Research Opportunities


Scroll down for the current research opportunities for undergraduate students.


Research Experience for Undergraduates

Some faculty members may hire undergraduate students to assist them on their research projects. Take some time to explore the faculty web pages to learn about department research activities, and contact faculty members in your area of interest to ask if a position is available.

Honors Research Program

Students in the University Honors Program may choose to enroll in a Mechanical Engineering Honors Research course, ME 3299, and work in a research laboratory to earn credits. These credits may be applied toward the Honors Program requirements and will count as a technical elective. As part of the course, the students will be involved in research programs of their choice in areas of emerging technologies. The research work will be directed by a Mechanical Engineering faculty member who serves as the research advisor for the course. The work typically involves collaborative efforts with graduate students and other researchers and provides significant independent problem-solving experience to supplement the classroom experience obtained from traditional coursework. Explore the website to learn about research labs and contact faculty members in areas of interest to ask about completing an Honors Research course in their lab.

It is expected that the students will enroll in the ME Honors Research courses during their Junior and Senior years, working on a focused research project, ideally for multiple semesters. There is also the possibility of continuing work during the summer months as an undergraduate research assistant. The research work is expected to culminate in a technical publication in a recognized scientific or engineering journal or conference proceeding. This research publication can form the basis for the Honors Thesis.

Current Opportunities Actively Seeking Undergraduate Student Researchers (Spring 2023)


Prof. Alexei Poludnenko – the details of this project can be found here

  • Computational combustion modeling for aerospace propulsion
  • Fluids I and II, Aerodynamics class
  • Knowledge of programming (C/C++/Fortran/Python/MPI)
  • If interested email Prof. Poludnenko

Prof. Baki Cetegen – the details of each project can be found here

  • Gas turbine combustor heat transfer
  • This announcement is for an Accelerated MS student position that is fully funded
  • If interested email Prof. Cetegen

Prof. Julian Norato – the details of this project can be found here

  • Undergraduate Research Opportunity in Computational Topology Optimization
  • Junior / programming experience

Prof. Hongyi Xu – the details of this project can be found here

  • Numerical modeling of Fluid-Structure Interaction system and Machine Learning
  • Work with Prof. Xu for a senior design project and then continue this research for the MS study within his group

Prof. Wilson Chiu – the details of each project can be found here

  • Two Opportunities: Next Generation Nuclear Reactors; Li-ion Batteries
  • Junior level

Prof. Alexei Poludnenko – the details of this project can be found here

  • Aerospace propulsion and combustion, high-performance computing
  • Fluids I and II, Aerodynamics class
  • Experience with C/C++/Fortran/Python
  • If interested email Prof. Poludnenko 

Prof. Chao Hu – the details of this project can be found here

  • Dr. Hu is trying to answer the following questions:
  • (1) “how fast can we detect and quantify an event?” with applications to blast detection and other fun systems like hypersonic vehicles and
  • (2) “how early can we predict battery end-of-life with confidence?” with applications to electric vehicles (EVs) and grid storage.
  • You will learn how to integrate ML with sensor measurements through these projects. Wait, hypersonic vehicles? EVs? ML? What do we know about this? A lot! Chao can convince you that you know enough about it to do the research with a Mechanical Engineering background! Graduate research is easier than you might think, especially if you are self-driven and intellectually curious.
  • On the technical side, you need to be strong in mathematics and statistics and willing to learn to program in MATLAB/Python.
  • If interested email Prof. Hu