The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Sanjay Raman, associate vice president for the Virginia Tech National Capital Region and president and CEO of the Virginia Tech Applied Research Corporation, has been named the new dean of the College of Engineering.  He begins his duties at UMass Amherst in August.

Assistant Professor Ashish Kulkarni of the Chemical Engineering Department has been selected as one of 10 NextGen Stars by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). As a NextGen Star, Kulkarni will present his groundbreaking research project – titled Immunotheranostic probes for monitoring cancer immunotherapy response – at the “Advances in Diagnostics and Therapeutics” session on Molecular Imaging for Cancer Immunotherapy, scheduled for April 2 at the AARC Annual Conference in Atlanta.

The National Academy of Inventors (NAI) has named Professor Christos Dimitrakopoulos of our Chemical Engineering Department as one of 66 academic inventors in the inaugural class of NAI Senior Members. Dimitrakopoulos, who joined the university as a professor in 2013, holds 87 U.S. patents and has authored or co-authored more than 90 publications in journals and proceedings, with a total citation count of more than 21,000.

Professor Friederike C. Jentoft (Principal Investigator) and Associate Professor Wei Fan (Co-PI) of the Chemical Engineering Department have received a two-year, $110,000 grant from the American Chemical Society (ACS) Petroleum Research Fund. Their collaborative research aims to identify and investigate organic-inorganic surface sites capable of converting methane to higher alkanes at mild conditions. The objective is to design new catalysts and optimize the entire process.

The College of Engineering is recognizing its 26 most accomplished, first-year, doctoral students with the distinction of Dean’s Fellows for 2018-19, a program which rewards entering Ph.D. students with financial support, academic acknowledgement, and career-making research opportunities. Since enrolling here last September, these diverse students have shown unlimited potential, as demonstrated by their impressive range of backgrounds.

See the complete list of Dean’s Fellows with bios »

Two members of a team that won the UMass Amherst segment of the Hult Prize – the world’s largest student competition and startup platform for social good – are from the College of Engineering. Chemical Engineering undergraduate Kavya Ramachandran and Engineering major Achintya Kumar belong to the Building Better Villages team, which aims to improve the residential foundation for rural communities in India and beyond.

See Hult Prize website on campus »

Chemical Engineering junior Prashasti Rayamajhi was among the 25 campus undergraduates who were selected as 2019 UMass Women into Leadership (UWiL) fellows, chosen from an application pool of more than 100 hopefuls. UWiL is a competitive leadership training and professional development program that prepares students from the UMass flagship university for public leadership after graduation. Rayamajhi was chosen in large part because of her numerous volunteer service activities for UMass and the surrounding community.

A December 22 article in the Boston Globe reported on Assistant Professor Jungwoo Lee and his colleagues in the Chemical Engineering (ChE) Department at UMass Amherst who are developing microenvironments that allow them to study how cancer cells that move around in the human body change from dormant to active, and also what causes or prevents that change. Understanding this process, the researchers say, could lead to new treatments that prevent cancer from metastasizing throughout the body. See News Office release.

Five College of Engineering Students recently participated in the first ever co-op program run by the Coca-Cola plant in Northampton, and, because of their superior performance, they were each asked to make five-minute presentations to 11 company plant managers from the Northeast region and one vice-president from the Eastern U.S. “This is Coca-Cola’s first iteration of its co-op program,” explained co-op participant and mechanical engineering major Michael Schwartz, “and the company as a whole is looking to possibly expand this program to other plants across the nation based on the success the UMass students in Northampton.”

A team of researchers led by Jungwoo Lee, an assistant professor in the Chemical Engineering Department and an investigator in the Institute for Applied Life Sciences, has developed an implantable biomaterial that recruits rare tumor cells and enables long-term observation of their micro-environmental evolution, according to highlights in Science Translational Medicine and Nature Biomedical Engineering. The Science Translational Medicine highlight explained that this approach could offer a method for quantitative evaluation of therapeutics that target long-term suppression of metastasis.

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