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Undergraduate Research

"Engineers are at the forefront of lifesaving health applications. As a McKelvey Scholar, I worked with a biomedical engineering professor and used an interdisciplinary approach to create more effective and reliable therapies for treating heart disease." — Alice Ndikumana, Class of 2011

Undergraduate students have numerous opportunities to participate with faculty on research projects, including helmet design for impact to the brain, assistive technology for people with cognitive disabilities, sensor signal processing on mobile robots, cell and tissue engineering for biomedical applications, the synthesis of nanomaterials for use in energy, and environmental technologies, new technologies and devices for brain-computer interactions, and so much more.


Center for Innovation in Neuroscience and Technology Fellowship

In technically oriented fields, such as neurosurgery and neurointerventional radiology, technical innovation and leadership are synonymous. To engage these emerging trends, the Center for Innovation in Neuroscience and Technology (CINT) created a unique opportunity to participate in a paid summer internship that brings together engineering and neurosurgery faculty and students. The goal of the fellowship is for students to communicate with people from medical backgrounds to more effectively envision, articulate, and implement ideas to improve the practice of neurosurgery. Students will have the opportunity to work with neurosurgical and engineering faculty, other engineering students and a neurosurgical resident. The residents and students will design, draft and create the prototype of an original concept. At the end of the fellowship, students will present their design for industry evaluation at the corporate office of Stryker Corporation.


McKelvey Undergraduate Research Scholars

Each year, select engineering students are chosen as James M. McKelvey Undergraduate Research Scholars. Those selected receive an award to conduct research with any Washington University in St. Louis faculty member in engineering, medicine or the sciences. These Scholars also take advantage of special programming, including both cultural and academic activities.

The research award may be used for summer stipends to enable students to spend one or more summers at Washington University focusing on in-depth research projects. McKelvey Scholars are also eligible for all other merit-based scholarships and awards, as well as for need-based financial aid.


Washington University Summer Engineering Fellowship (WUSEF)

The Washington University Summer Engineering Fellowship (WUSEF) program is designed to encourage exceptional students from diverse backgrounds to participate in engineering research. Fellows will enjoy a rewarding summer research experience at one of the top universities in the U.S. Each fellow will engage in an independent research project under the guidance of a faculty member in the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University.


Undergraduate Research Symposium

Each year, more than 200 undergraduates showcase their research projects through poster presentations and visual and oral presentations during the university-wide undergraduate research symposium.

"The Undergraduate Research Symposium is a great way for students to showcase just how advanced undergraduate research can be," says Henry Biggs, PhD, associate dean in Arts & Sciences and director of the Office of Undergraduate Research. "It allows students to examine what those in other disciplines are working on as well. The symposium gets more and more popular each semester as students see the benefit of presenting their work to such a wide audience."

Helpful Research Information

  • Engineering Student Services
    Ron Laue
    Assistant Dean
    (314) 935-6178
    Lopata Hall, Room 303

  • Office of Undergraduate Research
    The Office of Undergraduate Research facilitates undergraduate research by maintaining a knowledge base of available opportunities, by uniting students and mentors, and by assisting with funding.

  • Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research
    The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research (OVCR) promotes the development of research initiatives and establishes a culture of compliance among faculty, students and staff.

  • National Conferences on Undergraduate Research
    The National Conferences on Undergraduate Research is an opportunity to meet peers and faculty from around the country working in similar research fields.

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