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 (Fall 2018)


Prof. Anna Tarakanova‘s group – the details of each project can be found here

  • Cracking Protein Clumps
  • Secrets of the (Extracellular) Matrix
  • Tissue Biomechanics from Bottom Up
  • Supernatural Resilin
  • Molecular Clues into Loose-Skin Disease

Prof. Ryan Cooper:

  • Thermal gradient rig for high temperature turbine components, which focuses on the effect of extreme thermal gradients and environmental degradation on thermal barrier coatings for gas turbine engines.

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

  • Uncertainty quantification in design for Additive Manufacturing
  • Image-based microstructure characterization and modeling