The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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The College of Engineering is delighted to announce our newly-tenured and/or promoted faculty members, as voted by the UMass Board of Trustees on August 2, 2019. 

A team of well-prepared members of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Student Chapter took home the grand prize at the ITE Northeastern District Traffic Bowl. Our UMass team of Francis Tainter, Alyssa Ryan, and Chris Lyman (a recent alum) from the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department will head to Austin, Texas, to compete in the International Traffic Bowl Championships on July 21 to 24.

The ITE hosts a Jeopardy-style competition for students in each district, or region, of ITE every year.

Dr. Chul Park, an associate professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, and his collaborator, Dr. Hans Paerl, a professor in the Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, recently received a three-year, collaborative grant of $330,000 from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The NSF grant will support the joint research team’s investigation into the potentially unforeseen and unintended impact of upgrading wastewater treatment systems to decrease nitrogen on algal blooms in coastal water systems.

A video report about bad driving behavior in Boston featured Michael Knodler, a professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and the director of the UMass Traffic Safety Research Program, or UMassSafe. Appearing on WBZ TV CBS 4 Boston in May, Knodler explained five common rude and dangerous driving habits that can cause traffic safety issues.

The UMass Transportation Center, or UMTC, and Sara’s Wish Foundation (SWF) have received a one-year, $83,147, Safe System Innovation Grant from the Road to Zero Coalition to cut down on traffic fatalities by promoting seatbelt usage on motor coaches. The grant will help UMTC and SWF create an effective national motor coach seatbelt educational campaign “kit” for distribution to motor coach operators.

See articles: Bus & Motorcoach News; News Office release.

Christopher J. Ahmadjian, associate director of the UMass Transportation Center (UMTC) in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, has been awarded the prestigious Donald C. Stone Award for Excellence in Education from the American Public Works Administration (APWA).

The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education reports that UMass Amherst and the University of South Africa (UNISA) have signed a memorandum of understanding that will establish a framework for future research, as well as faculty and student exchanges, between UMass and UNISA, the largest university system in Africa. The relationship between the two university systems has been nurtured by Professors David Reckhow and John Tobiason of the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department.

Following a search for the most inventive college students in the land, graduate student Julie Bliss Mullen of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department was one of the national winners of the 2019 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize Program, which recognizes young inventors who have dedicated themselves to solving global problems. Mullen was rewarded for her Electrochemical Water Purification Technology and Chlorine Generator. See press coverage: Boston Herald, Associated Press (AP).

Associate Professor Chul Park and Senior Research Fellow Dr. Sona Dolan of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department have been issued U.S. Patent 10,189,732 B2, entitled “Algal-sludge granule for wastewater treatment and bioenergy feedstock generation.” Park and Dolan’s new patent presents a new phototrophic process that could substantially reduce energy usage for wastewater treatment and recover chemical energy from wastewater in the feedstock.

“Imagine a world in which half of our electricity is generated renewably by offshore wind farms,” as a recent article by Shayla Costa '19 posed in Research Next. “Now imagine a powerful hurricane hitting the coast where that farm is located. If developers, engineers, and policy makers haven’t prepared for this event, the coast could face major consequences such as blackouts and brownouts.”

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