The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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A research team from the University of Massachusetts Amherst has created an electronic microsystem that can intelligently respond to information inputs without any external energy input, much like a self-autonomous living organism. This is possible because the microsystem is constructed from a novel type of electronics that can process ultralow electronic signals and incorporates a novel device that can generate electricity “out of thin air” from the ambient environment.

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection recently awarded a grant for $1,072,791 to a group led by Research Professor Dr. David A. Reckhow of the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department to sample for a key form of contaminant – per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances or PFAS – from approximately 1,600 public water systems and 3,500 private water wells in 84 selected communities across the state.

The Natick Service Council (NSC) honored UMass Amherst alumnus, businessman, and philanthropist Robert Brack on May 19 with its Founders Award at the council’s annual meeting. Brack graduated from the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department in 1960.

 

Lixin Gao, University Distinguished Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, has been named the 2021–22 Katherine Hampson Bessell Fellow as part of the celebrated Harvard Radcliffe Institute fellowship program. Among 1,383 international applications, only 2.4 percent were accepted as fellows for the Radcliffe program.

In late April, UMass Alumna Amy Bunszel ('91 M.S.) of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department was honored by the National Diversity and Leadership Conference as one of its “2021 Top 50 Women in Tech.” As executive vice president of Architecture, Engineering, and Construction Design Solutions at Autodesk, Bunszel manages product strategy and execution for the company’s 3D design portfolio, including the Autodesk Architecture, Engineering, and Construction Collection, AutoCAD family, Autodesk Revit, and more.

Xian Du and Meghan Huber of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department have been selected to be Panel Fellows in the 2021 cohort of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation’s (CMMI) Game Changer Academies for Advancing Research Innovation (CGCA).

S. Thai Thayumanavan, interim head of BME and distinguished professor in the Chemistry Department, is part of a UMass team of researchers that has engineered a nanoparticle with the potential to revolutionize disease treatment, including cancer. This new research involves a conjugate nanoparticle that can more precisely and effectively deliver treatment to the specific cells affected by cancer. 

Undergraduate Patrick Thompson (ECE) has received a United States Department of State Critical Language Scholarship to undertake his second, intensive, all-expenses-paid, eight-week, Chinese language program abroad this summer. He is already fluent in Mandarin Chinese and aspires to work in the semiconductor industry in a career that requires frequent travel to Asia. 

Professor David Irwin (ECE) is part of an interdisciplinary, multi-institutional team that has been awarded $3 million to make cloud computing more low-carbon, sustainable, and “green” by addressing its huge energy output.

 

Ali Abdel-Maksoud ’21, electrical engineering, and Nicholas Sbalbi ’21, chemical engineering, have been named Rising Researchers by UMass Amherst Research Next.

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