The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Jonathan Rothstein and Jungwoo Lee Win 2020 College of Engineering Outstanding Faculty Awards

Jonathan Rothstein (left) and Jungwoo Lee (right)

Jonathan Rothstein (l) & Jungwoo Lee (r)

The College of Engineering has selected Professor Jonathan P. Rothstein of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department and Assistant Professor Jungwoo Lee of the Chemical Engineering (ChE) Department to receive the college’s outstanding faculty awards for 2020. As determined by a faculty review committee, Rothstein won the Outstanding Senior Faculty Award, while Lee earned the Barbara H. and Joseph I. Goldstein Outstanding Junior Faculty Award.

College of Engineering Dean Sanjay Raman said that Rothstein “was selected for the 2020 Outstanding Senior Faculty Award based on his high level of research productivity while also shouldering an exceptionally large teaching and service load.”

According to MIE Department Head Sundar Krishnamurty, Professor Rothstein has made “immense contributions to the profession through his scholarly research, dedication to teaching and mentoring, outstanding leadership skills, and exemplary service.”

As Krishnamurty pointed out, Rothstein’s worthiness for the award is evidenced by his numerous honors, including the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award, the Office of Navy Research Young Investigator Award, the Arthur B. Metzner Early Career Award from the Society of Rheology, the MIE department’s Advisor of the Year and Professor of the Year Awards (multiple times), and the college’s Barbara H. and Joseph I. Goldstein Outstanding Junior Faculty Award and Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award.

Krishnamurty noted that Rothstein, as a world-recognized leader in his field of non-Newtonian fluid dynamics, “has been a PI or Co-PI on many large grants from government and industry, totaling more than $4.6 million in research funding, including being the co-coordinator for the NSF Materials Research Science and Engineering Center ($13.2 million) and the NSF Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center ($16 million).”

Krishnamurty added that Rothstein has an impressive publication record that includes 93 archival papers and well over 100 conference presentations – with more than 6,600 citations and an h-index of 41.

Professor Rothstein also received the Outstanding Service Award from the Society or Rheology for the development of the society’s K12 Outreach Program. To wit, Rothstein has established an annual K-12 outreach event held at the Society of Rheology Annual Meeting, and he has participated in the Science Quest and Women in Engineering events since 2013. For numerous years, he taught middle and high school students in a week-long STEM Nanotechnology Summer Institute.

Dean Raman, while commenting on why the college’s review committee selected Lee for the outstanding junior faculty honor, said that “Dr. Lee is recognized for his contributions in translational biomaterials research, teaching large courses in Separations and Tissue Engineering, and for his service as director of the Chemical Engineering Honors Program. Dr. Lee’s passion for mentoring students in his lab is also exceptional and includes 30 undergraduate students.”

According to ChE Department Head John Klier, “Jungwoo’s scientific track record is truly outstanding. He has pioneered a highly innovative and promising biomaterial system and has a clear plan to translate his bioengineering research into real-world applications. Jungwoo has aggressively established a competitive translational bone marrow bioengineering program with his doctoral graduate students. Jungwoo has brought in funding totaling more than $3.6 million in federal and foundational grants since he joined UMass. These indicate that his research program is thriving and building a national and international reputation.”

Lee’s research achievements were recognized in 2017 through an invitation to the Interdisciplinary Approaches to Cancer Metastasis Workshop, sponsored by the National Cancer Institute. Only 25 junior investigators in the U.S. were invited to this workshop, and Lee was one of only three engineers.

Lee has also received a prestigious NSF Career Award and National Institute of Health Pathway to Independence Award for his research studying implantable tumor-cell microenvironments and in vitro trabecular bone-marrow models. Last year Lee’s proposal entitled “Implantable pre-metastatic niche to elucidate the impact of chemotherapy induced metastatic relapse” was funded by the National Cancer Institute.

As Klier said, “Jungwoo always pursues high quality original work. His team published an impactful article regarding microenvironment regulation of disseminated tumor cells in the prestigious journal Nature Biomedical Engineering. His recent three publications in exceptional journals were selected for cover articles (Tissue Engineering, Advanced Healthcare Materials, ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering). We expect there will be more exciting research outcomes from his research program at the interface between engineering and medicine.”

Lee’s accomplishments were also recently celebrated by the President Young Investigator Award from the Korean Institute of Chemical Engineers and the Early Career Investigator Award from the METavivor Foundation that supports breast cancer metastasis research.

Rothstein and Lee will be recognized during an upcoming virtual College of Engineering Faculty/Staff Recognition event. (May 2020)