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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.

Feature writer Scott Merzbach reported in the Daily Hampshire Gazette that a transformative water-treatment discovery by doctoral student Julie Bliss Mullen of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department is the basis for a promising startup company named Aclarity LLC, a UMass Amherst spinoff that is developing technology to remove contaminants from water in a cost-effective way. 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.

On May 17, UMass Amherst’s brand new 36-foot-long, water-testing trailer was rolled out at the State House in Boston for lawmakers and officials to see, marvel at, and extol. The name of the revolutionary trailer lab is the “University of Massachusetts Amherst Mobile Water Innovation Laboratory,” which was funded with a $100,000 grant by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the New England Water Innovation Network. The trailer allows scientists to move around the state and conduct reliable water tests that can transform the way local communities treat their water.

See media coverage: MassLive, Gazette, WAMC, WesternMassNews

Shannon Roberts of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department and Eric Gonzales of the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department were two of the campus experts who spoke about autonomous vehicles at a May 29 “listening session” convened by the Governor’s Commission on the Future of Transportation and held in the UMass Amherst Cape Cod Lounge at the Student Union. Roberts spoke about “Human Factor Needs in an Autonomous Vehicle World,” while Gonzales focused on “Autonomous Vehicles for Ride Sharing.”

See media coverage: Gazette, WWLP-TV 22, News Office release.

The project of Associate Professor Chul Park of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department was one of four UMass Amherst projects to receive $25,000 Technology Development Grants from UMass President Marty Meehan’s office. The name of Park’s project is “Promoting the co-op anaerobic digestion for communities in New England using the UMass Anaerobic Side-stream Reactor Process.” His project aims to implement a system to minimize the production of sludge—a byproduct generated from wastewater treatment—using anaerobic side-stream reactor treatment and anaerobic digestion.

Undergraduate student Leigh Hamlet of the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department is one of nine UMass Amherst students to earn a prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship. Hamlet’s three-year NSF award will provide her with an annual stipend of $34,000 and a yearly $12,000 cost-of-education allowance to the graduate institution she will attend.

Congratulations to eight exceptional engineering students who will be receiving alumni scholarships and awards. The students were recognized by the UMass Amherst Alumni Association at a reception on Sunday, April 22, in the Student Union Ballroom.

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