The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Forbes Magazine recently quoted Meghan Huber, an assistant professor in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department and director of the Human Robot Systems (HRS) Laboratory, in an article about Walmart ending its contract with a developer of robots to track inventory in its store aisles. After testing and using the technology with approximately 500 robots over the past five years, the company will shift that labor back to human employees.

On November 5, Professor Frank Sup of the UMass Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department was one of 10 presenters at “The Future of Robotics: Research to Commercialization” event, as hosted by MassRobotics and the Mass Tech Collaborative.

Bridget Benner, a doctoral student in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department and an alumna of Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC), joined other panelists from the National Institute of Health and Massachusetts General Hospital for a panel discussion on career pathways in STEM on November 19. The event was part of BHCC's second annual Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Day, and the topic of the discussion was “Promoting Women in Science.”

Nianqiang (Nick) Wu, the Armstrong/Siadat Endowed Professor in the Chemical Engineering Department, has been named to the “2020 Highly Cited Researchers” list. This coveted list, which serves as a “who’s who” of influential researchers, identifies scientists and social scientists who have demonstrated significant influence through publication of multiple papers, highly cited by their peers, during the last decade.

The University of Massachusetts Amherst ADVANCE Program has awarded a competitive collaborative research seed grant to Associate Professor Shelly Peyton of the Chemical Engineering Department and Assistant Professor Michelle Farkas of the Chemistry Department. Their ADVANCE research will develop a new tool for studying, stopping, and reversing the immunosuppression of the immune system in patients with cancer and other diseases.

As the public has seen during the testing of lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines, refrigeration is one key to their distribution. According to an article from the UMass News Office, Associate Professor Sarah Perry of the Chemical Engineering Department at UMass Amherst has teamed up with Caryn Heldt, director of the Health Research Institute at Michigan Technological University and professor of chemical engineering, to develop a method using proteins to keep vaccines stable without the need to refrigerate them.

Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Professor Stephen de Bruyn Kops and a team of multidisciplinary researchers from four international institutions were recently granted special supercomputer access by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DoE) Office of Science through its Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program. de Bruyn Kops is the principal investigator on a project studying fluids and turbulence, which will be greatly enhanced by access to powerful supercomputers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, including the fastest in the nation.

Sankaran Thai Thayumanavan will serve as interim department head of Biomedical Engineering (BME) starting in January of 2021 and has already taken on the role of an associate department head in BME in order to collaborate closely with the current interim BME department head, Tilman Wolf, during the transitional phase.

Professor T. J. (Lakis) Mountziaris of the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has been elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). AAAS is the world's largest multidisciplinary scientific society, with members in more than 91 countries around the globe.

Professor Neil St. John Forbes of the Chemical Engineering Department will receive a Manning-Institute for Applied Life Sciences Award (IALS) from the UMass Applied Proof-of-Concept Seed Fund Program.

 

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