The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Jinglei Ping, an assistant professor in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department (MIE) in the College of Engineering as well as in the Institute for Applied Life Sciences (IALS), has been awarded a prestigious early career award from the Young Investigator Research Program (YIP) in the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) to study “Multiscale Electrical Mapping of Biosystems.” Ping is one of 40 U.S. scientists and engineers chosen to receive the YIP grants for 2020.

Professor Blair Perot of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department is the principal investigator on a two-year, $1.18-million ARPA-E grant to support the creation of pioneering software for simulating offshore wind turbines. The new software will leverage an existing user animation interface called Blender to replace the currently used CAD software, which tends to have a steep learning curve, is commercial and expensive, and has a framework geared towards static views and design, not the complex, real-world dynamics of offshore wind turbines.

Sophomore Jaydeep Radadiya of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department was the recipient of the 2019 Undergraduate Excellence Award presented by the Safety Research Using Simulation (SAFER-SIM) Tier 1 University Transportation Center. The award was based "upon accomplishments in three areas: technical merit and research capability, academic performance, and leadership." 

A team of researchers from UMass Amherst and UCLA has developed a new, simple method of manipulating small droplets on a hydrophilic surface, an innovative strategy described in a recent paper published in the journal Nature. The team includes Tingyi “Leo” Liu of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department who is head of the Interdisciplinary Interface Engineering Laboratory. Liu says the new method reverses what scientists already know about a phenomenon called electrowetting, in which droplets of liquid are attracted to and spread on a conductive surface in response to an applied voltage. See Science & Technology Research News and News Office release.

 

A team of researchers headed by Chaitra Gopalappa of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department has been awarded a four-year, $1.2-million grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a multi-disease model of interrelated diseases for studying the impact of public health investments on overall health. This multidisciplinary project involves engineering, computer science, and social sciences research aimed at building new decision-analytic models for informing national and global public health decisions. See India New England News and News Office release.

Assistant Professor Wen Chen (MIE) was the co-lead author of a trailblazing paper that describes innovative 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.

James F. Manwell, director of the UMass Wind Energy Center and a professor in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, was the primary author of a critical section of a wind-energy article published in the journal Science. The article is entitled "Grand challenges in the science of wind energy." The process that led to this article also generated the theme – the Grand Vision for Wind Energy – of a formative conference, which will take place at UMass Amherst from October 14 to 16.

An interdepartmental team from the College of Engineering will work together to push the oxygenic photogranule (OPG) process, a UMass lab-born and patented technology, toward commercialization to address the world’s needs for effective and sustainable wastewater treatment. A new $550,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, titled “PFI-RP: Developing Light-Controlled Mixing to Advance Energy Efficient Wastewater Treatment by Oxygenic Photogranules,” will support the team’s research, outreach activities, and student researchers’ entrepreneurship development.

Professor Yossi Chait of the Mechanical an Industrial Engineering Department was one of the two co-chairs for the "Fostering Innovation in Fluid Management" working group, a project formed by the Kidney Health Initiative (KHI) to produce a supplement to the KHI’s Technology Roadmap for Innovative Approaches to Renal Replacement Therapy. Chait’s supplement and the accompanying report are aimed at spurring innovation in fluid management devices and techniques that will improve the quality of life of people with kidney failure.

Krish Thiagarajan Sharman, the Endowed Chair in Renewable Energy and a professor in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, will be working with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) on a one-year, $211,386 grant supported by the Department of Energy (DOE) to create variable geometry wave energy converters. Such devices “can provide a paradigm shift in the offshore renewable community that will push the industry towards commercialization of electricity generation from ocean waves,” as Sharman and his colleagues say.

See DOE release: Four Water Power Project Recipients in Latest Round of Technology Commercialization Fund »

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