News

The ninth annual University of Massachusetts Innovation Challenge final business plan competition was held on April 7. The event culminated in awards to five competing teams from a prize pool of $50,000 provided by private sector contributions as well as two special $5,000 named awards – The David Wolf Prize and The Glass Prize. Rescue Collar won the top prize of $25,000, followed by mDiagnostics which won a total of $15,000. Fiberessence and Nine Brain each won $7,500, while Acne Free, Naturally received $5,250 at the event. Rescue Collar offers a wearable device that reunites lost pets with their owners through community and technology at the push of a button. Both mDiagnostics and Fiberessence are teams from the College of Engineering.

Aura Ganz of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department has been selected to receive the 2014 Outstanding Senior Faculty Award, and Shelly Peyton of the Chemical Engineering Department will receive the 2014 Barbara H. and Joseph I. Goldstein Outstanding Junior Faculty Award. “Their excellent contributions to scholarship and the profession bring distinction to our college,” said Dean Tim Anderson while announcing the annual awards. “Aura and Shelly, along with the CoE Outstanding Teaching Award winner Rama Janaswamy, will be recognized during the CoE Senior Recognition Celebration to be held on Saturday, May 10, 2014. Congratulations, Aura and Shelly!”

Dean Tim Anderson is pleased to announce the appointment of three faculty members and one administrator as the new associate deans for the College of Engineering. The new appointments are: Professor John Collura, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, as the Associate Dean for Research and Innovation; Professor David Ford, Chemical Engineering Department, as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs; Professor Tilman Wolf, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, as the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Operations; and Kathleen Rubin, the current Assistant Dean, as the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Administration. The College of Engineering is indeed fortunate to have these dedicated individuals available to serve in four key positions at this crucial time of growth, evolution, and advancement within the institution.

Assistant Professor Wei Fan of the Chemical Engineering Department has been selected to receive the prestigious 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award from 3M Corporation. The Award recognizes “outstanding new faculty who were selected based on their research, experience, and academic leadership. The purpose of the award is to help the young faculty members achieve tenure, remain in their teaching position, and conduct research.” Fan is a young leader in the field of engineering porous materials as catalysts and carriers for biorefinery and drug delivery. His research group focuses on the rational synthesis and characterization of nanoporous materials based on the comprehensive understanding of their crystallization mechanism.

The American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE) has presented alumnus Joseph A. Carnevale – a rear admiral in the U.S. Navy retired, the senior defense advisor for the Shipbuilders Council of America, and a 1971 alum of the Chemical Engineering Department – with its 2013 Frank G. Law Award, given annually since 1980 in recognition of long-term significant contributions of service to the society. A longtime supporter of the college, Carnivale has created an endowed scholarship fund here, is a frequent guest speaker, and serves on the UMass Rising Campaign Committee for the D.C. region. The ASNE citation said in part that “Over more than three decades of active involvement with the society, Rear Admiral Joe Carnevale has frequently and reliably stepped forward to assume leadership and volunteer positions to support the society and its mission in a wide variety of roles and circumstances.” 

The University of Massachusetts Amherst Alumni Association has announced the recipients of its annual student scholarships and awards, and six high-achieving undergraduates from the College of Engineering were among them. The engineering recipients were: Industrial Engineering major Avery Stroman ’16, who won a $750 Alumni Merit-Based SAA Scholarship; Mechanical Engineering major Aaron Annan '15, Computer System Engineering major Michael Bjorge '15, Civil Engineering major Marissa Shea '15, and Chemical Engineering major Marianne Sleiman '15, who all received $750 William F. Field Alumni Scholarships; and Electrical Engineering major Joshua Hodge ’14, who received a $500 Senior Leadership Award.

Paul Dauenhauer of the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has been approved by the university Board of Trustees to receive the Armstrong Professional Development Professorship. The Armstrong Professorship was established in 2001 with an endowment of $850,000 by John and Elizabeth Armstrong of Amherst and a $650,000 matching grant from the University of Massachusetts President’s Distinguished Professorship Initiative. It is awarded for a three-year period “to a faculty member who is at the beginning of his/her career and has demonstrated substantial achievement and great promise in his/her area of teaching and research.”

Christos Dimitrakopoulos, a professor in the Chemical Engineering (ChE) Department, has achieved a scholarly feat rarely reached by any researcher. According to the Google Scholar (http://scholar.google.com/citations?user=_9ZuIhkAAAAJ&hl=en) website, Dimitrakopoulos has just sped past the 12,000 mark in publication citations. “My colleague Professor Christos Dimitrakopoulos has achieved a unique milestone in his career,” noted ChE Department Head T.J. Lakis Mountziaris. “It’s now over 12,000 citations and counting!” Before joining the College of Engineering in September of 2013, Dimitrakopoulos had spent the past 17 years as a research staff member at IBM’s T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York.

Shelly Peyton, an assistant professor in the Chemical Engineering Department and the Barry and Afsaneh Siadat Career Development Faculty Fellow at UMass Amherst, gave the keynote address during the 7th Northeast Alliance Science Day on Feb. 13 at the Universidad de Puerto Rico Mayagüez. The event was organized by Sandy Petersen, executive director of the STEM Diversity Institute and professor of veterinary and animal sciences at UMass Amherst, and Antonio Estevez, professor of chemical engineering from UPR-Mayaguez. “Antonio suggested I give the keynote because of the breast cancer work that I do that is a different angle than the students typically see,” explained Peyton. “It was a general talk, and I discussed our work in making these model tissues which we use to predict where breast cancer spreads.”

Ray Sehgal, a former graduate student in the Chemical Engineering (ChE) Department co-advised by ChE Professors Dimitrios Maroudas and David Ford, won the Oral Presentation Award at the Fall 2013 meeting of the Materials Research Society. Sehgal’s presentation, entitled “Coarse-Grained Model for Phase Behavior in Thermodynamically Small Assemblies,” was given the award by the symposium on Modeling and Theory-Driven Design of Soft Materials. The award included a monetary prize and a certificate. Sehgal successfully defended his Ph.D. in October and is currently a postdoc in the Maroudas research group.