The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Jim Lagrant, a senior lecturer and Professor of Practice in Manufacturing in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, has received a $19,967 Faculty Research Grant, as provided by the Healy Endowment, from the UMass Research and Engagement Office. The grant will support Lagrant’s project that he says will develop a student-designed, adaptable process for smart manufacturing, which will have a broad impact on our engineering education and “prepare our students for the fourth industrial revolution.”

The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine has announced that Professor Robert W. Hyers of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department was one of 18 distinguished academics appointed to the steering committee of the Decadal Survey on Biological and Physical Sciences Research in Space 2023-2032, which will create “a vision and strategy” for NASA’s future direction.

Two College of Engineering faculty members were among the 25 from UMass Amherst awarded tenure at the June meeting of the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees. The two new tenured professors in the college are Colin J. Gleason of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and Jungwoo Lee of the Chemical Engineering Department and also an adjunct faculty member in the Biomedical Engineering Department.

Nianqiang “Nick” Wu, the Armstrong/Siadat Endowed Professor in the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is the principal investigator on a $3.4-million grant from the National Institutes of Health to support his creation of a portable optical sensor system for assisting in the diagnosis of traumatic brain injuries, which impact some 27-million people worldwide each year. Wu’s new testing system could be used in the field – at the scene of an accident or injury – and would take only minutes to obtain results.

Assistant Professor Jeremy Gummeson of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department was a guest on BYURadio’s “Top of Mind” program exploring the concept of the human wrist serving as the charging dock for wireless wearable devices. Gummeson is part of a UMass Amherst team that has designed a prototype system called “Shazam,” which uses skin to charge smartwatches and other wearable devices such as health and fitness trackers.

Professor Aura Ganz of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department is retiring from UMass Amherst as of August 31 after more than 34 years of dedicated service to the ECE department and UMass Amherst. During her very fruitful time in the ECE department, Ganz has undertaken pioneering humanitarian research through her Mobile Evolution Lab, exerted a deep impact on the engineering curriculum, and helped to educate hundreds of young engineers.

Five College of Engineering faculty members are among the 46 UMass ADVANCE Faculty Fellows for 2021-2022. The College of Engineering ADVANCE Fellows are: Seth Donahue, Biomedical Engineering; Ashish Kulkarni, Chemical Engineering; Konstantinos Andreadis, Civil and Environmental Engineering; Michael Zink, Electrical and Computer Engineering; and Shannon Roberts, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering.

Matthew A. Lackner, a professor in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department and associate director of the UMass Amherst Wind Energy Center, authored an article about floating wind farms in the July 20 edition of Offshore Engineer titled, “California is Planning Floating Wind Farms to Boost its Power Supply – Here’s How They Work.”

The Board of Governors of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) has made Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department Alumnus Marshall Jones an honorary member. Jones is a General Electric (GE) engineer who holds more than 65 U.S. patents and is recognized as one of the foremost authorities in the field of laser material processing. ASME selected Jones for his “pioneering use of high-powered lasers for industrial materials processing; and for contributions to STEM education, including lifelong mentoring of young people, particularly underrepresented minorities.”

Assistant Professor Dr. Kara D. Peterman of the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department has been serving on the executive committee of the Cold-Formed Steel Engineers Institute (CFSEI). The committee is responsible for developing and maintaining the technology transfer activities related to cold-formed steel design.