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UMass Lowell leadership was on display at the annual Nanomanufacturing Summit in April, where recent developments and breakthrough research were showcased. More than 30 faculty members and as many graduate students are engaged in nano-related research through the Nanomanufacturing Center, so poster presentations filled the Suffolk Conference Center at the Wannalancit Mill for the edification of industry partners and community members.
U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas gave the keynote address, introduced by Chancellor Marty Meehan. UMass Lowell is a national leader in nanotechnology development and, earlier this year, Tsongas helped to secure a $1 million federal appropriation to support the University's ongoing research into detection of biological and chemical threats.
“You are playing a revolutionary role in developing a technology for the future,” said Tsongas. “In so doing you should be mindful of your work’s potential shelf life. All we have to do is think of the University's historic dominance in plastics engineering and the textile industry ߝ technologies developed years ago that still spark new innovation and important business opportunities. What you are doing today will play itself out for decades to come.”
Summit workshops covered such topics as safety considerations with nanoparticles and advanced sensors for chemical and biological threats or structural damage. These were presented by Asst. Prof. Dhimiter Bello of the Work Environment Department, Assoc. Prof. James Whitten of the Chemistry Department and Assoc. Prof. Christopher Niezrecki of the Mechanical Engineering Department.
Plastics Engineering Prof. Carol Barry, a director of the Nanomanufacturing Center, spoke about nanomaterial development and nanomanufacturing capabilities at UMass Lowell. Dr. George Kachen, the Center’s director of research and technology, discussed research partnerships and collaborations. About 50 companies were represented at the event.