The number of women, Black and Hispanic members in our engineering community continues to increase at all levels. We have been particularly successful in recruiting more women, and are at or above the national average for women in engineering at the PhD and faculty levels.
I am increasingly optimistic that with thoughtful and deliberate action we will emerge from the current challenges stronger and even more committed to advancing knowledge and applying solutions toward a better, fairer, more just world. We are indeed revolutionary engineers!
UMass Amherst engineers rise to local and national challenges resulting from the global pandemic.
Record-Breaking CAREER Year
Five faculty members obtained career-boosting grants from the NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program.
Pioneering Green Electronics
ECE’s Jun Yao is helping establish UMass Amherst as a leader in the field of green electronics.
Growth of the Biomedical Engineering Department
Launched in 2017, our growing BME program graduates its first BS students in 2020/21.
Frank Sup and Meghan Huber (MIE) led a cross-disciplinary UMass Amherst team in designing protective face shields that can be rapidly fabricated from a single, flexible sheet of plastic film and shipped flat. The shields are anti-fogging, can be sterilized, accommodate eyewear, and feature an easy barbed arrow locking mechanism. The campus has fabricated and distributed over 81,000 to those working on the front lines of the pandemic. The design and instruction files have been shared worldwide.
Baystate Health in Springfield, Mass. needed longer control cables to allow medical personnel to control ventilators at a distance, without using personal protection equipment. A UMass Amherst team, including Kris Hollot, Baird Soules, and Shira Epstein (ECE), found the solution by fabricating, testing and then tracking down a manufacturer to produce 50-foot cables.
Jonathan Rothstein (MIE) is part of a multi-institutional research team that received funding from a National Science Foundation Grant for Rapid Response Research and a National Institutes of Health UC Center for Accelerated Innovation award to develop and commercialize a new test that is like a breathalyzer for COVID-19. The approach collects aerosolized droplets from exhaled breath over one minute, rapidly detecting illness and airborne viral threats without the need for invasive nasal swabs. Marvel Diagnostics, a spin-off company formed by the researchers, has licensed their new technology to further develop this product, and the first set of clinical trials is on its way.
Jessica Schiffman (ChE) is collaborating with researchers at the University of Maine to develop a novel bio-inspired membrane that can capture COVID-19 airborne droplets.
Drawing inspiration from the pitcher plant, which has a slippery rim and an inner membrane to capture insects in its digestive fluids, the team will bioengineer a composite material with a liquid layer on the surface to capture pathogenic particles for study.
FIVE National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award Recipients in One Year
Lauren Andrews (ChE) Receives NSF CAREER Grant to Develop Groundbreaking Approach to Engineering Bacterial Communities for Biomanufacturing and Therapeutics
Lauren Andrews, the Marvin and Eva Schlanger Faculty Fellow, will do pioneering research studying how communities of bacteria can be engineered to have coordinated behaviors that will have numerous applications in biomanufacturing, cell-based therapies, and medical diagnostics. Andrews’s $589,060 CAREER research will develop a new approach for programming how cells in a bacterial community work together in a predictive and highly controllable way.
Peter Beltramo (ChE) Receives NSF CAREER Grant to Research Key Interactions in Biological Membranes
Peter Beltramo’s $592,332 CAREER grant will support his project, titled “Understanding the interplay between lipid composition and biomolecule transport in biological membranes,” which comprises a pathway of fundamental research that could enable the development of such breakthroughs as ad-vanced drug delivery systems, biosensors, and other biomimetic materials.
The Beltramo Research Group focuses on applying fundamental engineering principles to interfacial processes.
Xian Du (MIE) Awarded NSF CAREER Grant to Develop Pioneering Upgrades in the Roll-to-roll Soft Lithography Process
Xian Du’s five-year, $571,655 CAREER grant research focuses on improvements in roll-to-roll soft lithography by establishing a learning-based modeling method that guides the design and control of continuous microcontact printing processes and investigates continuous pattern formation mechanisms.
Du is the PI in the Intelligent Sensing Lab.
Jungwoo Lee’s (ChE) NSF CAREER Grant Aims to Understand How Bone and Blood Biology Are Coupled in Trabecular Bone Cavities
Jungwoo Lee’s $549,710 CAREER research could lead to a greater understanding of how bone remodeling and blood forming processes are functionally coupled in trabecular bone cavities by creating tissue-engineered hematopoietic trabecular bone marrow models.
