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Chemical Engineering major Dan Ganz has recently been awarded two scholarships, the Class of 1941 Humanitarian Award given by the Honors College, and the Mark Bradley and June Wispelway Scholarship given by the College of Engineering. “The two awards I have received recently, from the College of Engineering and the Commonwealth College, are a real honor,” Ganz said. “When entering UMass, I did not expect such positive opportunities to develop as a person and as a professional.”

George Huber, the Armstrong Professional Development Professor in the University of Massachusetts Amherst Chemical Engineering Department, has received $25,000 from the university’s Commercial Ventures and Intellectual Property (CVIP) office to help commercialize a “proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell technology” capable of producing renewable fuels and other chemicals from biomass, electricity, and water.

On April 7, four College of Engineering students donated their time, energy, and knowledge to the so-called “Carnival of Learning” by teaching about 55 youngsters from the John Duggan Middle School in Springfield the importance of education beyond high school. The college students, who belong to the campus chapters of the National Society of Black Engineers and Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, gave the kids a crash course in engineering by demonstrating how to extract DNA from strawberries and showing them how to build a better “mousetrap car,” solely powered by one standard-sized mousetrap.

Students from the College of Engineering have won four William F. Field Alumni Field Scholarships and two Senior Leadership Awards from the University of Massachusetts Amherst Alumni Association. The awardees represent all four departments at the college. Our Field Scholars are: Daniel Abrams, civil engineering; Zachary Brentzel, chemical engineering; To Chong, computer engineering; and Carlo Domaoan, mechanical engineering. Caitlin Bogdan, mechanical engineering and classics, and Xiaoliang Yao, industrial engineering and operations management, won Senior Leadership Awards

The Journal of Chemical Physics has selected a paper co-authored by Professors Dimitrios Maroudas and David Ford and their graduate student Ray Sehgal and other collaborators from Johns Hopkins University as a “2010 Editor's Choice” of ground-breaking research in the field of Surfaces, Interfaces, and Materials. As the editors explain, “In the following collection, the editors have selected a few of the many notable JCP articles published in 2010 that present ground-breaking research.”

As an alternative to using laboratory animals to study diseases, what if you could actually build realistic working models of bone, breast, liver, or artery tissues under attack by diseases? The operative word would be “control.” Not only could you perform reproducible experiments in a highly controlled environment, but you could also exercise very tight control over many of the physical and chemical properties of diseased tissues.

A new chemically treated wound dressing could address the mushrooming problem of diabetes-related amputations by introducing the first moist gauze bandage with the ability to ventilate ulcerations that often fester in diabetics, partly because these sores don’t get enough oxygen to heal properly. Surita Bhatia and Susan Roberts of the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have developed the only moist dressing ever conceived that showers wounds with oxygen to promote healing and foster the formation of healthy new tissue.

Paul Dauenhauer of the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has received a highly selective 3M Nontenured Faculty Award for $15,000 a year in unrestricted funds, renewable for up to three years. Dr. Dauenhauer will use the 3M funding to study the “Hybrid Production of Biorenewable Aromatic Chemicals.” “Hybrid production” means a combination of both biological and thermochemical steps in the catalytic process for producing chemicals and fuels from renewable biomass.

Marcel Vanpée, 94, died February 3rd, 2011, surrounded by his wife and daughters. Marcel Vanpée was Emeritus Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His scientific research and teaching led him from his native Belgium to Lovanium University in the former Belgian Congo and then to the United States, first in 1948 as a research fellow at the University of Minnesota and then in 1957 to pursue research in combustion science at the Bureau of Mines in Pittsburgh.

Paul J. Dauenhauer of the Chemical Engineering Department has been awarded a one-year, $80,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to conduct basic research on the chemical process pyrolysis - breaking down woody biomass by heating it. Dr. Dauenhauer seeks to unlock the complex chemistry that takes place when wood is heated. He says heating woody biomass to high temperatures actually creates a brief liquid state before it turns to gas and this liquid state is of particular interest to scientists trying to produce the basic chemicals needed for biofuels.

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