Six faculty members in the Turbomachinery Laboratory and eight others throughout the College of Engineering will spend their summer investing in the future of energy and propulsion research.
This is the third summer the Turbo Lab has facilitated the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) site in Energy and Propulsion and overall the eighth summer of the site under the direction of Dr. Eric Petersen, director of the Turbo Lab, and Dr. James Thomas, a postdoctoral researcher at the Turbo Lab. Funded primarily by the National Science Foundation (NSF) with contributions from the Turbo Lab, this REU site is a ten-week summer program that immerses undergraduate students from across the U.S. in graduate-level research.
Seventy-five percent of participants from the Energy and Propulsion REU site end up going to grad school, Petersen said. Petersen finalizes the student participant list and assigns each student chosen for the program to their faculty mentor based on research interests. This year the program accepted a total of 16 students, eight of whom are sponsored by the Turbo Lab. These eight students, from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell; University of Texas, Permian Basin; Le Tourneau University; Southern Illinois University; Trinity College; University of Cyprus; and Texas A&M University will be mentored by Turbo Lab professors Petersen, Dr. Luis San Andres, Dr. Waruna Kulatilaka, Dr. Adolfo Delgado, Dr. Alan Palazzolo and Dr. Lesley Wright.
“This is a great opportunity for undergraduates to do high-quality research and to see what it’s like to go to grad school,” Petersen said. “The goal is to encourage participants to pursue an advanced degree in a STEM field.”
Students will conduct research with guidance from university professors and graduate students—an experience they might not have otherwise gained at their own university. Their research can have a global impact, as they investigate issues that could ultimately affect global warming, finite fossil fuel resources, pollution and providing energy to an increasing world population. In addition to their daily research activities, students are expected to attend lunchtime seminars, participate in REU functions, deliver two oral presentations and present a final poster.
The program covers room and travel expenses as well as a stipend of $5,000 for student participants. The 10-week site began May 29 and will run until August 2, 2019.
This is a great opportunity for undergraduates to do high-quality research and to see what it’s like to go to grad school. The goal is to encourage participants to pursue an advanced degree in a STEM field.
Dr. Eric Peterson
Turbo Lab director
The Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) Turbomachinery Laboratory makes a vital impact on turbomachinery and related industries through research, education and professional workforce development.