Research for Undergraduates
Apply classroom knowledge to the real-world with our undergraduate research opportunities. Students are encouraged to participate in faculty research projects as part of their broader educational experience. You may obtain course credit for research through ME 190 or ME 197. ME 197 may be used as a technical elective.
To begin, students must find a faculty member with an available project. Faculty webpages are a good starting point for this process. To enroll in ME 197, students must complete a project abstract using a standard template. The abstract must be signed by the supervising faculty member, the undergraduate faculty advisor and submitted to Undergraduate Student Affairs at least one week prior to the start of the quarter. Both ME 190 and ME 197 require a final project report. Four units of ME 197 can be counted as a tech elective once.
- Consult with faculty of interest about potential projects and the faculty member should agree to advise the student for ME 197.
- Once the agreement is made, prepare ME 197 project abstract form in consultation with the faculty member, get the undergraduate faculty advisor’s signature, and submit the form to Undergraduate Student Affairs for processing. The abstract should include introduction of the project, experimental or calculation plan, method, and expected outcome. The abstract should include ABET matrix provided by the advisor.
- The student is required to give a 10- to 15-minute presentation during ME 250 seminar series, and the faculty advisor should be present for evaluation. Final project report (exactly 10 pages) is due at the time of presentation. The final report should be student’s own writing and work.
Senior Design Project
The capstone design experience for students is the two-quarter ME 175 course – the Senior Design Project. This required course allows teams of students to draw upon all of the engineering science and design knowledge they have amassed to address a meaningful design problem. They are expected to define the objectives of the problem, explore possible options, plan and conduct experiments if needed, formulate preliminary solutions, and evaluate the proposed alternatives with respect to economics, feasibility, societal, health and safety impacts, and sustainability.
This approach may require a number of iterations before a final comparative solution is achieved. Senior design projects are always team projects (usually three students). In addition to engineering and design skills, this course also provides the culmination to preparation for many real world experiences including effective written and oral communication skills, profitability evaluation and process optimization, risk analysis, occupational health and safety, environmental and ethical issues, professional and personality issues, the ability to work productively in teams, conducting group meetings, and brainstorming.