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.
The College of Engineering welcomes Dr. Shelly Peyton as a new faculty member to the Chemical Engineering Department. She comes to UMass Amherst after serving as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biological Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, beginning in 2007. Her research emphasis at MIT was “Mesenchymal Stem Cell Migration in 3-D Synthetic ECM Analogs.”
Research by George Huber and his research team from the Chemical Engineering Department, which has developed an economical process for producing chemical feedstocks from waste biomass, is attracting international attention from the chemical industry after the team’s article appeared in the November 26 issue of Science. His most high-profile coverage was in the January 6 issues of the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg Businessweek.