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:

 

3D Tissue Bioprinting

Research categories:  Bioscience/Biomedical
School/Dept.: BME
Professor: Sherry Harbin
Preferred major(s): Biomedical Engineering
Desired experience:   Cell culture, device design, general wet laboratory skills
Number of positions: 1

Our long-term goal is to advance 3D bioprinting as a modernized manufacturing method for creation of functional human tissues that are tailorable for individual patient needs and effectively integrate and adapt with the patient. 3D bioprinting represents an early-stage fabrication technology with significant potential to advance the design and construction of complex and scalable living tissues and organs, for both research and clinical applications. However, a number of persistent technical hurdles preclude this technology from reaching its full impact, including biomaterial selection, precision-controlled spatial distribution (i.e., gradients) of cells and materials, and vascularization. Collectively, our published and preliminary results show the utility and versatility of our multi-scale tissue design strategy and significance of replicating developmental cell-cell and cell-matrix signaling for guiding tissue morphogenesis and vascularization. We will now expand this work by testing our central hypothesis that specified cell population positioning and gradients in matrix mechanophysical properties, as fabricated using 3D bioprinting, represent critical tissue engineering design requirements for improved in-vitro tissue morphogenesis and in-vivo tissue regeneration. The student will join a multidisciplinary collaborative team of graduate students and faculty working on this project. The student will have the opportunity to learn 3D cell culture as well as methods for quantitative/qualitative tissue physiology and function analysis.

 

3D printing of propellants, energetic and piezoelectric materials

Research categories:  Innovative Technology/Design, Material Science and Engineering, Mechanical Systems
School/Dept.: Mechanical Engineering
Professor: Emre Gunduz
Preferred major(s): ME
Number of positions: 1

The research project involves 3D printing of primarily piezoelectric materials, propellants and other energetics into near-net shape parts using a commercial 3D printer. The student will work on the formulation and fabrication of the custom filament materials using an extruder as well the part design and printing. This project is a great opportunity to learn about the basic steps in 3D fused deposition printing using thermoplastic and UV curable polymers. The students can also contribute beyond the initial scope described here and try out their own ideas.

 

A Multi-Objective Optimization Approach for Generating Complex Networks

Research categories:  Computational/Mathematical, Computer Engineering and Computer Science, Industrial Engineering
School/Dept.: Industrial Engineering
Professor: Mario Ventresca
Preferred major(s): CS, CE, EE, IE, STATS, Math
Desired experience:   Basic coding skills (R -preferred, Matlab, etc.), basic courses in probability and statistics, proficiency in English speaking and writing, experience in algorithm design and analysis is highly desirable.
Number of positions: 1-2

Complex networks are often used to model a wide range of systems in nature and society from biological to social networks. One area of importance is the ability to model network formation, which has lead to the development of many different algorithms (network generators) capable of synthesizing networks with very specific structural characteristics (e.g., degree distribution, average path length). However, existing generators are not capable of synthesizing networks with strong resemblance to those observed in the real world. In our recent work we created a new class of network generators, called Action-based Network Generators that have shown the ability to produce complex structure of networks exhibiting different properties. This SURF project will involve rigorous testing of the action-based network generator. The student, together with a PhD student, will be involved in running simulation experiments on real world networks, generalizing the generator for different types of networks and trying different computational techniques to obtain the optimal generator. This will also involve analyzing the simulation data to interpret results and further improve the algorithms. Finally, the project also provides the student with an opportunity to publish work as paper.

 

A miniaturized condenser for collecting exhaled breath condensates

Research categories:  Bioscience/Biomedical, Electronics, Innovative Technology/Design, Mechanical Systems
School/Dept.: Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering
Professor: Jacqueline Linnes
Preferred major(s): electrical and computer engineering, mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering
Desired experience:   Helpful coursework: circuit analysis and design, control/feedback systems, Skills: Demonstrated ability to work independently and creative and resourceful thinking. Experience tinkering and rapid prototyping with microcontrollers is favored.
Number of positions: 1

We are utilizing low-cost rapid diagnostics to develop portable, non-invasive, glucose sensing and monitoring devices for diabetic patients. Currently, we are measuring glucose concentrations from exhaled breath condensates (EBC) which has historically required breathing into a device cooled by ice to condense moisture. Students on this project are expected to perform mentored independent research to develop an electrically cooled, portable, miniaturized condenser that can collect 10 µl of EBC within 30 seconds and selectively condenses only breath containing carbon dioxide/glucose while quantifying the total volume of air exhaled. You will gain hands on experience in instrumentation development, bioassays, and control systems.

 

Center for Materials Under Extreme Environment (CMUXE) - Undergraduate research opportunities

Research categories:  Bioscience/Biomedical, Computational/Mathematical, Material Science and Engineering, Nanotechnology, Physical Science
School/Dept.: Nuclear Engineering
Professor: Ahmed Hassanein
Desired experience:   Minimum GPA 3.5
Number of positions: 3-5

The Center for Materials Under Extreme Environment (CMUXE) is looking for undergraduate research students for the following areas:

1. Ion beams and plasma interaction with materials for various applications
2. Magnetic and Inertial Nuclear Fusion
3. Laser-produced plasma (LPP) and Discharge-produced plasma (DPP)
4. Nanostructuring of material by ion and laser beams
5. High energy density physics applications
6. Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS)
7. Plasma for biomedical applications
8. Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography
9. Computational physics for nuclear fusion, lithography, and other applications

Research of undergraduate students at CMUXE during previous SURF programs has resulted in students acquiring new knowledge in different areas and led to several joint publications, participation in national and international conferences, seminars, and provided experience in collaborative international research.

Several undergraduate and graduate students working in CMUXE have won national and international awards and have presented their work in several countries including Australia, China, Germany, Ireland, Japan, and Russia.

Position is open to undergraduates in all engineering and science disciplines. High level commitment and participation in group meetings are compulsory. Interested candidates are encouraged to visit the center website below for further information.

 

Characterization of Homemade Explosives

Research categories:  Chemical, Civil and Construction, Material Science and Engineering, Mechanical Systems, Nanotechnology, Physical Science
School/Dept.: ME
Professor: Steven Son
Preferred major(s): ME, AAE, MSE, or ChE
Desired experience:   Two or more years toward B.S. in engineering or science. US citizens are preferred because student will sometimes need to handle explosives.
Number of positions: 1

The SURF student will work with a team to explore characterization of homemade explosives using small scale experiments or explore “hot spot” formation in high explosives via acoustic stimulation. Microwave interferometry, schlieren imaging, or infrared imaging will be applied to these systems.

 

Combustion and Shock Synthesis of materials

Research categories:  Aerospace Engineering, Chemical, Material Science and Engineering, Mechanical Systems, Nanotechnology, Physical Science
School/Dept.: ME
Professor: Steven Son
Preferred major(s): ME, AAE, MSE, or ChE
Desired experience:   Two or more years toward B.S. in engineer or science degree.
Number of positions: 1

The SURF student will work with a team to understand how reactive synthesis materials can be modified to enable successful synthesis of materials (such as cubic boron nitride) by shock-assisted reaction. A gas gun will be used to perform experiments. Dynamic experiments will be used to examine the response of the materials and final materials will be characterized.

 

Contaminant transport in streams and rivers: streambeds, biofilms and water quality.

Research categories:  Agricultural, Computational/Mathematical, Environmental Science
School/Dept.: Civil Engineering
Professor: Antoine Aubeneau
Preferred major(s): Civil Eng (Env. or Hydro area), EEE, EAPS, ABE, Forestry and Nat. Res., College of Agriculture (in general)
Number of positions: 2

Streams transport the products of erosion and weathering, as well as anthropogenic materials collected from industrial, agricultural and urban environments. While waterways are efficient transport networks, they are also important biogeochemical filters . Streams are known to efficiently retain and transform organic and inorganic nutrients. Microbial biofilms at the sediment-water interface purify the flowing freshwater. Streams are complex heterogeneous systems characterized by a tight coupling between the physical and biological template they inundate. This project will shed light on how dissolved chemical species move through riverbed sediments and their associated biofilms, with a focus on the nitrogen cycle and nitrate pollutions. Eutrophication of freshwater caused by fertilizers is a major societal issue. High loads of plant food lead to periodic oxygen depletion in receiving water bodies, causing major ecological and economical disasters. This project will inform sustainable management of water resources by providing a physically based explanation for the transport of solutes. The SURF students will work in the laboratory and/or in the field and they will acquire the hands on skills needed to complete a research project.

More information: aubeneau.com

 

Continuous Analysis of Many CAMeras

Research categories:  Computer Engineering and Computer Science
School/Dept.: Electrical and Computer Engineering
Professor: Yung-Hsiang Lu
Preferred major(s): ECE, CS
Desired experience:   two programming courses
Number of positions: 3

Streaming data, especially video, requires heavy computation. Any system to analyze such data must be scalable and efficient with minimal latency. We are building a system that allows researchers to test their video analysis methods at unprecedented scale by running on thousands of cameras simultaneously and then displays their results. This system is operational since July 2014 and has more than 200 registered users.

