MSE kicks off third Research Experience for Undergraduates
Eleven undergraduates from universities throughout the country arrived on campus on May 29 as the third cohort of OSU-Tulsa's Research Experience for Undergraduates, a nine-week summer fellowship on materials science and entrepreneurship
The REU provides undergraduates opportunities to work on research projects with OSU-Tulsa faculty and graduate students in the HRC laboratories. The research projects, ranging from additive manufacturing to solar cells, are typically the caliber of research reserved for graduate students.
OSU-Tulsa's Helmerich Research Center is the home of OSU's School of Materials Science and Engineering. Ranji Vaidyanathan, Ph.D., Varnadow professor of materials science and engineering, and Pankaj Sarin, Ph.D., assistant professor of materials science and engineering, are coordinators of the program.
The primary focus of the program is taking research from the laboratory to the marketplace.
“We want to give students a sense of where that research goes once it leaves the university so that they understand the relationship between what they do here in the laboratory and the marketplace,” Vaidyanathan said. “By giving them exposure to the commercial side, we are hoping they will become the next generation of entrepreneurs and business people who also have research experience to make their products better.”
This year's fellows are Kathryn Bartosik of Clarkson University in New York, Alyssa Curry of OSU-Stillwater, Christine Brockman of Georgia Tech University, Spencer Galluci of the University of Oklahoma, James Gruich of Wayne State University in Detroit, Nicholas Nowak of Rowan University in New Jersey, Erik Perez of Cameron University in Lawton, Michael Rivera of OSU-Stillwater, Christian Schaefer of Oral Roberts University, Avery Slack of Clarkson University in New York and Erin Wernick of the University of Maryland.
Additional projects this summer include spark plasma sintering, nanoadditives for interlaminar toughening, nanocomposites, robocasting, low-cost ceramic membranes for ultra nanofiltration of high salinity waters, entrepreneurship and novel adsorbents for nitrogen and phosphorus recovery in poultry farm houses.
The REU is funded with a $405,208 grant from the National Science Foundation and co-funded by the U.S. Department of Defense Air Force Office of Scientific Research.
Materials science is the study of the structure of materials and the creation of new ones by combining two or more with different physical or chemical properties to create a new, improved material.