The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Joseph Goldstein, a professor in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department and the former dean of the College of Engineering, received one of six Awards for Outstanding Accomplishments in Research and Creative Activity being presented to “nationally acclaimed faculty members” at the Seventh Annual Faculty Convocation on September 16.

Matthew Lackner (pictured) and Yahya Modarres-Sadeghi of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department have received a three-year, $167,000 grant from the state-run Massachusetts Clean Energy Center to develop a design and economic analysis for the next generation of two-bladed, downwind, offshore, floating, wind turbines.

The vital statistics for the College of Engineering at UMass Amherst as we begin the fall 2011 semester show a college that is healthy, growing, academically first-rate, and high-achieving. The college is ranked as the best public engineering school in New England. We have a physical plant of eight buildings, including our seven-year-old ELab II with its gleaming laboratory spaces, research facilities, computer labs, and graduate offices. The college’s network of living alumni numbers more than 16,000 around the globe.

This September 22, Briana Tomboulian, a graduate student in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, served as a student panelist for a briefing on Capitol Hill entitled “Students Bringing Space Research Down to Earth.” The program, sponsored by the American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology (ASGSB) and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), was intended to brief Congressional aides on the kind of space research being done by students.

Charles “Charlie” F. Perrell (BS ‘71 College of Engineering, MBA ‘72 Isenberg School of Management), is a prominent engineer, businessman, venture capitalist, philanthropist, and recipient of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Distinguished Alumni Award. Perrell now has more than 30 years of professional experience launching and managing technology companies.

Funding for outstanding faculty and the research they perform goes well beyond offering market-driven salaries. Critical research support, bright graduate students, and professional advancement all lead to groundbreaking developments – and require funding. The financial support of donors, combined with university funds, fortifies faculty efforts. Additionally, well-funded research that shows promise often begets further attention and support.

The College of Engineering welcomes five talented new faculty members to our ranks for the fall semester of 2011: Alice Azadeh Alipour and Caitlyn Butler in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department; Mario Parente and Marco Duarte in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department; and Jessica Schiffman (pictured) in the Chemical Engineering Department. Their research interests include sustainable development, energy efficient water treatment, interplanetary remote sensing, signal, image, and data processing, and desalination and sustainable water purification.

A research team from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, led by Paul Dauenhauer, assistant professor of chemical engineering, has received a two-year $600,000 grant from Re Community Inc., a resource recovery company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C. The grant will support the development and evaluation of an innovative new fuel for coal-fired boilers.

A feature story in the August 30 edition of Business West looked at the Vayu Vest, named after a Hindu wind god and invented by UMass Amherst alumnus Brian Mullen (right) while he was a graduate student in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department. The inflatable vest is used to help calm children who have autism by giving them a “portable hug.” The story described how Mullen has been collaborating with Tina Champagne, director of the Center for Human Development’s Institute for Dynamic Living in Springfield.

The College of Engineering is pleased to announce that Dr. Paula L. Sturdevant Rees has been appointed as Director of the Diversity Programs Office (DPO). Dr. Rees received a Ph.D. (1997) and M.A. (1994) in Environmental Engineering and Water Resources from Princeton University, and a B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Iowa in 1992.