University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Multi-disciplinary group developing infrastructure for offshore wind 

A team of scientists including Alison Batesenvironmental conservation and School of Earth & Sustainability, and Sanjay Arwadecivil and environmental engineering, has been awarded an NSF Engineering Research Center (ERC) Planning Grant to identify with industry partners the key priorities for offshore wind. 

Once again the UMass Amherst College of Engineering ranks among the nation’s top engineering programs, climbing this year to No. 33 public in the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges 2019.

Sierra Magazine, the national magazine of the Sierra Club, has placed the University of Massachusetts Amherst at No. 7 in its 12th annual “Cool Schools” ranking of North America’s greenest colleges and universities (See UMass News Office Story). The College of Engineering certainly must be considered in the forefront of this UMass surge toward the top of greenest schools in North America. A list of just a few recent projects will confirm this fact.

On August 10th, an eight-person team from the UMass Amherst Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Chapter travelled to Saviefe-Deme in Ghana to implement an inexpensive biosand water filter project. Saviefe-Deme is a small community in the Volta Region, along the southern part of Ghana, which houses a few hundred people. The EWB group tackled a big challenge during its August trip, to implement a low-maintenance and cost-effective strategy for bringing clean water to Saviefe-Deme.

Associate Professor Chul Park of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department commented quite extensively in a news story written by staff writer Sarah Robertson in the Daily Hampshire Gazette about a potentially harmful algae bloom affecting Lake Metacomet in Belchertown. Park said that such blooms are usually caused by high temperatures and an imbalance of nutrients in the water.

The College welcomes Tammy Haut Donahue, Professor/Department Head, BME; Konstantinos Andreadis, Asst. Professor, CEE;  Seth Donahue, Professor, BME; Govind Srimathveeravalli, Asst.  Professor, MIE; Omar Abdelrahman, Asst. Professor, ChE; Yanfei Xu, Asst. Professor, MIE; Peng Bai, Asst. Professor, ChE; Anuj Pradhan, Asst.  Professor, MIE; Jinglei Ping, Asst. Professor, MIE; and Wen Chen, Asst. Professor, MIE.

The overarching objective of Professor Casey Brown’s research is simple, far-reaching, and game-changing: managing freshwater systems sustainably around the world. To that end the Rockefeller Foundation recently awarded $500,006 for one year to Brown of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst to further support his groundbreaking research and analysis of freshwater resilience. This renewed funding brings the Rockefeller Foundation’s support of Dr. Brown and his Hydrosystems Research Group to a total of $1.6 million over the past four years.

Aclarity, a startup company based on a transformative water-treatment discovery by doctoral student Julie Bliss Mullen of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, was profiled in June by Forbes Magazine and BostInno. Aclarity is one of 30 startups chosen by the Los Angeles-based Cleantech Open for its 2018 business acceleration program. Mullen and Barrett Mully, a UMass Amherst MBA student, founded Aclarity in 2017 and won $26,000 last year from the Innovation Challenge, an entrepreneurship contest run by Berthiaume Center at the Isenberg School of Management.

Panos Pantidis , a Ph.D. student in the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department, won first place in the Engineering Mechanics Institute’s (EMI) Student Paper Competition in Objective Resilience, held during the EMI 2018 Conference from May 29 to June 1 at M.I.T. in Cambridge. His paper develops a novel analytical framework capable of assessing the collapse mode and describing the damage propagation path of steel and concrete composite buildings under the extreme scenario of progressive collapse, thus giving civil engineers a valuable new analytical tool. His advisor is CEE Assistant Professor Simos Gerasimidis.

The Walls & Ceilings website reported that Super Stud Building Products has donated cold-formed steel framing system materials for a study being conducted by Assistant Professor Kara Peterman of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. Peterman’s study, which will be conducted throughout the summer, will explore the structural response of cold-formed steel stud assemblies to partial bearing conditions (i.e., not fully bearing on a concrete slab). Peterman was recently recognized for her work with cold-formed steel framing when she won the prominent 2018 Norman Medal, the highest honor granted by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

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