University of Massachusetts Amherst

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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.