The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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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.

Erin Baker, associate dean at the College of Engineering and a professor in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, recently visited colleagues from the University of Ghana and University of Cape Town as part of a World University Network grant, which established the Sustainable Energy-Access Network for Africa. Baker made the visits with Nate Whitaker, a professor of mathematics at UMass Amherst, as part of a team effort to boost access to electricity systems Africa-wide.

See UMass News Office story »

On December 10, the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department held the fall-semester poster competition for its senior capstone design course, and the three winning teams produced a trio of brilliant and practical inventions aimed at solving key engineering problems. The three winning teams conceived of projects to increase the dexterity achievable by prosthetic limbs, improve healing for surface wounds in the elderly, and redesign brakes for wheelchairs to improve their ease of use and mobility.

Assistant Professor Tingyi “Leo” Liu is one member of an international team of researchers from UMass Amherst, the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), and universities in China and Singapore that is using artificial intelligence to develop a system that minimizes the dosage of drugs used to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as a way to reduce side effects. Liu is the head of the Interdisciplinary Interface Engineering Laboratory in the College of Engineering. The findings are published in the journal Advanced Therapeutics. See Science Blog and News Office release.

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