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NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has identified several key areas of student development. In order to encourage undergraduate student participation in scientific research and learning in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program was incorporated in the 1970s.

The Texas A&M REU program is organized by the team of professors, Dr. Eric Petersen and Dr. Ranjan of Mechanical Engineering and Ms. Esther Bolding, program manager at NSF. As a part of this program, 10 undergraduate students will be encouraged to spend their summer term as researchers in several areas of energy production and propulsion engineering. This experience is intended to provide greater exposure for students to academic research, as well as help them gain valuable hands-on experience conducting the latest research on topical areas. The program also motivates these talented undergraduate researchers to pursue graduate education. Details of the NSF REU program at TAMU can be found here. Specific details of the program including mission statement, application procedures and contact information are provided in the website. Extensive details of the research projects are provided in this link, which showcases the projects mentored by esteemed faculty such as Dr. Adonios Karpetis, Dr. Tim Jacobs, Dr. Tahir Cagin, Dr. Jerald Caton, Dr. Debjyoti Banerjee and Dr. Kalyan Annamalai of TAMU, and Dr. Matthew Traum of University of North Texas.

In the past, students David Nicholson and David Reilly worked at STAML as NSF REU researchers, for summer 2011 and summer 2012, respectively. This year, we had two students, Shanae Smith from Sam Houston State University, Mark and Ivan Gastelum from University of Texas at El Paso, who worked at STAML on NSF funded projects. The REU flier for year 2013 can be found here.

NSF Research Experiences for Teachers

Apart from undergraduate students, teachers from high-schools in Texas were selected to participate in the Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) program by NSF. Mr. Ramirez and Mr. Martinez, who teach high-school Mathematics and Chemistry, respectively, participated in the research activities at STAML during June 2013. The RET program aims to provide opportunities to K-12 educators to partake in research activities, and encourage them to inculcate their RET learning outcomes in classroom teaching. Details of the RET program can be found here.

Other programs

As a part of the IITK student exchange program, Jatin Mitruka, senior undergraduate student in Aerospace Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IITK)), India was selected. Jatin worked on the shock-tube experiments between June-July 2013.

Mark Mikhaeil, junior undergraduate student in Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas, Austin was selected for the Undergraduate Summer Research Grants (USRG) program. He worked on the supercritical CO2 experiments and his work was judged the best in the poster presentation competition in August 2013. Prospective students who desire to apply for this program can find the details here.