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Undergraduate

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Getting Started

The first step to working on a research project is getting to know the sort of research done within the department. Talk to with faculty and senior students, and visit the research and faculty pages to see what research is being done and by whom.

Students must have sophomore status or higher to work on department and independent research projects.

Compensation

Students taking one of the 39X-level of courses (Independent Study Courses) can get one to four credit hours, depending on the research required.

Students not taking one of these courses may get a research assistant's salary.

You cannot get both credit and salary for work on a research project.

If an undergraduate is involved in the research and has contributed in that project, the student's name is included as one of the co-authors in official publications.

Opportunities

To apply for any of the opportunities below email a statement of interest and resume to the PI.


Hydrodynamics Lab

Caroline Cardinale (ME ’21) and Kai Kindred (ME ’20) calibrating a setup in the water channel.
Caroline Cardinale (ME ’21) and Kai Kindred (ME ’20) calibrating a setup in the water channel.

The lab is currently using particle image velocimetry to study how the vortex dynamics in the wake of a curved “whisker” are affected by the presence of an upstream body. The students conduct experiments in the water channel, and analyze the velocity field data in Matlab for evidence of vortex shedding and wake transition.

If you’re interested in learning more contact Professor Shang at j.k.shang@rochester.edu.


Inner Ear Biomechanics Lab

Excised cochlear tissues are placed in a microfluidic chamber. Mechano-electrical responses are measured.
Excised cochlear tissues are placed in a microfluidic chamber. Mechano-electrical responses are measured.

Professor Nam’s Inner Ear Biomechanics Lab is currently looking for students to work in the lab using optical coherence tomography, to measure the mechano-transduction of the cochlea. Through this project, students will learn how the principles of acoustics, fluid dynamics, solid mechanics and vibrations are applied to micro-mechanical experiments with biological tissues. Students will gain experiences with vibration measurements, imaging and data acquisition devices.

If you’re interested in learning more contact Professor Nam at nam@me.rochester.edu.


Nanoscale Thermal Transport Lab

Professor Pickel’s Nanoscale Thermal Transport Lab has several upcoming projects, including:

  • 3 omega thermal conductivity measurements: this project involves the construction of an experimental set-up for performing thermal conductivity measurements using a technique known as the “3 omega” method. Students will gain experience building and characterizing electrical circuits, along with designing and performing electrothermal measurements.
  • Design and fabrication of custom microscopy components: Students will gain experience in mechanical design, CAD, and machining.
  • Nanoparticle monolayerdeposition: this project will involve optimizing the deposition of nanoparticle monolayers for temperature sensing applications. Students will gain chemical and materials characterization skills.
  • Neural network-based thermometry optimization: this is a computational project focused on using neural networks to optimize the sensitivity of luminescence thermometry techniques.
  • Atomic force microscope nanomanipulation: this project will involve using an atomic force microscope to precisely position individual nanoparticles.
  • Autofluorescence measurements: this project will explore the effects of temperature on cellular autofluorescence signals. Students will gain experience in optical measurements.

The lab is currently working on thermoelectric energy conversion demonstration, which involves constructing hands-on demonstration modules for use in course lectures or outreach events. The modulesare used to show how thermoelectric materials can bothgenerate electricity from a temperature gradient and use input electrical energy to generate a temperature gradient.

If you’re interested in learning more contact Professor Pickel at apickel@ur.rochester.edu.


Quantum Phenomenon at Extreme Conditions Lab

Noah Meyers presenting his results at the REU session at University of Rochester.
Noah Meyers presenting his results at the REU session at University of Rochester.

Professor Dias’s lab, uses diamond anvil cell (DAC) to generate pressure-temperature conditions of the Earth and Jovian planetary interiors, where materials alter their properties in many fundamental ways and, thus, provide exciting opportunities to discover new materials, novel phenomena, and exotic states of matter that are not present at ambient conditions.

If you’re interested in learning more contact Professor Dias at rdias@rochester.edu.