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Research Projects

Projects for 2017 are posted below; new projects will continue to be posted through February. To learn more about the type of research conducted by undergraduates, view the 2016 Research Symposium Abstracts.

This is a list of research projects that may have opportunities for undergraduate students. Please note that it is not a complete list of every SURF project. Undergraduates will discover other projects when talking directly to Purdue faculty.

You can browse all the projects on the list, or view only projects in the following categories:

Industrial Engineering


Pilot performance considerations for sensor technologies

Research categories:  Industrial Engineering
School/Dept.: Industrial Engineering
Professor: Steven Landry
Preferred major(s): Industrial Engineering
Desired experience:   Statistics, including experiment design, experience would be very helpful. The ability to program flight simulator displays, which use XML, would also be very helpful.
Number of positions: 1

This project will investigate important human performance implications of displaying the output of new sensor technologies on the flight deck, with a primary focus on taxi, takeoff, and landing. The primary focus will be on light detection and ranging (LIDAR) and millimeter wave RADAR (MWR) technologies, but other multi-sensor IR and real-time imaging technologies will be considered. These technologies can be used for synthetic, enhanced vision, or combined vision systems, and can also be used for sensing and displaying meteorological phenomena such as winds, turbulence, and cloud cover. The effectiveness of displays of these technologies are expected to be impacted by information quality factors such as time lag, accuracy, and resolution, as well as aspects such as display location, symbology, and flight conditions. The work will consist of development of a simulator version of displays and a set of human factors studies on the issues mentioned above.


Purdue AirSense: Creating a State-of-the-Art Air Pollution Monitoring Network for Purdue

Research categories:  Agricultural, Aerospace Engineering, Bioscience/Biomedical, Chemical, Civil and Construction, Computational/Mathematical, Computer Engineering and Computer Science, Educational Research/Social Science, Electronics, Environmental Science, Industrial Engineering, Innovative Technology/Design, Life Science, Material Science and Engineering, Mechanical Systems, Nanotechnology, Physical Science
School/Dept.: Civil Engineering
Professor: Brandon Boor
Preferred major(s): Any engineering, science or human health major.
Desired experience:   Motivation to learn about, and solve, environmental, climate, and human health issues facing our planet. Past experience: working in the lab, analytical chemistry, programming (Matlab, Python, Java, LabVIEW, HTML), electronics/circuits, sensors.
Number of positions: 1-2

Air pollution is the largest environmental health risk in the world and responsible for 7 million deaths each year. Poor air quality is a serious issue in rapidly growing megacities and inside the homes of nearly 3 billion people that rely on solid fuels for cooking and heating. Join our team and help create a new, multidisciplinary air quality monitoring network for Purdue - Purdue AirSense. You will have the opportunity to work with state-of-the-art air quality instrumentation and emerging sensor technologies to monitor O3, CO, NOx, and tiny airborne particulate matter across the campus. We are creating a central site to track these pollutants in real-time on the roof-top of Hampton Hall, as well as a website to stream the data to the entire Purdue community for free. 4-5 students will be recruited to work as a team on this project, which is led by Profs. Brandon Boor (CE) & Greg Michalski (EAPS).


Wearable sensing for advancing human performance in surgery

Research categories:  Industrial Engineering, Other
School/Dept.: Industrial Engineering
Professor: Denny Yu
Preferred major(s): IE
Desired experience:   Strong ability to work in clinician-engineer teams is required. Proficiency in Matlab and statistics. Occasional travel may be needed.
Number of positions: 1-2

Research will be focused on developing and applying sensors and sensor analytics to better understand surgeon performance in the operating room and in simulation. Available projects included the following domains: robotic surgery, veterinary care, and/or trauma teams.