strengthening in response to mechanical deformation.

Professor Christos Dimitrakopoulos of the Chemical Engineering Department has been named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). Election to NAI Fellow status is the highest professional distinction accorded solely to academic inventors. Dimitrakopoulos, who joined the university in 2013, holds more than 89 U.S. patents and has authored or co-authored more than 90 publications, with a total citation count of more than 22,450. Dimitrakopoulos has also given more than 70 invited talks at national and international conferences and academic, government, and industrial institutions.

Chemical Engineering (ChE) undergraduate Josh McGee won first place in the Food, Pharmaceuticals, and Biotech group of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Undergraduate Poster Session at its recent AIChE Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida.

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