Sarah Perry Receives NSF CAREER Award to Tackle Protein Stabilization with Pioneering Nature-Inspired Strategies
Sarah Perry’s $657,920 CAREER research will study a groundbreaking new approach to protein stabiliza-tion based on nature-inspired strategies. Her NSF research has the ultimate goal of boosting the accessi-bility of vaccines and other therapeutics, especially in developing countries, and extending the reach of temperature-stable proteins to sensing and catalysis applications.
Jun Yao (ECE) and Derek Lovley (microbiology) are conducting groundbreaking work on new biomaterials harvested from the humble microbe Geobacter. Their team has developed “Air-gen,” or air-powered generator that uses electrically conductive protein nanowires produced by Geobacter to connect to electrodes so electrical current is generated from water vapor – essentially making electricity out of thin air (Nature). The team also discovered how to use these biological, electrical-conducting filaments to make a neuromorphic memristor that runs very efficiently on extremely low power – reaching neurological voltages in experiments conducted in Yao’s lab (Nature Communications). And in the journal NanoResearch, they describe bioelectronic ammonia gas sensors that are among the most sensitive ever made. All this remarkably significant research is quickly establishing UMass Amherst as a leader in the field of green electronics.
Launched in 2017, our growing BME program graduates its first BS students in 2020/21.
- Located in new state-of-art research space in Life Sciences Laboratory and in facilities at the UMass Medical School.
- Driven by continued growth in the Massachusetts life science sector. Additional 12,000 jobs expected by 2024.
- 10 full-time faculty, with goal to grow department to 20+ faculty by 2025.
- Undergraduate enrollment: 50% female; 14.6% underrepresented
- Thai Thayumanavan, distinguished professor in chemistry, assumes role of interim department head in January 2021. He serves as co-leader of the Center for Bioactive Delivery in the Institute for Applied Life Sciences.
- Initial ABET accreditation visit will take place in 2022
BME Undergraduate Enrollment
UMass has a new Robotics Team that will join the NASA Lunabotics competition with a “off-world mining robot” capable of digging through sand and gathering precious soil material.
Sanket Sabnis (ChE), a fifth-year doctoral student in Professor Wei Fan’s research group, won the 2020 College of Engineering Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award for his efforts to create visibility and support of the LGBTQ+ community in STEM.
Doctoral student Alyssa Ryan (CEE) has been awarded a German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) One-Year Research Grant for Doctoral Candidates to conduct research at the Technical University of Munich in Germany on methods to achieve higher levels of highway safety.
Graduate students Bridget Benner and Jacob Davis from mechanical and industrial engineering and Becca Huber and Stephanie Call from chemical engineering received prestigious fellowships from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP).
Clockwise: Stephanie Call, Bridget Benner, Jacob Davis, Becca Huber
Joseph Bardin (ECE) was the recipient of the 2020 Outstanding Young Engineer Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (MTT-S).
Maciej Ciesielski (ECE) was named 2020 Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
Christos Dimitrakopoulis (ChE) named 2020 National Academy of Inventors Fellow.
John Klier (ChE) appointed dean of the Gallogly College of Engineering at the University of Oklahoma, effective July 1.
Ashish Kulkarni (ChE) was named a 2019 Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering Young Innovator.
T.J. “Lakis” Mountziaris (ChE) was named 2019 Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.
Jinglei Ping (MIE) received the Young Investigator Research Program (YIP) Early Career Award.
Shannon Roberts (MIE) received the Stephanie Binder Young Professional Award from the Human Factors & Ergonomics Society.
Jessica Schiffman (ChE) received the 2019 American Chemical Society Applied Materials & Interfaces Young Investigator Award.
Nick Tooker (CEE) received the 2019 Ralph Fuhrman Medal for Outstanding Water Quality Academic-Practice Collaboration.
Armstrong/Siadat Endowed Professorship
in Materials Science
To establish and support research programs in the field of materials science.
Nianqiang (Nick) Wu, Professor
Department of Chemical Engineering
Research expertise in nanostructured materials science.
Dev Gupta Professorship Fund
To support new areas of inquiry and encourage risk-taking and entrepreneurial pursuits in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Guangyu Xu, Assistant Professor
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Research expertise in the area of signal processing and biomedical imaging.
