REU Site: Integration of Biology and Materials in Chemical Engineering

Project: Research project

Project Details


This Research Experiences for Undergraduates Site in Chemical Engineering at Pennsylvania State wUniversity ill provide a talented and diverse group of undergraduate students an opportunity to perform research focused on biology and materials. Research integrating the life sciences and materials will lead to advancements in sensors, water purification, energy production, food production, drug design and purification, and tissue engineering. The integrative program will bridge knowledge from multiple disciplines, including the arts and technology, within the broader research experience with the goal of preparing students to be more effective communicators, collaborators, critical thinkers, and engineers. During the ten-week program, weekly career development activities will complement hands-on research experiences to introduce students to skills for performing scientific research and to techniques that enable cutting edge research in biomolecular materials. Surveys and exit interviews will be used to monitor the success of the program in collaboration with engineering education experts at Penn State.

This REU site focuses on the Integration of Biology and Materials and is hosted by the Chemical Engineering Department at Penn State University. Undergraduate students, selected from institutions across the country, will engage in a ten-week research experience focused on the development, characterization, and application of biomolecular materials. Research activities that integrate materials and the life sciences will develop novel materials and processes to meet national needs in healthcare, energy and the environment, sustainability, and homeland security. Students from institutions where research opportunities are limited will be recruited to the program to create diverse communities during each REU session. Career development activities will integrate arts and technology within the program and will focus on improving the communication and collaboration skills of the REU students and on introducing participants to pilot-scale research facilities. At the completion of the program, students will present their research findings at an undergraduate research symposium at Penn State. Program assessment will be performed in collaboration with the Leonhard Center for Enhancement of Engineering Education and will analyze the effect of the research experience on student outcomes.

This site is supported by the Department of Defense in partnership with the NSF REU program.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

Effective start/end date5/1/204/30/24


  • National Science Foundation: $403,561.00


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