Undergraduate Research

A collage of images depicting students engaged in research.

The Department of Chemical Engineering has vibrant undergraduate research opportunities with its core and affiliated faculty members. Our research spans from the development of successor technologies to combat climate change, to medical technologies to improve human health outcomes, to optical materials, interface engineering, and the application of artificial intelligence, to chemical engineering processes. The department’s prime research strengths are advanced materialscatalysis and electrocatalysisbatteriesbiological and medical systemscomputational fluid dynamicsfunctional interfacesoptical materials, and theory, simulations and artificial intelligence.

Research Topics of Chemical Engineering Core Faculty
Professor/Research AreaExample Graphic
Professor Anthamatten.Professor Mitchell Anthamatten
Macromolecular Self-Assembly; Associative and Functional Polymers; Nanostructured Materials; Interfacial Phenomena; Optoelectronic Materials; Vapor Deposition Polymerization
A graphic example illustrating the research.
Professor Shaw.Professor Shaw H. Chen
Glassy Liquid Crystals; Robust Photoalignment Polymers; Organic Semiconductors; Self-Organization of Nanoparticles; Optoelectronic Devices
Professor Foster.Professor David G. Foster
Fluid Mechanics; Computational Fluid Dynamics; Rheology of Non-Newtonian Fluids; Biological Transport Phenomena
A graphic example illustrating the research.
Professor Muller.

Professor Astrid M. Müller
Solid-State Electrocatalysis; Pulsed Laser in Liquids Synthesis of Controlled Nanomaterials; Nanocatalyst Property–Functionality Relationships; Selective CO
2 Reduction and Organic Oxidation Electrocatalysis

A graphic example illustrating the research.
Professor Porosoff.

Professor Marc D. Porosoff
2 Reduction; Heterogeneous Catalysis; Catalyst Structure-Property Relationships; C1 Chemistry; Upgrading Light Alkanes

A graphic example illustrating the research.
Professor Shestopalov.

Professor Alexander A. Shestopalov
Surface Chemistry; Organic Chemistry; Surface Patterning; Nanostructured Materials; Interfacial Thermodynamics

A graphic example illustrating the research.
Professor Tenhaeff.

Professor Wyatt Tenhaeff
Electrochemical Energy Storage; Solid State Lithium Batteries and Solid Electrolytes; Polymer Thin Films, Interfaces and Thin Film Synthesis and Characterization; Vacuum Deposition Techniques

A graphic example of Professor Tenhaeff's research.
Professor White.

Professor Andrew White
Data-Driven Molecular Simulation; Materials Design; Artificial Intelligence in Chemical Engineering; Grid-Energy Storage Simulation; Modeling the spread of COVID-19

An overhead view of a group of inter-connected people.
Professor Yates.Professor Matthew Z. Yates
Colloids and Interfaces; Fuel Cell Membranes; Crystallization; Microencapsulation; Particle Synthesis; Colloidal Stabilization


Select funding opportunities to support students taking part in supervised undergraduate research are offered through the Department of Chemical Engineering, the Office of Undergraduate Research, and through external fellowships and awards.

Undergraduate research may be done without funding as an unpaid intern or for academic credit. Independent study courses for academic credit are available during semesters for supervised undergraduate research. Please refer to the ways to participate page for more information about the rules and registration guidelines surrounding unpaid research positions.

Department of Chemical Engineering Funding

Eisenberg Summer Research Fellowship

The Professor Richard F. Eisenberg and Harriet Rippey Eisenberg Fund for undergraduate students and/or programs, offers financial support for selected chemical engineering students for a meaningful summer work experience. Assignments are within the chemical engineering department working closely with faculty on projects that will complement the academic program and enhance the students understanding of the use of chemical engineering principles.

Projects: Interested faculty will submit proposals for summer projects with the commitment to work closely with students, providing advice and guidance. There are a variety of projects available covering different phases of chemical engineering ranging from applied to fundamental problems. Projects may be experimental and/or theoretical in nature. A brief written description of available projects will be provided to interested students.

