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Pancreatic cancer remains one of the most deadly cancers in the world, with a five-year survival rate of only 8 percent. This high mortality rate is mainly due to a lack of early symptoms in patients and the absence of specific biomarkers and diagnostic platforms for early detection. Now Professors Yubing Sun and Byung Kim of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department have conducted a groundbreaking new study that demonstrates a novel system for multiplex detection of pancreatic biomarkers as an early warning diagnostic system for the initial stages of pancreatic cancer.

Professor Jae-Hwang Lee and his graduate students in our Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department have collaborated with other researchers at Washington University in St. Louis to further develop pioneering work on promising new nanocomposites that can be tailored as revolutionary ballistic armor significantly stronger and lighter than current armor materials. Lee and his collaborators authored a January 9 paper on their work in the high-profile materials science journal Nano Letters.

Four enterprising teams of senior engineering majors have been chosen as winners during the end-of-semester Senior Design Competition for MIE 415, the capstone course for the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department. The evaluation process was carried out both by popular vote of the audience and a panel of expert judges. Accordingly, the team calling itself Instrumented Beehive won the Popular Vote. The Best Semester Project went to EZ Pack Paintbrush, and Kinex Cappers was picked as the Best Year-long Project, with Unified Health coming in an “extremely close” second. 

AMHERST, Mass. – Stephen S. Nonnenmann, assistant professor of mechanical and industrial engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is part of a team of researchers that created a “quantum material” that mimics a shark’s ability to detect the minute electric fields of small prey. The new sensor performs well in ocean-like conditions and opens the way for potential uses ranging from defense to marine biology. The findings were published in the Jan. 4 issue of Nature.

A highly influential paper by Professor Chaitra Gopalappa of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department was recently cited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Volume 66, November 28, 2017, as well as other publications. Gopalappa’s expertise is in advancing mathematical methodologies to derive information that might help in decision-making for public health strategies.

MIE Professors Jenna Marquard and Matthew Lackner have been chosen as two of the seven faculty members from UMass Amherst named as Public Engagement Faculty Fellows by the Public Engagement Project (PEP). PEP supports and trains faculty members to use their research for contributing to social change, informing public policy, and enriching public debate. Marquard is performing groundbreaking work on health information technology, while Lackner is doing pioneering research on floating offshore wind turbines.

Two College of Engineering majors were recently included in a Research Next article about Rising Researchers and their “research ambitions.”

“As the commonwealth’s flagship public research university,” the article began, “UMass Amherst provides a unique opportunity for students to conduct hands-on research early in their academic careers. This semester, we honor six undergraduates with the Rising Researcher award for their highly ambitious pursuit of research and scholarly activity.”

A detailed and very informative article in the November 28 issue of E&E News – “The essential news for energy & environment professionals” – offers a stirring tribute to William E. Heronemus, the much heralded civil engineering and (later) mechanical engineering professor at UMass Amherst who is considered the "father of modern wind power." As MIE Professor James Manwell says, “Here is an article that recognizes where modern wind energy started – UMass engineering!”

Read “WIND: Meet ‘the Captain,’ the father of modern turbines” »

Also see “The UMass Wind Turbine WF-1, A Retrospective” »

 

A graduate of our Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department and a Biomedical Engineering doctoral student were members on two of the four winning teams at the recent Innovation Challenge Seed Pitch competition, held on Wednesday, November 29.

See recap and photos »
See video »

As Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department Head Sundar Krishnamurty says, “We had a banner year this year with six of our alums taking up faculty positions” at various institutions. Banner year indeed! Robert Hyers’ student, Jongyun Lee, is now an assistant professor at Iowa State University. Zana Cranmer, an IGERT student with Erin Baker, has moved on as an assistant professor at Bentley University. Rachel Koh, IGERT student with Matthew Lackner and Robert Hyers, is currently an assistant professor at Lafayette University.

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