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Nianqiang “Nick” Wu, the Armstrong/Siadat Endowed Professor in the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is the principal investigator on a $3.4-million grant from the National Institutes of Health to support his creation of a portable optical sensor system for assisting in the diagnosis of traumatic brain injuries, which impact some 27-million people worldwide each year. Wu’s new testing system could be used in the field – at the scene of an accident or injury – and would take only minutes to obtain results.

Five College of Engineering faculty members are among the 46 UMass ADVANCE Faculty Fellows for 2021-2022. The College of Engineering ADVANCE Fellows are: Seth Donahue, Biomedical Engineering; Ashish Kulkarni, Chemical Engineering; Konstantinos Andreadis, Civil and Environmental Engineering; Michael Zink, Electrical and Computer Engineering; and Shannon Roberts, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering.

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 ’22, 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.

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