The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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In the spring semester of 2020, undergraduates Katherine (Kat) Nilov and Sanjana Manghnani of the Chemical Engineering Department participated in Engineer Engagement Specialist Dr. Stephen Fernandez’s pilot course on “Learning through Community Engagement and Bridging Engineering Theory and Practice.” Recently, the Campus Compact Website posted an interview with Nilov and Manghnani, in which they very eloquently articulated the impact of the course on their worldview about engineering itself and using their future profession to engage with surrounding communities.

Ali Abdel-Maksoud ’21, electrical engineering, and Nicholas Sbalbi ’21, chemical engineering, have been named Rising Researchers by UMass Amherst Research Next.

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Weiyue Xin, a Ph.D. student in the Chemical Engineering Department, is the lead author of a paper recently published in Science Advances explaining how a UMass Amherst research team has discovered how to use elasticity to control the positions of solid micro-plates on curved 2D fluids.

College of Engineering Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Paula Rees has announced the 2020–2021 recipients of the college’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Award. “From a pool of truly inspiring nominations,” said Rees, “the two recipients this year are Shelly Peyton and Cielo Sharkus.” Peyton is a professor in the Chemical Engineering (ChE) Department, while Sharkus is a doctoral candidate in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department studying environmental and water resources engineering.

Three College of Engineering graduate students were among the Thirteen Students and Alums to Receive Prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships. The College of Engineering students were Selena Y. Cho of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department and Joshua McGee and Lars Howell of the Chemical Engineering Department. The program provides three years of support during a five-year fellowship period.

The College of Engineering has chosen Professor Friederike Jentoft of the Chemical Engineering (ChE) Department to receive the 2020-2021 Outstanding Senior Faculty Award. The college has also selected Assistant Professor Colin J. Gleason of the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department and Assistant Professor Jun Yao of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department as the co-recipients of the 2020-2021 Barbara H. and Joseph J. Goldstein Outstanding Junior Faculty Award.

The Chemical Engineering (ChE) Department is awarding its 2021 Outstanding Alumni Awards to Christine Seymour ’95PhD and Kokui Francisca Adesokan ’09. Seymour will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award, while Adesokan will be presented with the Outstanding Young Alumni Award.

Assistant Professor Omar Abdelrahman of the Chemical Engineering (ChE) Department has received a five-year, $500,000 grant from the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Early Career Development (CAREER) Program to develop dynamic catalysts that can utilize renewable electricity to generate more environmentally sound and inexpensive chemical production. Specifically, his NSF research will attempt to transform the electrochemical oxidation of hydrocarbons into oxygenates.

Thirteen UMass Amherst students and alumni have received awards from the Graduate Research Fellowship Program. These include Selena Y. Cho, mechanical engineering; Joshua McGee, chemical engineering; and Lars Howell, a current graduate student in chemical engineering. Read more

Nicholas Sbalbi, a junior chemical engineering major, has been awarded a prestigious Goldwater Scholarship from the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. His mentors include Peter Beltramo and Sarah Perry. Read more

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