The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Points of Pride Spring 2022

A visionary gift transforming atmospheric research. Faculty researching environmentally friendly catalysts and nano-biotechnologies to improve immune responses. Students shaping the future of automated vehicle design and sustainable materials for energy systems.

As the #1 public engineering program in New England, our community of intelligent, dedicated, and creative engineers are helping revolutionize the world for the better.

$10 Million Gift for Investment in Atmospheric Research

The College of Engineering has received a $10 million gift from Jerome Paros ’60 and Linda Paros aimed at accelerating its cutting-edge work in atmospheric research and hazard mitigation.

The gift—the largest ever received by the college—will provide discretionary support for the new Paros Center for Atmospheric Research, funding for the Paros Fellows/Scholars Endowed Fund for graduate fellowships and undergraduate scholarships, and funding to establish the Paros Chair of Atmospheric Research and Hazard Mitigation.

Two Faculty Receive NSF CAREER Awards

Peng Bai and Ashish Kulkarni, assistant professors in the Department of Chemical Engineering, have each been awarded a five-year grant through the National Science Foundation (NSF) Early Career Development (CAREER) Program, among the most prestigious grants offered by the NSF.

Bai’s research centers around developing computer simulation methods to help better understand chemical separations and energy conversion processes in complex materials systems. Kulkarni’s research examines nanoscale technologies that interact with the body’s immune system in ways that could treat diseases and improve human health. Their CAREER grants provide $551,035 and $637,359 for their activities, respectively.

Alumni News

2022 Outstanding Alumni Awards

The UMass Amherst College of Engineering is proud to announce the recipients of its 2022 Outstanding Alumni Awards. Awardees represent the college’s five departments and include five Distinguished Alumni and five Outstanding Young Alumni. 

Alumna Rena Bizios Elected to the National Academy of Engineering

College of Engineering alumna Rena Bizios '68, Lutcher Brown Endowed Chair Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Texas San Antonio, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) as part of the 2022 induction class.

Student News

Four Undergraduate Engineering Students Selected as Rising Researchers

Jahinaya Parker (MIE) and Zeynep Alptekin (ChE) were chosen as Rising Researchers for the spring of 2022 and Shaun Ghosh (ECE) and Rebecca Louisthelmy (BME) were chosen for the fall of 2021. The Rising Researcher program recognizes undergraduate students who excel in research, challenge their intellect, and exercise exceptional creativity.

UMass Student AGC Group Wins Outstanding Emerging Chapter Award

The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) national organization recently announced that the AGC student chapter at UMass Amherst earned the Outstanding Emerging Student Chapter Award.

Graduate Student Aggrey Muhebwa Wins International Scholarship

Aggrey Muhebwa, an electrical and computer engineering doctoral candidate, is the first University of Massachusetts Amherst student to be awarded a prestigious international scholarship from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). 


Computing Research Association (CRA) Fellow Yasra Chandio Takes on Mentorship and Mixed Reality

ECE graduate student Yasra Chandio’s research around the security of Mixed Reality involves hacking into MR systems to uncover and expose key vulnerabilities, with the aim of enhancing user safety.

Faculty News

American Chemical Society Awards Jessica Schiffman as a 2021 “Influential Researcher”

Associate Professor Jessica Schiffman, the interim department head of the Chemical Engineering Department, has been selected by the journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research (I&EC) to the “2021 I&EC Research Class of Influential Researchers—the Americas.”

Jinglei Ping and Jun Yao Receive Trailblazer Awards from National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Jinglei Ping (MIE) and Jun Yao (ECE) have received National Institutes of Health (NIH) Trailblazer R21 Awards to pursue their promising emerging research.

Kara Peterman Wins Milek Fellowship from American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC)

Assistant Professor Kara Peterman (CEE), has been awarded the distinguished Milek Fellowship from AISC. The fellowship is a four-year, $200,000 award. 

Sanjay Arwade Leads UMass Team on Hurricane Resiliency Modeling Project

UMass researchers led by Sanjay Arwade (CEE) are collaborating on the National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium’s project to quantify and assess the risk to offshore wind installations from Atlantic coast hurricanes.

Remote Sensing Work Led by Paul Siqueira Wins $4.5 Million NASA Contract

A multi-institutional team led by Paul Siqueira (ECE) has been awarded a $4.5 million NASA contract to develop a sensing instrument capable of characterizing the depth and density of North American snowpack with unprecedented accuracy.