The College of Engineering welcomes five talented new faculty members to our ranks for the fall semester of 2011: Alice Azadeh Alipour and Caitlyn Butler in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department; Mario Parente and Marco Duarte in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department; and Jessica Schiffman (pictured) in the Chemical Engineering Department. Their research interests include sustainable development, energy efficient water treatment, interplanetary remote sensing, signal, image, and data processing, and desalination and sustainable water purification.
A research team from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, led by Paul Dauenhauer, assistant professor of chemical engineering, has received a two-year $600,000 grant from Re Community Inc., a resource recovery company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C. The grant will support the development and evaluation of an innovative new fuel for coal-fired boilers.
On July 29, a behind-the-scenes article by Robert Coolman, a graduate student in the lab of George Huber of the Chemical Engineering Department, was posted on the popular LiveScience website in partnership with the National Science Foundation (NSF). Coolman’s article explained the groundbreaking research on green gasoline being performed in Huber’s lab, which has been described in such prominent publications as Scientific American, Science, and MIT’s Technology Review. His work is being supported by large grants from the NSF, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Energy.
What if we could save lives with a more accurate early detection radar system for tornadoes such as the one that recently hit Springfield? Or what if we could help amputees walk more easily by giving them a better “feel” for their artificial limbs? Or replace our unsustainable oil supply with sustainable biofuel? Or cure a group of child-killing diseases known as lysosomal storage disorders. Are these just pipedreams? Not for 52 undergraduate engineering and science students doing summer research at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
On July 19, the Institute for Cellular Engineering (ICE), whose Director is Susan Roberts of the Chemical Engineering Department, is staging an outreach event for 10 local high school students designed to introduce them to the complex and fascinating world of cellular engineering. “Essentially, the students are high school students from Springfield and Holyoke,” says ICE Program Manager Shana Passonno, “and students from the Institute for Cellular Engineering are organizing a day of laboratory demonstrations and activities, lab tours, and an undergraduate panel session about life as a college student.”
An event initiated last year by the Institute for Cellular Engineering (ICE) has mushroomed this summer into a campus-wide career exploration forum for graduate students and post-docs. “The First Five Years: What to Expect?” was held on Wednesday, July 13, in the Integrated Sciences Building on campus. “Are you hoping to start your career on the right path?” the program's poster asked. “Gain valuable insights from accomplished industrial and academic professionals, as they reflect upon their early career experiences.”
Professor Surita Bhatia of the Chemical Engineering Department was one of 24 women academics who attended a meeting on May 12 and 13 dealing with the issues of female academics in nanoscience fields. Some problems addressed at the meeting included the pressures placed on young assistant professors during the years when they are having children and trying to make tenure at the same time, the disadvantages women face by taking maternity leave, childcare issues, and the increasing underrepresentation of female undergrads in nanoscience fields.
Dr. Paul Dauenhauer of the Chemical Engineering Department received word of a $149,234 grant from the 2011 Northeast Sun Grant Initiative (NESGI) Competitive Grants program, bringing to almost $1 million the total funding he has been awarded from three sources in little more than a month. From early March until mid-April, his dovetailing research projects were also funded with an $800,000 Early Career Award in Basic Energy Sciences from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), plus $15,000 from a highly selective 3M Nontenured Faculty Award.
Ray Sehgal, a Ph.D. student in chemical engineering who is advised by ChE Professors Dimitrios Maroudas and David Ford (pictured), has been selected to attend the 2011 Open Science Grid (OSG) Summer School at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in June, as well as the TeraGrid 2011 Conference this July in Salt Lake City. Admission to the OSG summer school is highly competitive, with only 27 percent of the applicants accepted this year.
It’s official. The Institute for Cellular Engineering (ICE) and its Director, Professor Susan Roberts of the Chemical Engineering Department, have unveiled the first campus graduate certificate targeting the critical interface between engineering and the life sciences. The certificate also gives students a big edge when applying for jobs. The 19-credit curriculum for this concentration includes new courses, a diverse array of electives, a graduate seminar series, a student-run journal club and research seminar, ethics training, hands-on lab modules, and professional development activities.