The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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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.

Paul Dauenhauer of the Chemical Engineering Department and the Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation, an Energy Frontier Research Center supported by the U.S. Department of Energy and led by the University of Delaware, has been selected as a keynote speaker at the 22nd International Symposium on Chemical Reaction Engineering (ISCRE 22) to be held in Maastricht, the Netherlands, from September 2 to 5 in 2012. Dr.

Chemical engineers from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, using their own licensed catalytic fast pyrolysis process for transforming renewable non-food biomass into petrochemicals, have developed a new catalyst that boosts the yield for five key “building blocks of the chemical industry” by a remarkable 40 percent over previous catalysts. This sustainable production process, which promises to be competitive and compatible with the current petroleum refinery infrastructure, has been tested and proven in a laboratory reactor, using wood as the feedstock.

Two students in the Chemical Engineering (ChE) Department, doctoral candidate Bhushan Toley and undergraduate Dan Ganz, were the principal authors for a research paper appearing in the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE), the first peer reviewed, PubMed indexed journal devoted to the publication of biological, medical, chemical, and physical research in a video format. The article is entitled “Microfluidic Device for Recreating a Tumor Microenvironment in Vitro.” Besides Toley and Ganz, the other authors were Colin Walsh, who was an undergraduate student at UMass (B.S.

The UMass Amherst chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) wound up with a memorable visit to the AIChE Annual Student Conference, held from October 14 to 17 in Minneapolis. Our campus chapter sent 10 students there from our Chemical Engineering Department, and many of them came home with honors. Thomas Gostanian finished third out of 200 entries in the poster competition. Jean Smith won a national AIChE Freshman Recognition Award. Spencer Wyant won the AIChE Sophomore Academic Excellence Award.

Like any born engineer, Monique Farrell is a woman with a plan. In fact, she began designing her chemical engineering career as an eighth-grader, when she finished second in a national science competition. In short order, she later excelled at the High School of Commerce in Springfield with maximum honors and did three years of biotech related lab training, experiments, and workshops as part of the Baystate Hospital Education Partnerships after-school program.

Melissa St. Amand, a doctoral candidate in the University of Delaware’s Department of Chemical Engineering and an undergraduate alumna of the Chemical Engineering Department at UMass Amherst, will present her biotechnology research at the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) annual meeting on October 17. St. Amand’s presentation, entitled “Controllability Analysis of Protein Glycosylation in CHO Cells,” assesses the protein glycosylation and its role in improving quality control strategies in the biopharmaceutical industry. St.

In the September 23 issue of Science, considered by many to be the leading scientific journal in the world, the editors highlighted an article co-authored by, among others, David Schmidt of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department and Paul Dauenhauer of the Chemical Engineering Department. The Science editors cited an article entitled “Aerosol generation by reactive boiling ejection of molten cellulose,” first published in the September 6 web version of Energy Environmental Science. Besides Schmidt and Dauenhauer, the other researchers were Andrew R.

On November 15, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) will honor UMass chemical engineering alumnus Marvin O. Schlanger at the AIChE International Year of Chemistry Gala at Gotham Hall in New York City. Schlanger ('72 M.S., ChE) ) is the former president and chief executive officer of the ARCO Chemical Company, and he delivered the 10th annual Tang Lecture at the College of Engineering in 2009.


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