Eligibility: University of Rochester undergraduate students completing their sophomore or junior year in the chemical engineering program may apply. The selection of students to participate in the fellowship program will be based on consideration of personal characteristics, promise as a chemical engineer, and the matching of applicants to appropriate projects.

Student Responsibilities: The selected students must make a commitment for full time work over the period of the appointment. An undergraduate research symposium is planned for early October during Meliora Weekend of each year and the student is required to present a poster. 

Term: 10 weeks during the summer. Other arrangements may be negotiable under special circumstances. 2024 Remuneration: $6,000

Additonal information: Project topics posted early January each year; applications are due on March 1st. For more details, contact Jennifer Condit, jennifer.condit@rochester.edu

Office of Undergraduate Research Funding

Discover Grant: This grant for undergraduate summer research supports immersive, full-time summer research experiences for undergraduate students at the University of Rochester. The goal of the program is to help students get involved in research early in their academic careers and enhance their competitiveness for future fellowships and other advanced research opportunities. This $2,500 grant can help fund living expenses for unpaid summer research experiences for students. The application cycle opens annually each spring and is highly competitive.

McNair Research Program: The objective of the McNair Program is to increase the numbers of low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented minority undergraduates who pursue PhD degrees and go on to careers in research and teaching at the university level. Academic year program applicants apply during the first semester of their sophomore year. Summer program applicants apply during the spring semester of their junior year.

Research Presentation Award: Small awards used to support student conference registration, travel, lodging, and food expenses. Up to $500 domestically or $1,000 internationally. Rolling application cycle.

Research Initiative Award for Undergraduates: This $1,000 library-sponsored research award is for students in the early phases of undergraduate research, demonstrated by the initiation and organization of a project leading towards a senior thesis, capstone project, or an independent research project. Applications due annually in November.

Research and Innovation Grant (RIG): The RIG is a $3,000 grant offered to approximately 100 students per year upon admission to Rochester that can be used for experiential education opportunities during the academic year and/or over the summer after the student’s first semester at Rochester.

de Kiewiet Summer Research Fellowships in Biology and Medicine: Current juniors taking part in a non-clinical, biological summer research project may apply for $4,000 of summer funding. A letter of intent to apply must be submitted by the first week of March.

Walt and Bobbi Makous Prize for Undergraduate Vision Research: This prize honors the graduating senior who has made the most outstanding contribution to vision research at Rochester.

Bilski-Mayer Summer Research Fellowships: This fellowship provides $5,000 of summer research support for brain and cognitive sciences or neuroscience majors. Students must be nominated for support by their faculty research advisor.

Paid Research Positions

If you are in search of a paid research position, use the links below to help begin your search:

  • JobLink - University of Rochester's on-campus student employment job board
  • Handshake - internships and networking/connections on- and off-campus, though not all postings may be paid opportunities
  • Summer research page - searchable databases and selected links for competitive, structured research opportunities
  • Department of History HOUR program - apply to assist members of the history faculty who would like help on their research projects. Compensation can be an hourly assistantship wage or credit for HIS 395.

Publications Resulting from Undergraduate Research

Current and former undergraduate students and years are bolded.

Wilsey, M. K.; Cox, C. P.; Forsythe, R. C.; McCarney, L. R.; Müller, A. M. Selective CO2 reduction towards a single upgraded product: a minireview on multi-elemental copper-free electrocatalysts. Catalysis Science & Technology 2021,11, 416-424. Editor's Choice!

Juneau, M.; Pope, C.; Liu, R.; Porosoff, M. D., Support acidity as a descriptor for reverse water gas shift over Mo2C-based catalysts. Applied Catalysis A: General 2021, 620, 118034.

Krajovic, M. Anthamatten, Melt-Recyclable Shape-Memory Elastomers Containing Bisurea Segments. ACS Applied Polymer Materials, 2021, 3 (4), 2082-2087.

