The College of Engineering At UMass Amherst is pleased to welcome four new faculty members, beginning in the spring semester of 2017. All four have impeccable credentials and a track record of eye-catching accomplishments. The new arrivals are Emily Kumpel of the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department, Amir Arbabi of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department, Lauren Woodruff of the Chemical Engineering (ChE) Department, and Jay Taneja of the ECE Department.
Dr. Colin Gleason, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is already making a significant impact on his research discipline. The young but very accomplished faculty member, whose research group focuses on the study of rivers, currently serves as a member of the prestigious NASA Surface Water and Ocean Topography Science Team (SWOT), has completed many adventurous field projects in wilderness locations ranging from Greenland to the Mojave Desert, and discovered a revolutionary set of geomorphic relationships known as “at-many-stations hydraulic geometry” (AMHG).
Recent UMass Amherst graduate Mahyar Amirgholy was awarded the Milton Pikarsky Award for Outstanding Dissertation in Science and Technology for his dissertation entitled “Modeling Choice Problems with Heterogeneous User Preferences in the Transportation Network.” The Pikarsky Award is given annually for the best Ph.D. dissertation in the field of science and technology in transportation studies, and the pool of nominees represents graduates from leading institutions across the United States.
UMass Amherst student Nick Fournier was recognized by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) as the Safety through Simulation (SaferSIM) University Transportation Center (UTC) Outstanding Student of the Year during the 96th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies. Through this award the U.S. DOT “honors the most outstanding student from each participating University Transportation Center (UTC) for his/her achievements and promise for future contributions to the transportation field.
Professor Symeon Gerasimidis from the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has been selected by The Greek Diaspora Fellowship Program to travel to Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and collaborate with Professor Anastasios Sextos of that university’s Civil Engineering Department on a variety of challenging projects.
The metabolic capabilities of microbes might very well offer a sustainable solution for transforming renewable electrical energy into green fuels and other biocommodities, according to an article co-authored by Assistant Professor Caitlyn Butler of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and Professor Derek Lovley of the Microbiology Department.
Mahyar Amirgholy, who graduated earlier this year, has been selected for the CUTC Milton Pikarsky Memorial Award for his PhD dissertation entitled “Modeling Choice Problems with Heterogeneous User Preferences in the Transportation Network.” The award will be presented at the annual Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) banquet at the TRB Annual Meeting in January. This award gets national recognition among state and federal officials, transportation faculty, and UTC directors.
Assistant Professor Simos Gerasimidis of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department is a highly accomplished professional engineer who has worked on such larger-than-life structures as the new Yankee Stadium, the Olympic Stadium and Velodrome for the Athens Olympics of 2004, and major interventions associated with the largest Byzantine monuments in Thessaloniki, Greece – the Rotunda and the Eptapyrgion. This is the kind of rich experience that Gerasimidis brings to UMass.
A study done by the UMass Amherst Traffic Safety Research Program (UMassSafe) and completed in June of 2016 finds that seatbelt use is at an all-time high in Massachusetts, but the state still lags behind others in seatbelt use. The study finds that 78.2 percent of drivers and front-seat passengers use seatbelts, up from 67 percent as recently as 2006. Last year the figure was 74 percent. The national average is 88.5 percent. Robin Riessman, associate director of the UMassSafe Program, says seatbelt use has been increasing during the past 10 years, and especially during the last year studied.
The First Academy of Distinguished Alumni Inaugural Banquet was held this past Friday, September 23rd at the Marriott Center, Campus Center 11th floor. These awards recognize the outstanding contribution of the inductees to the Engineering profession, as judged by the Civil and Environmental Engineering Advisory Council and reviewed by current Civil and Environmental Engineering Faculty. There were 14 recipients: