Participation in research can be a very rewarding component of an undergraduate engineering program. Motivated students can earn credit and satisfy some elective degree requirements by conducting independent study or thesis research with a supervising faculty member. Alternatively, students can be paid to conduct research, for example as part of a summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program at UMass or at another university.
Most undergraduate research projects are “arranged” by the student who meets with faculty to discuss research interests and needs. Students often consult faculty web pages, for overviews of faculty research interests and then arrange to meet prospective advisors. Most faculty members welcome undergraduate researchers to their labs and many can create undergraduate research projects related to their own research which reflect student interests and capabilities. Other projects may be more clearly defined in advance by faculty members, may derive from other projects or might reflect a new idea which a student wishes to explore. Descriptions of some of the more well defined research projects follow. Students interested in any of these projects or in other research topics are encouraged to contact the associated faculty members.