The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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This semester Assistant Professor Emily Kumpel of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and Associate Professor Anita Milman of the Department of Environmental Conservation are teaching a groundbreaking service-learning class focusing on “Potable Water for Small and Disadvantaged Communities.” As Kumpel explains about this collaborative course, “We hope that students learn that the challenges small community water systems face require knowledge and skills from many different disciplines,” explains Kumpel.

Professor Joseph Bardin (principal investigator) of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at UMass Amherst and College of Engineering and Dean Sanjay Raman (co-principal investigator) have received a $500,000 grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), administered by the Office of Naval Research.

Dr. John E. Tobiason, P.E., BCEE, a professor and the head of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, has been selected as a Fellow of the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP). This recognition is provided by AEESP to members who have demonstrated the highest levels of teaching, research, and/or service in the environmental engineering or science professorate and who have 15 or more years of continued membership within the organization.

The Biomedical Engineering (BME) Department and the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department at UMass Amherst are adding a total of six new faculty members to the College of Engineering during the fall of 2020 and spring of 2021 semesters. The BME department is adding Assistant Professor Prabhani Atukorale (January 2021) and Assistant Professor Siyuan Rao (January 2021), as well as Lecturers Martin Hunter (September 2020) and Qianbin Wang (December 2020). The CEE department is adding Assistant Professor Mariana Lanzarini Lopes (January 2021) and Lecturer Jessica Boakye (September 2020).

Six new members are now serving on the all-important Dean’s Advisory Council. The newest members are: Kokui Adesokan (B.S. 2009 Chemical Engineering); Rena Bizios (B.S. 1968 Chemical Engineering); Ruth Bonsignore (B.S. 1983 Civil and Environmental Engineering); Divi Gupta (B.S. 2000 Electrical and Computer Engineering, M.S. 2006 Electrical and Computer Engineering); Adam Miller (B.S. 1993 Civil and Environmental Engineering); and Edward Price (B.S. 1990 Chemical Engineering).

Associate Professor Jae-Hwang Lee of the University of Massachusetts Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department and his graduate students currently have simultaneous cover articles appearing in two major scientific journals. One journal is the American Chemical Society’s Applied Nano Materials and the second is Soft Matter, published by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Assistant Professor Amir Arbabi and his Post Doctoral Research Associate Andrew McClung of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department have received a Manning/Institute for Applied Life Sciences (IALS) Award from the UMass Applied Proof-of-Concept Seed Fund Program. The main objective of the funded project is to demonstrate prototypes of a solid-state, low-cost, miniature lidar system with high resolution, low power consumption, and large field-of-view.

Dr. Michael Knodler Jr. announced that the University of Massachusetts Traffic Safety Research Program (UMassSafe) has recently been awarded four momentous new research projects, all related to traffic safety and totaling nearly $790,000 in funding. Knodler is the UMassSafe principal investigator and the director of the University of Massachusetts Transportation Center, which houses UMassSafe.

A so-called breathalyzer-like test for COVID-19 detection is receiving plenty of support from the federal government to help curtail the pandemic impacting millions of people worldwide. Professor Jonathan P. Rothstein of the UMass Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department is part of an interdisciplinary team of eight researchers from UCLA, UMass Amherst, and Northeastern University (NEU) that recently received a $200,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to support work aimed at commercializing the team’s groundbreaking collection and detection device for COVID-19 and other viruses.

Erin Baker – a professor in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, the associate dean for the College of Engineering, the director of the UMass Wind Energy Fellows, and the faculty director of the Energy Transition Initiative – is one of five researchers from UMass Amherst who, as a team, have been selected to receive a one-year, $100,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) “10 Big Ideas for Future NSF Investments” program.

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