The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Search Google Appliance



Chemical engineering alumna Marie Laplante has been chosen as a Fellow of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) “for versatile and dedicated leadership at all levels of SWE and for serving as a role model and champion of diversity.” Laplante is currently a chief technology engineer, utilities branch, in KBR’s project definition group. She is responsible for managing utility design guidelines for major KBR petrochemical projects. A senior life member of SWE, she joined the UMass Amherst chapter as a student in 1982 and has served in many capacities for the society ever since.

Retired Navy Rear Admiral and UMass alumnus Joseph A. Carnevale (’71, ChE), currently the senior defense advisor for the Shipbuilders Council of America, has endowed a scholarship for high school students from Pittsfield and/or Berkshire County entering the College of Engineering. In addition, Carnevale shared highlights from his extraordinary career and lessons to benefit tomorrow’s engineering leaders when he visited the College of Engineering in October. His clever talk was entitled “Avoiding the Draft, Trained to Lead, Building a Fleet.” How fitting is that!

Paul Dauenhauer of the Chemical Engineering Department has been appointed to the Associate Editorial Board of the journal Chemical Engineering Science. Dauenhauer received a B.S. Degree in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin Madison in 2004 and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota in 2008. He has worked as a senior research engineer for both Cargill, Inc. (Grain & Oilseed and Sweeteners Division) in Midland, Michigan and the Dow Chemical Company in Freeport, Texas.

Katrina A. Rieger, a Ph.D. candidate in the research lab of Professor Jessica D. Schiffman from the Chemical Engineering Department, was one of nine recipients nationally to receive an Eli Lilly Travel Award. The award is sponsored jointly by the Women Chemists Committee (WCC) of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and Eli Lilly & Company to increase the participation of women in the chemical sciences. Funding provides female graduate students and postdoctoral fellows the opportunity to travel to a national meeting and present their research.

Senior chemical engineering major Magnum Lew of Wellesley, Massachusetts has discovered first-hand how to use his education to make the world a better place and help the people around him. Lew has done sophisticated research as an undergraduate on two of society’s key issues: creating sustainable biofuels to replace expensive, unsustainable, and environmentally harmful fossil fuels; and monitoring the country’s crumbling highway infrastructure. Can any undergrad do more meaningful work than that?

Reporting in the current issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Scott Auerbach of the UMass Amherst Chemistry Department, Paul Dauenhauer of the Chemical Engineering Department, and their team of researchers have for the first time modeled at the molecular level the activation energies needed for the chemical reaction known as “fast pyrolysis” to proceed in cellulose. The discovery is critical information for efficiently converting cellulose to biofuels.

Chibueze Nwokeji, a senior in the Chemical Engineering Department, received a “Recognition for Outstanding Achievement” certificate as a token of appreciation for the hard work he put in during his summer coop at UTC Power, a unit of the United Technologies Corporation. The citation reads “In appreciation for your significant contributions to UTC Power’s Cell Stack Assembly Manufacturing Engineering Team. Your participation and efforts towards the implementation of the Lean Transformation Event and on various projects have helped us tremendously in achieving our department’s overall cost an

The crucial and potentially fatal problem with breast cancer has remained a mystery for more than a century: Why do different kinds of breast cancer cells tend to spread to specific organs, such as the brain, bone, or lungs? That’s the killer. Now the National Science Foundation has given Shelly Peyton of the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst a mandate to address this key problem in a totally new way by awarding her a $590,000 grant for 36 months.

In face of unprecedented growth in its student body, the Chemical Engineering (ChE) Department is building a new home base for ChE students to meet, socialize, study, use sophisticated computers, hear lectures, and collaborate on projects. The department plans to move its undergraduate hub from the small room in the basement of Goessmann Hall, known affectionately as “the Cave,” to a renovated area on the first floor of Goessmann Hall.

The July 2012 issue (Volume 5, Number 7) of the important journal Energy & Environmental Science will feature a cover story by Paul Dauenhauer of the Chemical Engineering Department. The title of the cover article is “Pyrolytic conversion of cellulose to fuels: levoglucosan deoxygenation via elimination and cyclization within molten biomass.” As Dauenhauer explains the research described in his article, “In short, we discovered that wood, when heated, has a previously unknown second chemistry.


Follow UMass Chemical Engineering: