REU Program Information
Insufficient energy research and the shortage of U.S. citizens pursuing advanced degrees in engineering and science are both topics of supreme importance in modern times, and with this Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) site we are targeting both problems through a collaborative effort between various laboratories at Texas A&M University. Approximately ten undergraduate students from colleges and universities throughout the United States will reside at the Texas A&M campus for 10 weeks during the summer months, working alongside professors and graduate students conducting research on a broad range of topics related to energy and combustion science.
Each student is selected on a competitive basis from the list of qualified applicants; they are paid a generous stipend and have their room covered. Students with majors from engineering, physics, or chemistry with interests in research related to energy and combustion are encouraged to apply. The projects in this REU site emphasize experiment-based research involving, for example, shock tubes for combustion studies; nano- and microfabrication; a diesel engine laboratory; furnace and gasifier rigs for studying coal and biomass fuels; advanced laser diagnostics; rocket propellants with nanoparticle additives; and a nano-fluids laboratory, among others. As an added benefit, the main 10-week summer program at Texas A&M takes advantage of a complementary campus-sponsored infrastructure that is geared toward fostering undergraduate research experiences, further enriching the experiences of the participants.
We anticipate that this REU site will impact society in two major ways: 1) through the involvement of undergraduate students in scientific research, encouraging them to pursue advanced degrees in science and engineering; and 2) the energy-related research will potentially benefit thousands of people through alternative sources and improved, less-polluting combustion devices. Special emphasis will be given to the recruitment of ethnic minorities and women from universities in Texas that are not major research institutions, thus providing research opportunities to students who might not otherwise have them.
The Department of Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M University is the home of this Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) site, with Dr. Eric Petersen as the principal investigator. Although based in Mechanical Engineering, the research supervisors within this REU site hail from disciplines within the Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) that also include Chemical Engineering, Materials Science, and Aerospace Engineering. The main, 10-week summer sites are held at the main Texas A&M University campus located in College Station, TX. Also included as a part of this REU site are year-round research experiences by undergraduate students at Texas A&M.
National Science Foundation
This Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) site is sponsored by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), with Mary Poats as the program monitor. Through REU grants, NSF provides federal funding to university investigators on a competitive basis with the goal of encouraging undergraduate students in science and engineering to obtain advanced degrees in their respective research areas.
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