The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Four outstanding College of Engineering undergraduates from two different departments are being honored with assorted awards at Commencement on May 10 and the College of Engineering Senior Recognition Celebration on May 11. Awardees from our college include three 21st Century Leaders and one Welch Scholar. The college also has one junior designated for the prestigious Goldwater Scholar.

Yanfei Xu is co-author of a study that shows how to build polymer films that conduct heat as well or better than some metals and ceramics. The researchers say they can transform polymers that usually function as thermal insulators, into highly efficient thermal conductors that can transfer heat four times higher than stainless steel.

Assistant Professor Jinglei Ping of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department has received a Discovery Award of over $270,000 from the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs. The goal of Ping’s research is to develop a miniaturized device for precise quantification of heavy metals in a drop of human blood at the point of care.

Senior industrial engineering major Rebecca Castonguay, a Commonwealth College honors student, has been selected among six undergraduates from across the campus to receive the spring UMass Amherst Rising Researcher Award (Six Undergraduates Named Spring 2019 Rising Researchers). The Rising Researcher program celebrates undergraduate students who excel in research, scholarship, or creative activity. Learn more about the Rising Researchers here.

As Acting Dean for the College of Engineering Christopher Hollot announced last week, “Please join me in congratulating Doctors Christos Dimitrakopoulos, Eleni Christofa, and Stephen Nonnenmann for being selected as outstanding faculty in the College of Engineering in 2019.” Professor Dimitrakopoulos of the Chemical Engineering (ChE) Department was selected for the Outstanding Senior Faculty Award, while the review committee chose Assistant Professors Christofa of the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department and Nonnenmann of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department as joint awardees of the Barbara H. and Joseph I. Goldstein Outstanding Junior Faculty Award.  

Sanjay Raman, associate vice president for the Virginia Tech National Capital Region and president and CEO of the Virginia Tech Applied Research Corporation, has been named the new dean of the College of Engineering.  He begins his duties at UMass Amherst in August.

Professor Stephen Nonnenmann of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department was one of two winners of the UMass College of Engineering Outstanding Teaching Award for 2019. The other winner was Professor John Tobiason of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. Both of these highly accomplished teachers, researchers, and academics have made a lasting impact on the education of the engineering workforce for many years to come.

Stephen Nonnenmann of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department has received a grant from the prestigious NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program. Nonnenmann’s CAREER research will focus on energy conversion and storage applications.

As Nonnenmann explains, many energy conversion and storage applications require chemical reactions along some critical surface or interface to effectively operate.

In a long feature article by Joseph Bednar, published on February 19, Business West sang the praises of the Advanced Digital Design & Fabrication Lab, or ADDFab for short — one of 31 “core facilities” in the Institute for Applied Life Sciences at UMass Amherst. Professor Sundar Krishnamurty, the head of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, is also the co-director of the ADDFab and contributed mightily to the Business West article.

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