Tenure and Promotion to Associate Professor
Zlatan Aksamija, electrical and computer engineering
Eleni Chistofa, civil and environmental engineering
Eric Gonzales, civil and environmental engineering
David Irwin, electrical and computer engineering
Stephen Nonnenmann, mechanical and industrial engineering
Promotion to Full Professor
Chul Park, civil and environmental engineering
- Yu Chen, Associate Professor
- Novel optical imaging methods for biomedical applications
- Chase Cornelison, Assistant Professor
- Soft biomaterials, neural tissue engineering; interstitial fluid flow; tumor microenvironment
- Cathal Kearney, Assistant Professor
- Biomaterials; drug delivery; musculoskeletal tissue engineering; on-demand delivery of therapeutics
- Nianqiang (Nick) Wu, Armstrong-Siadat Endowed Professor
- Charge transfer and energy transfer in electrochemical and photoelectric materials and devices
- Baptiste François, Research Assistant Professor
- Interactions between climate, water, energy, and society
- Christian Guzman, Assistant Professor
- Food, energy, water system nexus innovations
- Olufolajimi (Jimi) Oke, Assistant Professor
- Interactions at the transportation-energy nexus
- Fatima Muhammad Anwar, Assistant Professor
- Intersection of system design, security, and quality of time in distributed cyber-physical systems
- Jeremy Gummeson, Assistant Professor
- Novel sensing, communication, and energy management techniques that enable closed-loop sensing systems that optimize resources, health, and wireless environment
- Tongping Liu, Assistant Professor
- Software security, reliability, and performance of parallel and distributed systems
- Beatriz Lorenzo, Assistant Professor
- Communication networks, wireless networks, mobile computing, dynamic networking paradigms, network economics, optimization theory
- Arman Pouraghily, Lecturer
- Security of embedded systems in the context of the Internet of Things
- Sanjay Raman, Dean, College of Engineering; Professor
- RF/microwave/millimeter-wave integrated circuit design for applications such as radar sensing and wireless communications
- Meghan Huber, Assistant Professor
- Intersection of robotics, dynamics, controls, human neuroscience, and biomechanics
- Jim Lagrant, Professor in Practice
Jessica Schiffman and Lauren Andrews (ChE) received a three-year, $515,473 grant from the National Science Foundation to understand how bacteria attach to polymer materials. This will enable the re-engineering of hydrogel-coated biomedical devices, like catheters, implants, wound dressings, as well as contact lenses, to be more resistant to bacterial infections.
Colin J. Gleason (CEE, principal investigator) and Jay Taneja (ECE) have received a four-year, $779,966 grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Their work will improve the monitoring of discharged water.
The Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center (NE CASC), co-directed by Richard Palmer (CEE), received a five-year, $4.5 million commitment from the U.S. Department of the Interior. The renewal of support continues Interior’s original seven-year, $11 million grant to the NE CASC that began in 2011.
Marco Duarte (ECE) is part of an interdisciplinary, inter-institutional team of researchers who recently received a three-year, $1.5-million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to further develop the foundations of data science in a project that will create one of NSF’s TRIPODS Institutes for Theoretical Foundations of Data Science.
Lixin Gao (ECE) has collaborated with computer scientist Arun Venkataramani to land a three-year, $1.2-million grant from the National Science Foundation to develop and test a method to improve interdomain routing.
Do-Hoon Kwon (ECE) has received a research award of $367,004 over three years from the Army Research Office. Kwon’s project, “Single and dual polarized metasurface cloaks for microwave invisibility and low observability,” introduces and demonstrates a new electromagnetic cloaking physics applicable to large free-standing scatterers.
Jay Taneja (ECE) is the lead principal investigator for a $3.8-million grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to support the collaborative work of researchers at UMass Amherst, Columbia University, Carnegie Mellon University, and the Colorado School of Mines.
The National Science Foundation has awarded Principal Investigator Michael Zink (ECE) and his colleagues a two-year, $750,000 grant to develop new architectures and tools for the safe, efficient, and economic operation of drones.
Wen Chen (MIE) has been awarded a three-year, $345,470 grant from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Division of Materials Research to investigate microscale residual stresses in additively manufactured stainless steel.
Jae-Hwang Lee (MIE) is the principal investigator for UMass Amherst on a three-year, $700,000 project, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), to develop pioneering high-performance materials required by many of the world’s most significant industries.
Stephen Nonnenmann (MIE) and Jessica Schiffman (ChE) are part of a team of UMass researchers who received a four-year, $1.75-million NSF Designing Materials to Revolutionize and Engineer our Future (DMREF) award to study and construct a new class of soft and stretchable electronic devices that can be used in future healthcare, security, and communications applications.
Govind Srimathveeravalli (MIE) has received a $603,550 grant from the Department of Defense (DoD) to study how to redeploy macrophages to effect sustained and robust anti-tumor response in patients with bladder cancer. The project’s co-principal investigator is Ashish Kulkarni (ChE).
Jun Yao (ECE) is co-PI on a $1,474,272 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop ultra-low-power electronic components and systems for signal retrieval, processing, and storage with power consumption similar to biological systems in living organisms.
