Research Projects

This is a list of research projects that may have opportunities for undergraduate students. You can browse all the projects, or view only projects in the following categories:

Other

 

Analysis of Engineering Graduate Student Perceptions of the Necessary Knowledge, Skills, and Attributes for Career Success

Research categories:  Educational Research/Social Science, Other
School/Dept.: Engineering Education
Professor: Monica Cox
Preferred major(s): Engineering (any discipline), preferably, but not required
Desired experience:   Although no previous experience is required for this project, a student filling this role must be inquisitive, passionate about engineering and the ways in which engineers are trained, and highly disciplined and self-motivated with good time management skills. Basic computer skill competency is required (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, etc.).
Number of positions: 1

This research project seeks to further describe prior research on the significant knowledge, skills, and attributes that are required for engineering success as a Ph.D. in academic and industry careers. The scope of the research for the summer project will be interpreting survey results from current engineering Ph.D. students regarding their views on what skills will be necessary in their future desired career, and how well they feel they are prepared to perform those skills. This is important to the fields of engineering as a whole and Engineering Education as a discipline, because if Ph.D. students aren’t aware of the requirements of their future careers, and/or if they are not prepared to meet the expectations of their employers, then academic professional development strategies or engineering curriculum at the doctoral level needs to be reformed.

The undergraduate researcher’s contribution to this project will help a graduate student in Engineering Education collect and interpret data from this survey, as well as assist in creation of several deliverables. One such deliverable will be the creation of brief “industry report”-style pamphlets for outreach and education purposes. There is also potential for co-authorship on journal papers resulting from this research.

 

Engineering Leadership Research, Curriculum Development, and Assessment

Research categories:  Educational Research/Social Science, Other
School/Dept.: Engineering Education
Professor: Monica Cox
Preferred major(s): Engineering (any discipline)
Desired experience:   We welcome engineering students with expertise across a wide range of research area including engineering education areas and methods, curriculum design, and technology in education. Students who have had experience in cooperative group work and/or team-based project are encouraged to apply. Basic computer skill competency is required (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, etc.).
Number of positions: 2

This research project seeks to advance Engineering Leadership research and support creation of an innovative curriculum being developed in Engineering Leadership @ Purdue (ELP). The successful student will work on creation and validation of a tool assessing engineering student’s leadership abilities as well as analyze artifacts (e.g., electronic portfolio, social media platform, etc.) that highlight engineering students’ past and current leadership skills.
The successful student will work collaborative with graduate students in researching and developing engineering leadership content. This position is especially suited for someone with an applied research background and for students with a highly integrated, forward-thinking approach to teaching and research in engineering leadership.

 

Evaluation of Teaching Practices within Undergraduate Engineering Courses

Research categories:  Educational Research/Social Science, Other
School/Dept.: Engineering Education
Professor: Monica Cox
Preferred major(s): Engineering (any discipline)
Desired experience:   Strong written and verbal communication skills, Excel analysis
Number of positions: 1-2

The Global Real-time Assessment Tool for Teaching Enhancement (G-RATE) was developed in an effort to provide multidimensional direct observational feedback to engineering instructors about their instructional interactions in a classroom. This study is based on the “How People Learn” (HPL) framework (Bransford, Brown, and Cocking, 1999). The HPL framework identifies four dimensions which are essential elements of an effective learning environment (1) learner-centeredness, (2) knowledge-centeredness, (3) assessment-centeredness, and (4) community-centeredness. After observing an instructor’s interactions in a classroom, a report is compiled for the instructor to provide feedback about o their teaching. The reports will provide the instructor with a deep insight into his or her pedagogical practices that they could then use to improve their teaching. Through this tool, we hope to investigate:
1.Does G-RATE feedback affect the development of instructors’ (i.e., engineering faculty and GTAs) pedagogical (teaching) expertise?
2. What is the relationship between this feedback and undergraduate student outcomes (e.g., grades) within observed environments?

The student researcher will engage in G-RATE commercialization activities and research over the course of the summer along with maintenance and editing of the G-RATE manual.

 

Global Engineering Competency: Definitions, Development Paths, and Situational Assessment

Research categories:  Educational Research/Social Science, Other
School/Dept.: Engineering Education
Professor: Brent Jesiek
Preferred major(s): Any
Desired experience:   Engineering and non-engineering students encouraged to apply. Previous coursework and/or experience in relevant social science fields (e.g., education, psychology, sociology) preferred but not required.
Number of positions: 1

In a time of intensified globalization, engineering educators and employers face the formidable task of preparing engineers to be more effective in diverse national and cultural contexts. Responding to this challenge, our current research aims to: 1) generate a robust definition and developmental theory of global engineering competency, and 2) create a high quality situational judgment test (SJT) that can be used to assess multiple dimensions of global engineering competency. The undergraduate research assistant assigned to this project will contribute directly to this ambitious and exciting work, including by supporting analysis and reporting of quantitative and qualitative data collected through survey instrument pilots and expert interviews. The student selected for this position will also have ample opportunities to be mentored by and learn from both the lead faculty investigator and members of his large and vibrant research group, the Global Engineering Education Collaboratory (GEEC).

 

nanoHUB Research in Nanoscale Science and Engineering

Research categories:  Computational/Mathematical, Computer Engineering and Computer Science, Electronics, Material Science and Engineering, Nanotechnology, Other
Professor: NCN Faculty
Preferred major(s): Electrical, Computer, Materials, or Mechanical Engineering; Physics; Chemistry
Desired experience:   Programming skills in any language are a plus.
Number of positions: 12

Join the http://nanoHUB.org team and help build the growing set of resources being used in all Top 50 Colleges of Engineering (US News & World Report rankings) and over 240,000 annual users in 172 countries. nanoHUB provides over 260 simulation tools that users run from a web browser in a scientific computing cloud. The Network for Computational Nanotechnology (NCN) operates nanoHUB.

You will work with one of the nanoHUB investigators, including Professors Klimeck, Lundstrom, Alam, Datta, and Strachan and others.

You will learn the Rappture (www.rappture.org) toolkit that makes it quick and easy to develop powerful, interactive, web-based applications. You will work with nanotechnologists to put their applications and supporting information on http://nanoHUB.org. You will test new capabilities in nanoHUB cyberinfrastructure. And you will be part of a National Science Foundation-funded effort that is connecting theory, experiment and computation in a way that makes a difference for the future of nanotechnology and the future of scientific communities. Other undergraduate researchers before you have each been able to literally impact over a thousand nanoHUB users (for an example, see https://nanohub.org/resources/normdist); join their legacy and create something that will help your own skills and will help others.

More information: http://nanoHUB.org