AAMP-UP 2023 banner


Program Details

Looking to pursue a career in national security and defense? Interested in conducting research on energetic materials (propellants, explosives, and pyrotechnics)? The Purdue Energetics Research Center (PERC) invites you to apply to the AAMP-UP'23 summer undergraduate research program!

What is AAMP-UP?

The Advancing Army Modernization Priorities – Undergraduate Program (AAMP-UP) is a summer research program that provides an immersive, experiential environment for undergraduates to collaborate with energetic materials experts on projects that range in focus from synthesis to machine learning to additive manufacturing. Students also participate in seminars and other professional development events, as well as compose a literature review and final presentation/report on their project. 

AAMP-UP 2022 group photo in Discovery Park

Students in the program will have the opportunity to work on a project in one of the following research areas:

  • Characterization, synthesis, and behavior — Projects include creating and testing new and more stable energetic materials, comparing synthesis pathways, designing optimal sample preparation and testing procedures, and using mechanophores for energetic material applications.
  • Machine learning and computer modeling — Projects include in-situ diagnosis and correcting 3D printing with computer modeling, employing machine learning to predict energetic materials' properties, and using computer simulation to examine the effects of microstructure on explosives' performance.
  • Additive manufacturing  — Projects include embedding sensors into the additive manufacturing process, using the vibration assisted printing method to create energetic materials, and manipulating printing parameters to optimize propellants' mechanical properties.
  • Fuels and propellant materials — Projects include exploring new energetic binder systems to create novel fuels, studying particle distribution effects on detonation properties, and developing processes to improve and control propellant burn rates. 

The program runs May 15 through August 2, 2023 with May 15-19 as a virtual training week. AAMP-UP is a component of the Advancing Army Modernization Priorities – Energetic Materials (AAMP-EM) Cooperative Agreement between PERC and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL). This agreement aims to advance energetics research and technology in areas such as modeling and simulations, synthesis, machine learning, and additive manufacturing. 

Benefits & Activities

  • Biweekly stipend plus housing provided
  • Research performed under the guidance of graduate student & faculty mentoring teams
  • Professional development activities to refine interviewing, presentation, and technical writing skills (students will produce a literature review, scientific abstract, technical report, and scientific poster)
  • Networking and seminar events with high-profile individuals in the military, research, and defense industries
  • Field trips to relevant military locations within Indiana
  • An end-of-summer symposium to showcase research, network, and celebrate accomplishments

AAMP-UP 2022 symposium

Eligibility & Qualifications

  • Must be a U.S. citizen, national, or permanent resident of the United States
  • Must have completed at least one academic semester of full-time study at associate's or bachelor's degree level from an accredited college or university
  • Majors including, but not limited to, aeronautical and astronautical, aerospace, chemical, computer, electrical, materials, and mechanica engineering, as well as chemistry

​Facilities & Safety

Students in the AAMP-UP program conduct research in several of Purdue's world-class engineering research facilities, including FLEX Lab, Ray W. Herrick Laboratories, and Maurice J. Zucrow Laboratories.

AAMP-UP cultivates an intense culture of safety with PERC and Purdue's impeccable, field-leading safety protocols, which include initial safety training, regular safety reviews throughout the program, and required safety awareness surveys.

Application Portal

Applications will be accepted through the Purdue Engineering Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) application portal beginning January 9, 2023 and closing February 10, 2023. Be sure to select "AAMP-UP" as the program to which you are applying. All applicants should submit the following materials:

  • Resume and academic transcript

  • A 400-word essay describing career plans, interest in working for either the defense industry or the U.S. Department of Defense, and research areas of interest


Hear from some of the students who participated in AAMP-UP'21 & AAMP-UP'22:

Andy Ding headshot

"Throughout the summer, I worked with experts in various fields and learned a lot of useful and unique information through an enjoyable, hands-on approach. There always seems to be an interesting problem to tackle."
Andy Ding, Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, AAMP-UP'21

Marin Fisher headshot

"AAMP-UP exceeded my expectations. I was treated as an equal with the graduate students and appreciated that my research mattered. I also learned that graduate school is more than just a location; it is the advisors, coworkers, and culture that contribute to the experience."
Marin Fisher, Mechanical Engineering, Brigham Young University, AAMP-UP'21

John Iannamorelli headshot

"Being able to meet professionals and hear how our work will directly benefit society has been a really great part of the program and working with the ARL."
John Iannamorelli, Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, Purdue University, AAMP-UP'21

Wilbert Mays headshot

"I'm a Biochemistry major...and I now see I can do so much more than just being in a lab mixing chemicals. I can do propellants; I can take explosives apart. It just opens my eyes to the different things I can do that I didn't know was possible before."
Wilbert Mays, Biochemistry, Oakwood University, AAMP-UP'22

Holly O'Brien headshot

"AAMP-UP exceeded my expectations in many ways…My favorite aspect of AAMP-UP was the work itself and the connections I was able to build with different mentors, undergrads, and faculty members. Having a mentor who truly cared about my success made the work meaningful and allowed me to learn so much technical and professional knowledge."
Holly O'Brien, Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas - Austin, AAMP-UP'22

Janeria Perry headshot

"I was surprised by how much I learned about the world of energetics and the department of defense…I learned how important it is to remain tenacious and meticulous about the way you do things and how you carry yourself. I learned how each and every component of what engineers learn directly impacts the world we live in. I have so much more to learn, and this program really broadened my engineering perspective."
Janeria Perry, Chemical Engineering, Prairie View A&M University, AAMP-UP'22

Helpful Links

About/Contact Us

Specific questions? Please email aampup@purdue.edu.

To be added to the AAMP-UP listserv for newsletters and information, click here

AAMP-UP Team Members

Edward Berger headshot

Edward Berger
Inaugural Associate Vice Provost for Learning Innovation, Director of the Innovation Hub, Executive Director of Mechanical Engineering Education Research Center at Purdue, and Professor of Engineering Education and Mechanical Engineering

Stephen Beaudoin headshot Stephen Beaudoin
Director of Purdue Energetics Research Center and Professor of Chemical Engineering
Jeffrey Rhoads headshot Jeffrey Rhoads
Director of Herrick Labs and Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Gabriella Torres headshot Gabriella Torres
AAMP-EM Education and Workforce Development Engineer