The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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According to an article in Forbes, Aclarity, a company birthed from the Ph.D. research of Julie Bliss Mullen from the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, has surpassed $1 million from an initial venture capital pre-seed round. The funds will be invested into further research and development for Aclarity's water-purifying device, which went on sale commercially earlier this year, made in the town of Springfield. Forbes had previously named Mullen in the magazine’s all-star listing of “30 Under 30 for Science” for 2018.

In August New England Public Radio (NEPR) posted a long article on the often misunderstood “zipper merge” in traffic. NEPR interviewed a number of experts, including two College of Engineering faculty members: Civil and Environmental Engineering Department Professor Michael Knodler, director of MassSafe; and Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department Associate Professor Ana Muriel, who is also the associate department head.

The Civil and Environmental (CEE) Department is quite fortunate to welcome Dr. John E. Tobiason, P.E., as its new department head. Tobiason has over 30 years of research and professional experience in water treatment with emphasis on particles in water, coagulation, and water filtration. He has been with the UMass CEE department since 1987 and is a faculty member in the Environmental and Water Resources Engineering Program.

Two highly accomplished young academics will begin teaching and researching as assistant professors in the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department this September in the persons of Dr. Jimi B. Oke and Dr. Christian D. Guzman.

Doctoral student Alyssa Ryan of the UMass Civil and Environmental Engineering Department has been awarded second place in the 2019 Excellence in Highway Safety Information Systems (HSIS) Data competition for her paper: “Evaluating Crash Type Likelihood at Various Traffic Control Devices: A Multinomial Logistic Regression Approach Using HSIS Data.

In September of 2019 Dr. Richard N. Palmer, P.E., is stepping down as head of the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department at UMass Amherst after 11 successful and productive years. He is also the university director of the Northeast Climate Science Center (NE CASC), which he helped to establish in 2012 with a $7.5-million grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior to study how climate change affects ecosystems, wildlife, water, and other natural resources. Palmer was inducted by the American Society of Civil Engineering as a Distinguished Member in 2017 and was awarded the Chancellor’s Medal in 2014 by UMass Amherst. 

The College of Engineering is delighted to announce our newly-tenured and/or promoted faculty members, as voted by the UMass Board of Trustees on August 2, 2019. 

A team of well-prepared members of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Student Chapter took home the grand prize at the ITE Northeastern District Traffic Bowl. Our UMass team of Francis Tainter, Alyssa Ryan, and Chris Lyman (a recent alum) from the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department will head to Austin, Texas, to compete in the International Traffic Bowl Championships on July 21 to 24.

The ITE hosts a Jeopardy-style competition for students in each district, or region, of ITE every year.

Dr. Chul Park, an associate professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, and his collaborator, Dr. Hans Paerl, a professor in the Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, recently received a three-year, collaborative grant of $330,000 from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The NSF grant will support the joint research team’s investigation into the potentially unforeseen and unintended impact of upgrading wastewater treatment systems to decrease nitrogen on algal blooms in coastal water systems.

A video report about bad driving behavior in Boston featured Michael Knodler, a professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and the director of the UMass Traffic Safety Research Program, or UMassSafe. Appearing on WBZ TV CBS 4 Boston in May, Knodler explained five common rude and dangerous driving habits that can cause traffic safety issues.

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