The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Assistant Professor Jessica D. Schiffman of the Chemical Engineering (ChE) Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is the initial recipient of the Professor James Douglas Early Career Faculty Development Award. Douglas was a former faculty member and department head in the UMass Amherst ChE department. The award is being made “in honor of Professor Douglas’ research innovation, entrepreneurial spirit, and ability to tackle complex problems using innovative and non-traditional approaches to achieve results.”

On December 30, the daily Greenfield Recorder ran a feature story on the fascinating research of Shelly Peyton, a chemical engineer at UMass Amherst. In the article, Peyton says her research on breast-cancer metastasis using artificial tissues is beginning to yield significant results, showing, for example, that the most aggressive cancer cells tend to move toward and settle on bone tissue.

The research team of Andrew Robert TeixeiraChun-Chih ChangTimothy CooganRoss KendallWei Fan, and Paul Dauenhauer of the UMass Amherst Chemical Engineering Department published a paper entitled “Dominance of Surface Barriers in Molecular Transport through Silicalite-1” in the Journal of Physical ChemistryRead the entire article.

Michael F. Malone has been honored as one of the 2013 Innovation All-Stars in higher education by the Boston Business Journal and Mass High Tech. Malone is the vice chancellor for research and engagement at UMass Amherst and is also the Ronnie & Eugene Isenberg Distinguished Professor of Engineering. The awards were given to two individuals and 15 companies at a ceremony and reception held in Boston on Nov. 20. Malone has played a key role in encouraging innovation in research and education at UMass Amherst.

Professor Christos Dimitrakopoulos of our Chemical Engineering Department was a corresponding author of an article published online in the October 31 edition of Science, entitled “Layer-Resolved Graphene Transfer via Engineered Strain Layers.” The printed version will follow in the near future.

Shelly Peyton, an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering and the Barry and Afsaneh Siadat Career Development Faculty Fellow at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has received a five-year, $2.4-million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to attack the deadly problem of breast-cancer metastasis in an entirely new way. “What we’re trying to understand is why breast cancer doesn’t spread randomly,” explains Peyton about her project for the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award program.

On September 26 and 27 Julio M. Ottino, dean of the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern University, will visit the campus to give two separate lectures, the first aimed at a scientific audience, and the second at the university as a whole. Ottino is a distinguished researcher and scholar and a member of the prestigious National Academy of Engineering (1997) and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2003). He has been a Guggenheim fellow and American Physical Society fellow.

One of the many passions of senior chemical engineering major Lucas Blauch – who is an accomplished guitarist, band leader, and certified Little League umpire from Harvard, Massachusetts – is making certain that the UMass Amherst chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) fulfills the professional needs of the students in his department.

The National Science Foundation has awarded Assistant Professor Jessica Schiffman of the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst a two-year grant of $174,000 to improve ultrafiltration membranes — a vital separation technology in drinking water purification plants and a broad range of industries, including beverage clarification, blood filtration/treatment, protein purification, and metal ion recovery.

A generous endowment established by Professor William C. Conner, Jr. of the Chemical Engineering (ChE) Department and his spouse Nancy L. Conner has created an incentive that the department will use as a powerful catalyst for its 60th-anniversary fundraising drive. Largely due to the Conners’ lead gift, the endowment for the department now stands at about $40,000. Now the Conners’ gift, entitled the Chemical Engineering Endowment Fund, will act as a challenge for faculty members, alumni, and other donors to boost that amount to $100,000 by the end of the fiscal year.


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