Five College of Engineering Students recently participated in the first ever co-op program run by the Coca-Cola plant in Northampton, and, because of their superior performance, they were each asked to make five-minute presentations to 11 company plant managers from the Northeast region and one vice-president from the Eastern U.S. “This is Coca-Cola’s first iteration of its co-op program,” explained co-op participant and mechanical engineering major Michael Schwartz, “and the company as a whole is looking to possibly expand this program to other plants across the nation based on the success the UMass students in Northampton.”
Qiangfei Xia and Joshua Yang of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department lead a 17-person research team that has published a paper titled "Long short-term memory networks in memristor crossbar arrays" in Nature Machine Intelligence, a new Nature research journal launched in January of 2019 and covering a wide range of topics in machine learning, robotics, and artificial intelligence. This Nature Machine Intelligence paper demonstrates that memristor crossbar arrays can address bottlenecks in traditional long short-term memory (LSTM) units, with crucial applications such as data prediction, natural language understanding, machine translation, speech recognition, and video surveillance.
Michael Knodler Jr., a professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and the director of the UMass Transportation Center, has been selected to receive a UMass Public Engagement Project (PEP) Fellowship for the coming year. “It is with great pleasure that I write to you on behalf of the PEP program to offer you a Spring 2019 Faculty Fellowship,” wrote Dr. Lisa M. Troy, the director of the PEP Fellowship Program and director of the School of Public Health and Health Sciences. “This award is a strong expression of our organization's confidence in your potential to reach broader publics with your research.”
A team of researchers led by Jungwoo Lee, an assistant professor in the Chemical Engineering Department and an investigator in the Institute for Applied Life Sciences, has developed an implantable biomaterial that recruits rare tumor cells and enables long-term observation of their micro-environmental evolution, according to highlights in Science Translational Medicine and Nature Biomedical Engineering. The Science Translational Medicine highlight explained that this approach could offer a method for quantitative evaluation of therapeutics that target long-term suppression of metastasis.
Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering Timothy J. Anderson is stepping down as dean of the College of Engineering, effective January 6. Anderson, who has served as dean since 2013, will continue as a member of the faculty. Meanwhile, Christopher Hollot, a professor and the head of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department, has been named interim dean at the College of Engineering.
This semester Professor Shelly Peyton of the Chemical Engineering (ChE) Department instituted a new, sophomore-level course that gives ChE majors the kind of hands-on experience in lab experimentation that is distinctive for this department or any other in the country. And Peyton believes this hands-on lab will have a long-lasting impact on the future careers of the students who take it.
The UMass Amherst Office of News and Media Relations has produced a new video about the research of Assistant Professor Emily Kumpel from the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. Kumpel works on strategies to make drinking water safe for the billion people worldwide who have only an intermittent water supply.
Forbes magazine, which had previously profiled Ph.D. student Julie Bliss Mullen from the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department in a feature story last June, has now named her in the magazine’s all-star listing of “30 Under 30 for Science” in 2018. Bliss is the co-founder and CEO of Aclarity, a company she has started as a CEE doctoral student. Aclarity produces a device which uses low levels of electricity to purify and disinfect water, and even to remove metals, without filters or chemicals. The technology is based on her research at UMass Amherst. See Forbes for entire list.
A feature story in Science News looks at the water testing laboratory at UMass Amherst run by David A. Reckhow, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, and his staff. The Reckhow facility offers room for researchers and communities to test out new methods of water treatment. The story also notes that Reckhow and his team have a new Mobile Water Innovation Laboratory that can be used to visit communities and do testing on site.
In an era marked by divisive political rhetoric about prejudice of many kinds, thank goodness for the UMass Amherst chapter of Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (oSTEM). Founded by award-winning chemical engineering major Phoebe Bisnoff ’19, the oSTEM mission is to provide a targeted, inclusive space for the LGBTQ+ community engaged in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to connect and network.