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McCarthy Honored as Newest University Professor

Plastics Engineering Educator Praised for Research, Service

UMass Lowell Image
Prof. Stephen McCarthy, second from right, is shown with, from left, Provost Ahmed Abdelal, Chancellor Marty Meehan and Prof. Robert Parkin.

By Edwin L. Aguirre

Chancellor Marty Meehan joined University administrators, faculty and staff as well as friends and family members in honoring plastics engineering Prof. Stephen McCarthy, who was named this year’s University Professor, during a reception held at the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center on Sept. 20. 

Meehan lauded McCarthy for his “exemplary teaching, outstanding research and extraordinary service to UMass Lowell for nearly three decades.”

“It’s a great honor to receive this award,” said McCarthy. “I’m very grateful to Chancellor Meehan, Provost Ahmed Abdelal, Dean John Ting and Prof. Bob Parkin, who nominated me for this prestigious title. I also want to thank my family for their support and understanding, especially for putting up with the long hours I spend working in the University.” 

A resident of Tyngsboro, McCarthy joined the UMass Lowell faculty in 1984. Among his many accomplishments as an innovative educator, he has graduated 25 doctoral students in plastics engineering and biomedical engineering as well as several times this number of master’s students.

As a world-class researcher, he has obtained nearly $9 million in externally sponsored research grants and contracts, plus nearly $33 million in intellectual property donations to UMass Lowell. He also founded the Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center (M2D2), a signature program for the campus. To date, he has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers and holds eight U.S. and two international patents. He is also instrumental in establishing global partnerships with institutions in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Israel and Egypt.

McCarthy’s three-year term will run from September 2012 through August 2015. Previous University Professors include Susan Braunhut (biology), 2008–11; Ken Geiser (work environment), 2009–12; Robert Giles (physics), 2010–13; and Regina Panasuk (education), 2011–14.

McCarthy will deliver an annual University Professor lecture next spring about his work on biodegradable plastics and medical devices.

To see photos from the reception, visit UMass Lowell’s Photo Gallery.