The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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College of Engineering Welcomes Three New Faculty Members

Zachary Westgate, Robert Niffenegger, Stacyann Bailey

(l-r) Westgate, Niffenegger, Bailey

This fall the College of Engineering welcomes three very talented new faculty members to its ranks: Zachary (Zack) Westgate of the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department as an associate professor; Robert (Bob) Niffenegger of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department as an assistant professor; and Stacyann Bailey of the Biomedical Engineering (BME) Department as an assistant professor.

Westgate comes to UMass Amherst from his position as principal engineer and manager of Offshore Wind USA for the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute. After earning his B.S. and M.S. in the UMass CEE department in 2004 and 2005, Westgate worked in various capacities on marine geotechnical projects for Fugro GeoConsulting, Advanced Geomechanics, Arup Energy, and Haley & Aldrich. Meanwhile, in 2012, he received his Ph.D. in Civil and Resource Engineering from the Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems at the University of Western Australia in Perth. He is a professional engineer in several states, has published over 30 journal and conference papers, and is an active participant on several industry committees and technical working groups.

Niffenegger arrives at the ECE department from his position as a postdoctoral research associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory in the Quantum Information and Integrated Nanosystems group, where he developed qubit unit cells for very large-scale integration quantum information processors based on ion surface trap chips with multi-wavelength integrated photonics. Before that he worked in Intel’s Portland Technology Development for almost four years developing 7nm front-end process technology as an integration and yield engineer. He received his Physics Ph.D. from Purdue University his B.S. in Physics from Michigan Technological University.

Bailey joins the BME department and the UMass Institute for Applied Life Sciences as a specialist in orthopedic biomechanics after serving as a postdoctoral fellow at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, where she was a T32 Fellow in Cancer Prevention and Control. Bailey is trained in the assessment of bone matrix quality and mechanical properties, which degrades with aging and diseases. She is currently investigating the development of new strategies to predict, manage, and mitigate pathological fractures in cancer patients. She earned her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and her bachelor’s degree in English at the City University of New York City College. (September 2021)