Resources

Prospective Undergraduate Researchers

ME 273 is a prerequisite for all of our projects. Some projects might require additional prerequisites like ME 312.

There are three ways to get involved: volunteer, ME 497R, or a paid position. We generally discourage the volunteering route as it is difficult to maintain with a busy undergraduate schedule. ME 497R is usually the ideal route for new researchers. Registering for ME 497R opens up time in your schedule for research, and the course fulfills a tech elective towards graduation. Registering for 3 credits requires at least 9 hours of work per week (2 credits for 6 hours is also possible). The course is graded, and you will be expected to produce an end-of-semester report. Completing a 497R in our lab usually leads to a paid position.

Those with more experience (either through other research labs, relevant internships, or coursework) may choose to apply directly to a paid position. Most paid positions require a minimum one-year commitment (we also commit to you). Our goal is to help each undergraduate student to contribute to impactful research publications. It takes a semester or two just to get up to speed, and so short-term research commitments are significantly less effective. This commitment is another reason why we recommend completing a 497R first. The 497R project does not require any long-term commitment and gives both you and us a chance to see if a longer term role is a good fit.

To get started, learn more about ongoing research projects and look through some of the relevant publications. When you have identified some areas of interest, contact the corresponding graduate student(s) to learn more about what they are doing, when lab meetings are, and what needs they might have. Almost all of our undergraduate hiring is driven by the graduate students and their needs, so you should go through them to find opportunities.

Once you have identified a potential research area or two (in collaboration with one of the graduate students), send me a 2-3 paragraph description of the proposed project and schedule an appointment to come visit (preferably with your graduate student mentor). If we decide that the project is a good fit for moving forward, you will then need to create a syllabus for the upcoming semester. Your syllabus should contain a week-to-week description of tasks, deliverables, and a reading/learning schedule. Readings should come from journal papers recommended by the graduate student and textbook/course resources listed below under Reading and Learning.

If you are interested in pursuing graduate work in our lab, having taken ME 412 and ME 415 will be valued. ME EN 312 is a prerequisite for both of those classes, which means you need to take 312 before your Senior year.

New Graduate Students

Your goal as a researcher is to make an impact for good in the world and improve the way we design wind and flight systems. The primary way to make an impact is through tackling challenging and important questions, performing high-quality insightful work, collaborating with industry and other researchers, and sharing findings broadly at conferences and in peer-reviewed journals.

In the following links are my notes on topics I ask all new researchers in our group to become familiar with. Write down your questions so that we can discuss them during our next meeting. Many of these topics will be relevant to undergraduates in our lab as well.

Open Source Codes

Other