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Quotes from Past Participants

Impact of the experience

"SURF offered a brilliant summer for me to get involved in research that helped my professional development from every aspect. Earlier in 2013, I submitted a journal paper (which is now undergoing the second round of review) together with my SURF mentors and adviser which is based almost entirely on the work we did during SURF. I am so glad that SURF not only helped me shape my attitudes and interests toward research, but there were also some solid outcomes that benefit my research career."  Purdue Mechanical Engineering student now at MIT, MS/PhD program

"The Purdue SURF program was a very valuable experience that confirmed my decision of attending graduate school, provided me with crucial information about application to graduate schools, and gave me useful independent research skills that will be utilized as a graduate student."  Chemical Engineering student, Iowa State

"SURF taught me that research can be the most challenging, frustrating, and aggravating part of your life while simultaneously being extremely rewarding, exciting, and fun. I learned that passion for learning really is the driver of finding new knowledge, and that passion is honestly contagious. I feel lucky to have met my lab group, and they have pushed me to be a better researcher than I could have ever hoped to be."     Purdue Wildlife student

"The SURF program taught me to think critically and confidently in experimental and theoretical situations.  I gained a wealth of knowledge about my area of research and the lives of graduate students.  I developed professionally in sharing my project and ended the summer having made a wealth of friends and resources."   Purdue Chemical Engineering student

"When I entered the program, I wanted to know what it meant to research and whether that was a feasible path for me to pursue in the future. I also wanted to know how to go about applying for and getting into graduate school. I think the program really helped me answer a lot of the questions involved in those goals. The SURF program has given me the experience to know that I can pursue research. It’s given me access to a resume building experience which will make it easier for me to obtain other preparatory and lasting employment in the future. It’s enhanced my skillset and given me a whole new field of questions to pursue. Finally, it has led me to build relationships with my professor such that she wants me to stay on in the lab and continue to help as an undergraduate researcher."   Purdue Civil Engineering student

"The value of my SURF experience is that I have learned about the different grand challenges that engineers have to face in this day and age and in the years to come. I learned about how to apply for grad school and how to pick the schools to apply for grad school, which was very helpful. I am glad that they had that session to talk about the GRE so I can get a head start on it and start preparing for it."   Mechanical Engineering student, Tuskegee University

Advice for future SURF participants

"Throw yourself into the program. You’ve been given a fantastic opportunity. People are paying you to learn! Take advantage of it. Be excited, and be 100% present. This experience can truly be a catapult to throw you into an amazing future.”

"Set goals, set deadlines, and keep them! Meet with your mentors on the first day and write them down. Post them where everyone can see and ask you about them. Put a dollar in a jar for every day a deadline is missed and buy your labmates lunch with the dollars."

"Even if you go to Purdue and have friends in the SURF Program or on campus for the summer, branch out and meet new people."

"If you come from a small school do not be overwhelmed about the size of Purdue. Be social and make friends."