The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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On Thursday, April 12, from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., the Boston Globe and the University of Massachusetts Amherst will present a program on climate change entitled “Global Warning!” that features national biofuels expert, researcher, and activist Dr. George Huber of our Chemical Engineering Department. The evening will include a scientific panel on “What is Climate Change?” and a second panel on “How Can We Prevent Climate Change?” The program will take place in the Rabb Lecture Hall of the Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston Street in Boston, and space is limited.

A professional development curriculum created by Professor Surita Bhatia of the Chemical Engineering Department is one of 29 articles selected by the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) to appear in an upcoming report entitled “Infusing Real World Experiences into Engineering Education.” Professor Bhatia’s new curriculum deals with “Incorporating Diversity Education into the Engineering Curriculum: How Do We Train Students to Work in Diverse Teams?” The NAE publication will highlight best practices for recognizing real-world problems in engineering coursework and introducing practical sol

Two new videos deal with the work of George Huber, chemical engineering, who is transforming biomass into the industrial chemicals used to make gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, plastics, and other things. Dr. Huber is interviewed by Chemistry Views here. Meanwhile, the UMass News Office has produced a short video about Huber at

Five highly accomplished engineering students will be honored on April 1 by the UMass Amherst Alumni Association at its Scholarships & Awards Reception, held at 10:00 a.m. in the Marriott Center on the 11th Floor of the Campus Center on campus. Chemical engineering major Aidan Gilchrist ’13, electrical engineering major Dustin Lagoy ’13, civil engineering major Timothy Light ’13, and mechanical engineering major Natalie Zucker ’13 will receive William F. Field Alumni Scholarships, while mechanical engineering major Andrew Erwin will receive a Senior Leadership Award.

The breakthrough reported by Paul Dauenhauer of the Chemical Engineering Department in the January 2012 issue of the journal Energy & Environmental Science and later highlighted in Nature Chemistry has been covered in many scientific websites and magazines, including Ethanol Producer Magazine, Science Daily,

Think of the chemical reactions that turn wood into sustainable biofuel as the brackets for March Madness. And think of the molecules produced by those chemical reactions as the teams inside the brackets. Until now, chemical engineers couldn’t even chart the brackets, much less fill in the teams. All those reactions were so complex that engineers didn’t have a clue what was happening inside a biomass reactor.

A new biofuels breakthrough by the research team of Paul Dauenhauer, Chemical Engineering Department, was published in Energy & Environmental Science, Issue 1, 2012, the number-one-ranking journal in the world for its subject matter.

Paul Dauenhauer, chemical engineering, was interviewed in Nature Chemistry on January 13 about why he chose chemistry as a career and some of his personal preferences in reading, music, and whom he would like to meet. Dauenhauer works on high temperature chemistries of biopolymer/biomass conversion to fuel and chemical feedstocks.

The new breakthrough by George Huber and his research team in the Chemical Engineering Department is making headlines around the world. Huber’s team, using a catalytic fast pyrolysis process that transforms renewable non-food biomass into petrochemicals, has developed a new catalyst that boosts the yield for five key “building blocks of the chemical industry” by 40 percent compared to previous methods.

Michael Henson, a faculty member in the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the director of the campus Center for Process Design and Control, plays a key role in a four-year, $950,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study the 24-hour circadian rhythm, or “body clock,” in humans. Professor Henson’s research for this four-school collaborative project involves creating mathematical models of circadian rhythm generation to better understand sleep disorders and other diseases triggered by malfunction of the 24-hour body clock.


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