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On April 24 to 28, the UMass Amherst and the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department hosted a World Bank training workshop for water managers from developing countries. According to a UMass News Office release, participants from six countries learned about risks associated with climate change and their potential long-term impacts on water infrastructure. CEE Associate Professor Casey Brown, one of the organizers of the training, said that “The engineering profession is at a change point. We need to design infrastructure to be resilient in a world of change. We had water planners from around the world here to learn how.” See Satellite PR News.

The College of Engineering has chosen Professor Don DeGroot of the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department as the 2017 Outstanding Senior Faculty Award winner and Assistant Professor Jessica Schiffman of the Chemical Engineering (ChE) Department as the 2017 recipient of the Barbara H. and Joseph I. Goldstein Outstanding Junior Faculty Award. The winners will be recognized during the college’s Senior Recognition Celebration to be held on Saturday, May 13, 2017.

Dr. Chul Park, an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and his former Ph.D. student Dr. Dong-Hyun Chon were recently awarded a U.S. Patent on their pioneering technology to decrease the production of sludge, the byproduct produced from wastewater treatment. See patent information »

Congratulations to the UMass ASCE student chapter Steel Bridge Team placed fourth overall at the ASCE Northeast Regional Competition hosted at UConn! The UMass Amherst bridge design was one of only five of 15 competitors to successfully hold the competition load of 2500 lbs.  The team designed a 249 lb, 20 ½ ft truss bridge with a cantilever and was awarded first place in Stiffness, second place in Aesthetics, and was the lightest truss design before infractions were added to their score.  The team built the bridge in 22 minutes and 38 seconds using launched construction to span the “river,” receiving creativity and safety thumbs-up from the judges. Zachary Bartula, Dan Clasby and Trent Guihan led the 17 member team, entirely comprised of first time participants. 

ElectroPure, a venture created by Ph.D. candidate Julie Bliss Mullen of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, won the $26,000 first prize in the finals of the University of Massachusetts Innovation Challenge on April 6. Mullen has developed a water treatment device at a competitive price and aimed at homes and small community systems such as schools to combat diverse water quality issues.

The UMass Amherst Institute for Teaching Excellence & Faculty Development, or TEFD, has informed Assistant Professor Caitlyn Butler of the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department that its Selection Committee has chosen her as one of eight campus recipients of the 2017-18 Lilly Fellowship for Teaching Excellence. Among several other benefits, the fellowship involves $14,000 in funding split between Butler and the CEE department. “This is a significant achievement given the high volume and quality of nominations this year, which the committee members described as ‘truly astounding,’” said Brian Baldi of TEFD.

Richard Palmer, the head of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and the university director of the Northeast Climate Science Center, has been elected to the grade of Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). As the ASCE letter to announce the honor said in part, “You will also be interested to know that, prior to this year's election of nine new Distinguished Members, only 688 civil engineers in the 165-year history of ASCE have been similarly honored, and there are only 228 Distinguished Members among the Society’s current membership of over 150,000 people.”

The Department Head for Civil and Environmental Engineering, Dr. Richard Palmer, was elected to the grade of Distinguished Member of ASCE. Prior to this year's election, only 688 civil engineers in the 165-year history of ASCE have been similarly honored, and there are only 288 Distinguished Members among the Society's current membership of over 150,00 people. This is the highest honor ASCE can bestow.

We congratulate Dr. Palmer on this well-deserved honor.

Five of the 10 finalists in the final round of the Graduate School’s inaugural Three Minute Thesis (3MT) contest are from the College of Engineering. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held on March 24 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom. See event flyer. 3MT finalists will highlight their research in engaging three-minute presentations, with $1,000 going to the winner, $500 to the runner-up, and $500 to the People’s Choice as voted on by the audience. Light refreshments will be provided for the audience so, for catering purposes, pre-registration is requested: pre-register here »

Two of the seven teams competing in April for the finals of the University of Massachusetts Innovation Challenge are from the College of Engineering. This year-long series of entrepreneurial competitions will climax on April 6 at 5:00 p.m. in the Campus Center Amherst Room, when the seven teams of finalists will be competing for $65,000 in funding to support their ventures. Thus far, during the 12th year of the annual Innovation Challenge, 61 pitches have been heard, and a total of $17,000 has been awarded to promising and enterprising ventures. The two engineering teams will be pitching an economical water-treatment device for community water systems and an inexpensive blood-analysis tool for dialysis patients.

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