A paper published in the journal Nature in October and co-authored by Joseph Bardin (ECE) is ranked No. 12 in the annual Altmetric Top 100 highlights of research published in 2019. Bardin is a member of the multi-disciplinary research team that published the paper that says Google, using a quantum computer, has achieved a breakthrough by performing a task that isn’t possible with traditional computers.
Qiangfei Xia (ECE) has co-published yet another in a long series of papers in the prestigious family of Nature academic journals. The latest described the research team’s construction and operation of a three-dimensional (3D) circuit composed of eight layers of integrated memristive devices in which the novel structure makes it possible to directly map and implement complex neural networks.
Mark Russell ’85 MS has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering. Russell, Raytheon’s vice-president of Engineering, Technology, and Mission Assurance, was also awarded an honorary doctorate of engineering from UMass Amherst in 2012. He was elected to the academy for his leadership in developing radar systems that enhanced national security and safety.
Karen St. Germain ’93 PhD has been named the new director of the Earth Science Division at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), effective June 8. Until taking the NASA position, St. Germain was the deputy assistant administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service.
Outstanding Alumni Awards
Distinguished Alumni Award
Visionary leaders in their field, recipients of this honor have reached exceptional levels of professional and personal achievement. This award recognizes distinguished leadership, service, teaching, innovation, and other exemplary accomplishments that positively impact society and the engineering profession.
Outstanding Young Alumni Award
Emerging leaders in the early stages of their careers, recipients of this honor are no more than ten years out from receiving their UMass Engineering degree. This award recognizes outstanding professional and personal achievements, and highlights the recipient’s ambitions and potential to positively impact UMass, the Commonwealth, the nation and the world.
97% of those who reported
had a position 6 months out
Median Starting Salaries
87% of students in the Class of 2019 participated in an internship, co-op, research, or other experiences*.
* other experiences include study abroad, engineering projects through clubs or volunteerism, etc.
Research & Development Expenditures
as reported to NSF HERD for FY19;
ChE data includes polymer science and engineering
The Dean’s Advisory Council is comprised of accomplished alumni and friends from industry, government, and academia who are dedicated to excellence in engineering education, research and innovation and share a commitment to building strategic academic-industry partnerships. Its members serve as ambassadors for UMass Engineering and provide invaluable insight, contacts, and support to help the Dean set priorities and garner the necessary resources to move the College forward. The council meets biannually, in the spring and fall.
Kokui Adesokan ’09 ChE
Associate Director, CIPT Leader, GTF Program, Pratt & Whitney
John Armstrong ’03 Hon
Vice President for Science and Technology (retired), IBM
Rena Bizios ’68 ChE
Lutcher Brown Endowed Chair, Prof. of Biomedical Engineering, University of Texas at San Antonio
Ruth Bonsignore ’83 CEE
Founder, Flink Consulting, LLC
Julie DelVecchio Savage ’79, ’85MS, ’90PhD IE/OR
Director, National Security Engineering Center, The MITRE Corporation
Stephen Gordon ’89MS ECE
Founder, CTO, Vice President of Engineering (retired), Immedia Semiconductor
Robert Gorman ’63 ME
Co-founder & CEO (retired), Applied Physical Sciences, Inc.
Gillian Gregory ’82MS, ’86PhD CEE
Vice President, GEI Consultants, Inc.
Divi Gupta ’00, ’06MS ECE
Vice President & General Mgr., Ultrasonic Fingerprint Business Unit, TDK USA Corporation
Marshall Jones ’72MS, ’74PhD ME
Principal Engineer (retired), GE Global Research
Barun Kar ’95PhD ECE
Senior Vice President of Engineering, Palo Alto Networks
Kelly Kennedy ’15 ECE
Specialist, Aftermarket Strategy and Analytics, Collins Aerospace
Raymond Laplante ’87 ChE
Council Vice Chair
Dir. of Polyolefin Technology, Westlake Chemical Corp.
Renee Harbers Liddell ’85 IE
Founder and CEO, Harbers Family Foundation
Kenneth Lloyd ’73 MIE
Vice President of Manufacturing, Electro Switch Business Trust
Adam Miller ’93 CEE
Owner, Summit Design + Build, LLC
Edward Price ’90 ChE
Founder & Chief Executive Officer, PCI Synthesis
Jonathan Roskill ’85 EE
CEO, Acumatica, Inc.
Tamara Sobers ’12MS, ’17PhD ECE
Wireless Communications Engineer and Group Leader,
The MITRE Corporation
Edwin (Ned) Thomas ’69 ME
Ernst Dell Butcher Professor of Engineering, Rice University