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Two College of Engineering undergraduate students were among the five so-called “Rising Researchers” throughout the whole university designated by the UMass Amherst website Research Next (Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity for a Brighter Future). The two engineering winners are Electrical Engineering major Zachary Goodman and Chemical Engineering major Thomas McCarthy.

The five Rising Researchers for the fall of 2015 will soon be saluted with a special article about their research and other accomplishments in Research Next.

Professor Rena Bizios, Ph.D., an undergraduate alumna from the Chemical Engineering Department, has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine. Bizios is the Peter T. Flawn Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Texas, San Antonio. Visit faculty page

Hong Je Cho, a doctoral student on the research team of Professor Wei Fan (Fan Porous Materials Research Group) of the Chemical Engineering Department, won third place in the oral presentation award competition in the Fifth Annual Graduate Student Award Symposium at the American Chemical Society (ACS) fall meeting in Boston. This year seven finalists, chosen from more than 100 applicants pursuing Ph.D. degrees from research institutions nationwide, described their works at the symposium.

The College of Engineering has named John Klier to head its department of chemical engineering, effective Oct. 25.

 

A member of the National Academy of Engineering, Klier joins the university from The Dow Chemical Co., where he currently serves as global research and development director for the Performance Materials and Chemicals Segment.

 

Sarah Perry, chemical engineering, recently commented in Chemistry World about efforts to find new ways to deliver nutraceuticals in processed foods. In the Chemistry World article, she said that replacing synthetic surficant emulsifiers with naturally sourced materials would likely be popular with both food companies and consumers.

A feature story in the Daily Hampshire Gazette recently focused on the work of Shelly Peyton, chemical engineering, and her work developing chemotherapy drugs by studying how cancer cells respond to drugs in an environment that mimics human tissue. Peyton and her team of researchers create artificial tissues that realistically mimic various human organs, then test how cancer cells placed in these tissues respond to chemotherapy drugs.

Jungwoo Lee, chemical engineering, is part of a research team that has developed a new design for a microchip that can retrieve microfluidically attached cancer cells for analysis by integrating a three-dimensional hydrogel scaffold into a fluidic device. The research attracted the interest of many websites in the scientific media, including AZOnanoScience DailyWorld ScientificMedicalXpress.comEurekAlert, and BioPortfolio.

Principal Investigator Michael Henson of the Chemical Engineering Department has received a three-year NSF award totaling $300,000 to develop process modeling technology for synthesis gas fermentation reactors. The Co-Principal Investigator is Derek Griffin of LanzaTech, a leader in industrial gas fermentation technology. The award will support “the development of computational models that allow the simulation and optimization of complex bubble column reactors used industrially.”

From July 12 through 24, the College of Engineering held its third annual Summer ENGineering Institute (SENGI), this year running well-planned science and engineering learning activities for 43 high school students from around New England and beyond. The director of SENGI was Paula Rees, who is also the director of the Diversity Programs Office at the college.

A group of brilliant undergraduate researchers, working on cutting-edge summer projects, will present a poster session on Friday, July 31, from 10:00 a.m. to noon in the Campus Center Auditorium at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. All the students are participating in various programs under the umbrella of the Research Experience for Undergraduates, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The poster session is free and open to the public.

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