The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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The 2021 U.S. News & World Report “Best Graduate School” engineering rankings are out, and UMass Amherst Engineering rose two slots to #56 overall and remains the #31 public in the nation and #1 public in New England. 

In a new College of Engineering record for one year, five of our researchers have obtained career-boosting grants from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program. The accomplishment includes another record of four CAREER recipients from the Chemical Engineering (ChE) Department.

According to an article posted by Virginia Tech University, UMass alumnus G. Don Taylor, vice provost for Learning Systems Innovation and Effectiveness and interim vice president for Research and Innovation at Virginia Tech, is being promoted to executive vice provost at that university, effective July 1. Taylor, who earned his Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering & Operations Research from the UMass Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department in 1990, also received the MIE Outstanding Senior Alumni Award in 2015.

Assistant Professor Xian Du of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department is the principal investigator (PI) on a five-year, $571,655 grant from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program. Du’s research, as he explains, “enriches the knowledge base for soft lithography modeling, real-time sensing, deep learning, and design and control of the roll-to-roll print process and contributes to advancements in intelligent manufacturing” for such products as flexible electronics and wearables.

Yalda Ebadi, an Industrial Engineering and Operations Research doctoral student in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department, has won the prestigious 2020 Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) Boston Helene M. Overly Memorial/Ann Hershfang Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded to women who are currently enrolled in a transportation-related graduate program and plan to pursue a career in a transportation-related field.

According to an article in the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Mechanical Engineering Ph.D. student Hannah Johlas is an expert contra dance caller who introduced newcomers to the dance form during a recent Downtown Amherst Contra Dance, an event which, after a decade, continues to attract new dancers every week. According to the Gazette story, the sound of lively fiddle music filled the Pacific Lodge Masonic Hall in Amherst on January 15 as Johlas directed the action through a microphone, telling the scores of contra dancers to switch partners as they moved to the rhythm of the music.

The innovative research of Assistant Professor Wen Chen of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department has been highlighted in various media outlets. Chen was the co-lead author of a trailblazing paper that describes new research to use computational approaches for optimizing the design of 3D-printed parts. The paper was published in Science Advances and was written in collaboration with Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL). Chen had led the experimental and mechanical testing work while a postdoc at LLNL before working on the Science Advances paper. See articles in Technology.Org, Phys.org, Nanowerk, SciTechDaily.

The College of Engineering welcomes three exciting new faculty members, beginning in the spring semester of 2020: Professor Nianqiang (Nick) Wu, who will serve as the Armstrong-Siadat Endowed Professor in the Chemical Engineering (ChE) Department; Assistant Professor Cathal Kearney in the Biomechanical Engineering (BME) Department; and Assistant Professor Meghan Huber in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department.

The Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department has recently received approval for its new Graduate Certificate in Engineering Project Management and Leadership (PML) and is launching it in the spring semester of 2020 under the leadership of Dr. Ana Muriel and Dr. Woodrow W Winchester III. The PML certificate is designed to equip professionals in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields with the necessary knowledge, skills, and competencies to manage and lead engineering and technology-based projects in a well-rounded way.

Assistant Professor Shannon Roberts of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department has received the Stephanie Binder Young Professional Award, sponsored by the Human Factors & Ergonomics Society - Surface Transportation Technical Group (HFES-STTG). The award was established to honor the late Stephanie Binder’s memory and her impact on the field and the HFES-STTG, while also conferring an annual tribute to a young professional who demonstrates outstanding contribution to transportation human factors.

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