Juneau, M.; Vonglis, M.; Hartvigsen, J.; Frost, L.; Bayerl, D.; Dixit, M.; Mpourmpakis, G.; Morse, J. R.; Baldwin, J. W.; Willauer, H. D.; Porosoff, M. D., Assessing the viability of KMo2C for reverse water–gas shift scale-up: Molecular to laboratory to pilot scale. Energy &Environmental Science 2020, 13 (8), 2524-2539.

Gandhi H.A.; Jakymiw S.; Barrett R.; Mahaseth H.; White A. D., Simview VR: Real-time Simulation and Visualization of Organic Molecules. Journal of Chemical Education 2020,97 (11), 4189-4195.

Chakraborty M.; Xu J.; White A. D.; Is Preservation of Symmetry Necessary for Coarse-Graining?Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 2020,22 (26), 14998-15005.

Makuc, E. H. Chimowitz, Process Waste Heat with a Supercritical Carnot Engine. engrXiv Preprints, DOI: 10.31224/osf.io/qrgtz, 2020.

Meng, W. Xu, M.R. Newman, D.S.W. Benoit, M. Anthamatten, Tuning the Viscoelasticity of Soft Biomaterials through Thermoreversible Hydrogen Bonding. Advanced Functional Materials, 2019, 1903721, 1-9.

Anthamatten, S.W. O’Neill, D. Liu, T. M. Wheler, R. S. Vallery, D. W. Gidley, Tunability of Free Volume and Viscoelastic Damping of Thiol–Ene Networks Deep in the Glassy State. Macromolecules,2018, 51, 2564-2571.

Meng, X. Huang, C. Fitzgerald, H. Lee, J.-C. Yang, M. Anthamatten, Laboratory-Scale Reaction Injection Molding of Poly(caprolactone) Elastomers for Rapid Prototyping of Stimuli-Responsive Thermosets. Rubber Chemistry and Technology, 2017, 90, 337-346.

Meng, J.-C. Yang, C. L. Lewis, J. Jiang, M. Anthamatten, Photo-inscription of Chain Anisotropy into Polymer Networks. Macromolecules, 2016, 49, 9100-9107.

Anthamatten, J. J. Ou, J. Weinfeld, S. H. Chen, Enthalpy versus Entropy: What Drives Hard-particle Ordering in Condensed Phases?Chemical Physics Letters, 2016, 660, 18-21.

Meng, J. Jiang, M. Anthamatten, Body Temperature Triggered Shape-Memory Polymers with High Elastic Energy Storage Capacity. Journal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics, 2016, 54, 1397-1404 (cover)

Meng, M. Tsai, G. R. Schmidt, M. Anthamatten, Gradient-Index Materials Based on Thiol–Ene Networks. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2015, 7, 8601-8605.

Meng, J. Jiang, M. Anthamatten, Shape Actuation via Internal Stress-Induced Crystallization of Dual-Cure Networks. ACS Macro Letters, 2015, 4, 115-118. Editor Choice Award!

He, G. L. Shebert, E. H. Chimowitz, An Algorithm for Waste Heat Recovery from Chemical Processes. Computers and Chemical Engineering, 2015, 73, 17.

R. Harding, H. Goodrich, A. Caveglia, M. Anthamatten, Effect of Temperature and Volume on the Tensile and Adhesive Properties of Photocurable Resins. Journal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics, 2014, 52, 936-945.

L. Lewis, K. Stewart, M. Anthamatten, The Influence of Hydrogen Bonding Side-Groups on Viscoelastic Behavior of Linear and Network Polymers. Macromolecules, 2014, 47, 729-740.

Li, C. Lewis, D. Chen, M. Anthamatten, Dynamic Mechanical Behavior of Photo-Crosslinked Shape-Memory Elastomers. Macromolecules, 2011, 44, 5336-5343.

A.G. Papastrat, T. Chu, M. Anthamatten, Monomer Crystallization during Vapor Deposition Polymerization. Chemical Vapor Deposition, 2011, 17, 141-148.