University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Chemical Engineering alumnus Charles Beyrouthy is the Co-Founder and CEO of the dynamic software company LabCloud, which provides a fully integrated platform that allows R&D organizations to better manage research pipelines. As the company’s website notes, “With LabCloud’s key capabilities, an organization is uniquely positioned to drive innovation while reducing operational expenditures, increasing laboratory compliance, and improving transparency.” Go to LabCloud website:

Chemical Engineering Department Assistant Professor Sarah Perry has been named one of the two Armstrong Fund for Science winners for 2015, which this year is granting $20,000 to each researcher to encourage transformative research on campus that introduces new ways of thinking about pressing scientific or technical challenges. Physics assistant professor Jun Yan also received an Armstrong award. They were recognized at the UMass Amherst Honors Dinner on April 22.

Two College of Engineering undergraduate students were among the six so-called “Rising Researchers” designated by the UMass Amherst website Research/Next (Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity for a Brighter Future)Read the Research Next article. The two engineering winners are Chemical Engineering student Xuanting Wang ’16 and Civil Engineering student Marissa Shea ’15. The Rising Research program acknowledges the excellent work of UMass Amherst undergraduate students.

A Chemical Engineering (ChE) undergraduate student, Cameron Johnston, who works under the supervision of  ChE Professor Sarah Perry, won a best poster award at the 2015 American Chemical Society Connecticut Valley Section Undergraduate Research Symposium. The title of the winning poster was “Effect of polymer architecture and zwitterionic moieties on complex coacervation.” Johnston’s research is a collaborative effort between Dr. Perry's lab and Todd Emrick’s lab, with one of his graduate students, Rachel Letteri.

Chemical Engineering junior Katharine Greco has won a highly selective scholarship from the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program. Each scholarship covers eligible expenses for undergraduate tuition, fees, books, room, and board, up to a maximum of $7,500 annually. Greco’s scholarship was one of only 260 awarded nationally this year.

Katrina Rieger, a fourth-year doctoral candidate in the Chemical Engineering (ChE) Department, has been chosen to receive a highly selective and very prestigious 2015-16 Fulbright U.S. Student Award in conjunction with the Germanistic Society of America Award. Rieger will serve as a Fulbright researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany. The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program of the United States. 

The method that pharmaceutical companies use to develop new chemotherapy drugs is highly inefficient and expensive, costing one-to-ten-billion dollars and seven to 20 years for each drug. Shelly Peyton of the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is addressing this critical problem with her new research project, funded by a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation CAREER Program.

After winning the UMass Amherst Innovation Challenge and its $25,000 top prize on March 30, a team of UMass graduate students is opening eyes and defogging windshields with a clever invention known as FogKicker. On April 10, Team FogKicker presented its product, a coating technology with potential applications for millions of people, during the Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council 2015 Innovation Tour.

In a recent report published in the German journal Angewandt Chemie, Boston College Associate Professor of Chemistry Dunwei Wang and UMass Amherst Chemical Engineering Assistant Professor Wei Fan unveiled a new method of stabilizing carbon - a central structural component of any battery - that could pave the way to new performance standards in the hunt for lithium-ion components. It is considered a key step in developing smaller but more powerful batteries for cars and other manufactured goods.

A team of researchers led by Professor Neil Forbes of the Chemical Engineering Department published an article in the March 3 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), one of the world's most-cited and comprehensive multidisciplinary scientific journals, publishing more than 3,800 research papers annually. The article, authored by Charles A. Swofford, Nele Van Dessel, and Forbes is titled “Quorum-sensing Salmonella selectively trigger protein expression within tumors.”