The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Promise McHenga recently joined our engineering family as the Assistant Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. He has more than 10 years of deep experience with non-government organizations, educational non-profits, and higher education institutions, much of it in an international setting. He says his professional goal in the Diversity Office is “global justice achievement by making higher education attainable to the least and last in society.”

Chemical Engineering Ph.D. student Ryan Carpenter has received an AACR-Bristol-Myers Squibb Scholar-in-Training Award in the amount of $1,500 from the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), based on the quality of his award application and abstract entitled “Implantable tumor attracting niche models to study disseminated tumor cell biology.”

Alumna Karen D. Skolfield, a lecturer in the College of Engineering Junior Year Writing Program and a writer-in-residence in the college’s Career Development and Experiential Learning Center, has been named Northampton’s ninth Poet Laureate for the 2019–2021 term. In addition to being a longtime staff member in the College of Engineering, Skolfield earned her Master of Fine Arts degree from UMass Amherst.

Sanjay Raman, associate vice president for the Virginia Tech National Capital Region and president and CEO of the Virginia Tech Applied Research Corporation, has been named the new dean of the College of Engineering.  He begins his duties at UMass Amherst in August.

Cheryl Brooks, assistant dean for experiential learning and corporate relations and acting director of the Career Development and Experiential Learning Center in the College of Engineering, has been named associate provost for career and professional development at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She will assume her new duties effective June 1.

On World Water Day, the Baker-Polito Administration announced$759,556 in grantsto support six innovative technical advancements for wastewater treatment facilities across the Commonwealth. One of those grants went to the Town of Amherst and Blue Thermo Corporation, receiving $103,179 in funding, which will be used to install, monitor, and commission a wastewater source heat pump to provide renewable and consistent heating, cooling, and hot water to the Amherst Wastewater Treatment Plant from a renewable source.

The winners of the UMass College of Engineering Outstanding Teaching Award for 2019 are Professor Stephen Nonnenmann of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department and Professor John Tobiason of the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department. Both of these highly accomplished teachers, researchers, and academics have made a lasting impact on the education of the engineering workforce for many years to come.

UMass alumnus Brett Towler (B.S. in Civil Engineering, 1996) recently received a prestigious award from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for his work to advance the science of fish-passage engineering. He received one of just three national science awards given each year to the service’s employees for their extraordinary contributions to conservation science. Towler, a hydraulic engineer, took home the Sam D. Hamilton Award for Transformational Conservation Science, presented during a ceremony at the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources conference in Denver on March 7, 2019.

Stephen Nonnenmann of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department has received a grant from the prestigious NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program. Nonnenmann’s CAREER research will focus on energy conversion and storage applications.

As Nonnenmann explains, many energy conversion and storage applications require chemical reactions along some critical surface or interface to effectively operate.

In a long feature article by Joseph Bednar, published on February 19, Business West sang the praises of the Advanced Digital Design & Fabrication Lab, or ADDFab for short — one of 31 “core facilities” in the Institute for Applied Life Sciences at UMass Amherst. Professor Sundar Krishnamurty, the head of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, is also the co-director of the ADDFab and contributed mightily to the Business West article.

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