Julie Goddard, Food Science, has received a four-year, $489,100 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to improve the efficiency and environmental sustainability of making value-added agricultural products. She will collaborate with Vince Rotello, Chemistry, in a new approach they hope will move the industry forward with natural, re-usable enzymes for processing raw materials into naturally derived food additives. News release

Michelle Staudinger, Environmental Science and Northeast Climate Science Center, and colleagues tracked the stomach stomach contents of two very rare sperm whale species and added important baseline data in the largest regional study of its type to date, as appears in Marine Mammal Science. Red Orbit, e! Science News, Dailynewsen.com, Science Codex, Phys.org, Science Newsline, Science Daily, Terra Daily, News release

Prashant Shenoy, Computer Science, and David Irwin, Electrical and Computer Engineering, are conducting a pilot project with the Holyoke Gas & Electric Company that will show the utility and its customers how smart electric meters can save money and power. The project is funded by a $200,000 grant from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources. Republican, News release

A feature story in the Boston Globe that examined efforts to win legislative approval for $20 million for the UMass agricultural extension site in Waltham quoted Steve Goodwin, CNS dean, as saying the site could be used to conduct research for urban and suburban issues such as alternative energy, food availability and food security and water-related concerns. Boston Globe

Vincent M. Rotello, Chemistry, has been appointed a Distinguished Professor following approval by the UMass Board of Trustees, for how he has “creatively and boldly expanded his research from a focus on small molecule host-guest chemistry to his current path-breaking translational explorations of polymers, surfaces, and nanomaterials.” News release