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New Summer Program Offers Research Experience for Non-Dartmouth Undergraduates

Feb 22, 2023   |   by Catha Mayor

A grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) has established Dartmouth as a new Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) site in materials science and engineering. With preference given to underrepresented students from non-research institutions, as well as first-generation college students, the program offers nine weeks of hands-on research laboratory experience in either engineering or chemistry.

Rachel Osmundsen trains fellow PhD candidate Aubrey Tang on electropolishing metal samples for analysis using transmission electron microscopy (TEM). TEM is used in Professor Ian Baker's lab to analyze the crystal structure and deformation of metals in order to improve their mechanical and/or functional properties. (Photo by Mark Washburn)

"This Dartmouth REU program is designed to prepare and mentor students—with an emphasis on both underrepresented minorities and women—from institutions where they might not otherwise get opportunities to engage in research to consider a career in materials science," says Ian Baker, the Sherman Fairchild Professor of Engineering, Senior Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs, and the program PI. "They will get the chance to contribute to projects of significance to the field that often eventually benefit society, and they will gain skills and experience of value to any career path they choose."

The program will admit approximately 10 participants who will live together on the Dartmouth campus while they not only gain practical laboratory experience but also learn in the classroom about the breadth and value of materials science from experts in the field. The group will also engage in professional development activities including the preparation of research data for publication, public presentation of research results, professional networking, GRE coaching and preparation, and training in the "Responsible Conduct of Research."

"In the short term, our students will receive substantive, hands-on research experience—for many, perhaps the first of their career," says Baker. "And as they carry their new experience, knowledge, and connections forward into their lives, even for students who do not continue in materials science, they will benefit from the mentored training in professional development and will improve the general understanding in our society of the importance of materials science research."

Applications to the program will be accepted beginning in March.

Materials Lab Spotlight

Below, PhD candidate Julia Huddy talks about her research on scalable production for solar devices in Professor William Scheideler's Scalable Energy and Nanomaterial Electronics (SENSE) Lab.

(Video by Rusty Spydell)

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