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Erin Baker, the Armstrong Professional Development Professor in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department and the director of the UMass IGERT Offshore Wind Energy Program, has been appointed the new associate dean in the College of Engineering, a key position that includes more than a dozen significant job responsibilities.

Krish Thiagarajan Sharman, an expert on marine renewable energy and energy producing offshore structures, has been appointed to the Endowed Chair in Renewable Energy in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department at the UMass Amherst College of Engineering. The chair was established in 2014 with $2.5 million in funding from the state Department of Energy Resources (DOER) to attract a preeminent scholar in the field to provide leadership in positioning both the university and the Commonwealth to take advantage of opportunities in emerging areas of renewable energy. Thiagarajan Sharman will collaborate with DOER staff on renewable energy research and projects. (Renewablesnaps.com, 7/24/18; News Office release)

On August 10th, an eight-person team from the UMass Amherst Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Chapter travelled to Saviefe-Deme in Ghana to implement an inexpensive biosand water filter project. Saviefe-Deme is a small community in the Volta Region, along the southern part of Ghana, which houses a few hundred people. The EWB group tackled a big challenge during its August trip, to implement a low-maintenance and cost-effective strategy for bringing clean water to Saviefe-Deme.

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Fluids Engineering Division has presented Professor David Schmidt of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department and three co-authors with ASME’s prestigious 2018 Lewis F. Moody Award for their paper on "Modeling Sealing in Transient Injector Simulations.” Among other innovations, the award-winning paper described groundbreaking research to create the first simulation of a multiple injection event.

A team of researchers including Assistant Professor Yubing Sun of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department has demonstrated that human pluripotent stem cells can be guided to become the precursors of the central nervous system and that mechanical signals play a key role in this process. Sun and his colleagues outlined their findings in a recent paper published in the journal Nature Materials. Sun is a co-first author and co-corresponding author of the paper.

See Science & Technology Research News and News Office release.

The College welcomes Tammy Haut Donahue, Professor/Department Head, BME; Konstantinos Andreadis, Asst. Professor, CEE;  Seth Donahue, Professor, BME; Govind Srimathveeravalli, Asst.  Professor, MIE; Omar Abdelrahman, Asst. Professor, ChE; Yanfei Xu, Asst. Professor, MIE; Peng Bai, Asst. Professor, ChE; Anuj Pradhan, Asst.  Professor, MIE; Jinglei Ping, Asst. Professor, MIE; and Wen Chen, Asst. Professor, MIE.

The Computers and Information in Engineering Division (CIE) of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) has selected post-doctoral researcher Thomas Hagedorn of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department as the recipient for this year’s CIE Best Dissertation Award. Hagedorn’s dissertation, directed by MIE Professors Sundar Krishnamurty and Ian Grosse, presents a knowledge-based approach to addressing the existing and emerging challenges of medical device design.

Principal Investigator Jae-Hwang Lee of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is leading a $500,000 research project to greatly improve an important additive manufacturing process for creating various polymeric coatings and plastic parts while saving energy and refraining from using hazardous compounds. Lee’s project is funded for three years by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Martin Ross, a 1986 graduate from our Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department and an avid supporter of the Amherst nonprofit organization Opportunities for Communities Inc. (OFC), has led the charge to install solar panels in an extraordinary Haitian school and thereby provide reliable electricity there for the first time. The solar project will empower such educational breakthroughs as far-reaching computer training and other technical learning.

Professor Robert W. Hyers of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department has been informed that the Board of Trustees of ASM International (formerly the American Society for Metals) has elected him as a Fellow of the Society. Hyers’ ASM citation reads: "For distinguished contributions in the field of high-temperature materials processing and properties, with proven applications of these technologies in aerospace and extractive industries."

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