The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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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

The College of Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst continues its climb in the annual U.S. News & World Report listing of “Best Graduate Engineering Schools” placing No. 54 nationally, a rise of two spots.  Among public engineering institutions, the college has entered the top 30, advancing three places to No. 28, and remains the the top public engineering program in New England.

Chemical Engineering (ChE) Assistant Professor Jungwoo Lee, an adjunct of the Biomedical Engineering Department, leads a multidisciplinary team of researchers at the UMass Institute for Applied Life Sciences that has developed a technique to replicate bone tissue complexity and bone remodeling processes.

Joshua McGee, a senior in the Chemical Engineering (ChE) Department and a member of the UMass Integrated Concentration in Science Program and the Commonwealth Honors College, was one of two College of Engineering undergraduate students chosen as “Rising Researchers,” as designated by the UMass website Research/Next. As McGee’s faculty research advisor, ChE Professor Sarah Perry, noted in her nomination letter for McGee, “Josh is one of the best students that I have worked with.”

Mahidhar Sai Lakkavaram, a freshman Chemical Engineering (ChE) major and member of the Commonwealth Honors College, is already leaving a permanent mark on UMass Amherst and the College of Engineering as what the Italian Renaissance called the “Uomo Universale,” or “a man who can do all things if he will.”

H. Henning Winter and Wei Fan (ChE) have been issued U.S. Patent 10,793,442, which is called “Exfoliation of Zeolites in Functionalized Polymers.” Winter and Fan explain that their patented new method is a groundbreaking shortcut for synthesizing zeolites that are vital for capturing carbon-dioxide (CO2) pollutants from electric power emissions using coal and natural gas, responsible for nearly one-third of total CO2 emissions in the United States.

Several undergraduates in the Chemical Engineering Department won important awards in the recent student conference of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). Hansen Tjo and Nicholas Sbalbi both participated in the Student Poster Competition, and Sbalbi won the "Materials Science and Engineering" group. Sbalbi also won a smaller award, given out by the national AIChE organization, called the Donald F. Othmer Sophomore Academic Excellence Award.

Professor Michael Henson has been chosen to serve as the next Department Head of Chemical Engineering (ChE) at UMass Amherst for an initial 3.5-year term, which began on January 3, 2021. As College of Engineering Dean Sanjay Raman said, “Mike has been a strong and steady hand in leading the department as interim head for the past very challenging seven months, and we look forward to working with him to advance the vision and goals of the department and college.”

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