The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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H. Henning Winter and Wei Fan (ChE) have been issued U.S. Patent 10,793,442, which is called “Exfoliation of Zeolites in Functionalized Polymers.” Winter and Fan explain that their patented new method is a groundbreaking shortcut for synthesizing zeolites that are vital for capturing carbon-dioxide (CO2) pollutants from electric power emissions using coal and natural gas, responsible for nearly one-third of total CO2 emissions in the United States.

Several undergraduates in the Chemical Engineering Department won important awards in the recent student conference of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). Hansen Tjo and Nicholas Sbalbi both participated in the Student Poster Competition, and Sbalbi won the "Materials Science and Engineering" group. Sbalbi also won a smaller award, given out by the national AIChE organization, called the Donald F. Othmer Sophomore Academic Excellence Award.

Professor Michael Henson has been chosen to serve as the next Department Head of Chemical Engineering (ChE) at UMass Amherst for an initial 3.5-year term, which began on January 3, 2021. As College of Engineering Dean Sanjay Raman said, “Mike has been a strong and steady hand in leading the department as interim head for the past very challenging seven months, and we look forward to working with him to advance the vision and goals of the department and college.”

At the Materials Research Society (MRS) Meeting in early December, juniors Nicholas Sbalbi and Kyle Schoenberg of the Chemical Engineering (ChE) Department collaborated with doctoral student Heather Hamilton of the Polymer Science and Engineering (PSE) Department to win a first-place prize in the annual Science as Art competition. Their winning entry was a scanning electron microscope (SEM) micrograph titled “Jellyfish Janus Particles.”

Chemical Engineering (ChE) undergraduate student Hansen Tjo was recently awarded "Best Presentation” in the Biomolecular Engineering Session at the Gulf Coast Undergraduate Research Symposium, hosted by Rice University. Tjo was also a recent awardee at the 2020 Future Leaders in Chemical Engineering Symposium.

ONS Voice (website of the Oncology Nursing Society) offered high praise for the pioneering, portable, water-purification system developed by a multidisciplinary UMass research team.

 

Josh McGee and Hansen Tjo, two undergraduates in the UMass Chemical Engineering Department, were awardees at the 2020 Future Leaders in Chemical Engineering Symposium, a national award conference for undergraduate researchers as hosted by North Carolina State University.

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.

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