More information: https://cam2.ecn.purdue.edu/

 

Control Algorithm Research and Development to support virtual prototyping of pumps and motors

Research categories:  Mechanical Systems, Other
School/Dept.: Department of Agricultural & Biological Engineering
Professor: Monika Ivantysynova
Preferred major(s): Mechanical Engineering
Desired experience:   Matlab, C programming, Controls
Number of positions: 1

The project presents an undergraduate engineering student with interest in controls, programming, or fluid power to expand their experience in modeling real engineering systems. This project is a crucial part of a much larger effort of modeling swashplate type axial piston positive displacement pumps and motors. The student will have a chance to apply engineering and programming skills in a real life model being considered the world's benchmark in axial piston pump modeling.

The model of the pump requires the pump to be loaded in a way to represent the system the pump is used as a supply for. The SURF project will optimize/improve the current PID controller found within the code to automatically search out the correct values of external loads in order to set the correct operating condition commanded by the model's user.

This research will include programming in c++, using GitHub to collaborate with the team of PhD researchers, using Matlab to organize simulations and post process results.
The prospective student should consider themselves adapt with computers and knowledge of programming and PID controllers. Any lack of these skills can easily be overcome with a healthy eagerness to learn.

 

Crystal Engineering of Organic Crystals

Research categories:  Chemical, Computational/Mathematical, Material Science and Engineering, Physical Science
School/Dept.: Industrial & Physical Pharmacy
Professor: Tonglei Li
Preferred major(s): chemistry, chemical engineering
Number of positions: 1

Crystallization of organic materials plays a central role in drug development. Mechanistic understanding of nucleation and crystal growth remains primitive and scantily developed despite decades of investigation. Of the same organic molecule, distinct crystal structures can be routinely formed. The intricacy of the so-called polymorphism largely originates from the rich and unpredictable supramolecular tessellations supported by intermolecular interactions. The subtleties in strength and directionality of the interactions are controlled by structural diversity and conformational flexibility of molecule. In fact, it is these molecular interactions that make organic crystal structures fascinating as it is unlikely to predict crystal structures of a given organic molecule a priori.

In this project, the student will learn how to grow drug crystals, characterize them, and connect the structural outcome with crystallization conditions. It is expected that the student will conduct both experimental and computational studies in order to understand formation mechanisms of drug crystals.

More information: http://xtal.ipph.purdue.edu

 

Cyber security for Internet of Things (IoT)

Research categories:  Computer Engineering and Computer Science
School/Dept.: Electrical and Computer Engineering
Professor: Saurabh Bagchi
Preferred major(s): ECE / CS
Desired experience:   C programming – it will be great if the student has done programming for microcontrollers, but that is not expected
Number of positions: 1

Embedded systems are those small computers on which modern life is built and they are now popularly referred to as fueling the Internet of Things (IoT). They control our cars, traffic lights, doors, locks, refrigerator; they enable the internet. Nearly everywhere you look there is an embedded system under the covers making our lives better. These systems face many of the same cyber threats as desktop computers and servers. They also face some specialized threats because of the wide geographical spread of these devices, ubiquitous connectivity, and unattended operation. Many techniques that have been proposed to improve the security of desktops and servers, such as, memory privileges, automated software diversity, stack canaries, etc. do not work well for embedded systems. Some of these techniques do not work because embedded systems often lack hardware to support them, such as, MMU, MPU, Write XOR Execute. Others have unacceptable impact on the non-functional constraints of embedded systems, such as: Memory, Processing power, Power, Cost, and Deterministic Performance.

We are developing techniques to make embedded systems more resilient to cyber-attacks, and protect the vital functions they perform. We are adapting existing techniques and developing new techniques that work within the hardware and non-functional constraints of embedded systems.
Students working on this project will have the opportunity to:
• Learn and apply the latest cyber-security defense techniques.
• Gain experience developing software for modern embedded systems.
• Work with and be closely mentored by a multi-disciplinary team of cyber-security, dependable systems, and embedded systems experts.

 

Design and Testing of a Novel Concept for Variable Flow Pumps

Research categories:  Agricultural, Aerospace Engineering, Material Science and Engineering, Mechanical Systems
School/Dept.: Ag & Bio Eng. / Mech. Eng.
Professor: Andrea Vacca
Preferred major(s): Mechanical, Ag and Bio, Aerospace, Material Engineering
Desired experience:   CAD modeling / fluid mechanics / fluid power / labview
Number of positions: 1

The present project is aimed at realizing a prototype of a novel concept of pumps. The novel concept consists in realizing a variable flow regulation using the principle of external gear machines. The novel concept guarantees higher energy efficiency of the overall hydraulic system.

The student's contribution within this project will be the design of an actual prototype of the new concept, suitable to operate at a level of delivery pressure up to 10 bar. On the basis of fluid-dynamic simulation results, the student will design all internal parts and follow the manufacturing process. In the final period of the project, it is expected an experimental activity aimed at verifying the expected pump performance on a research test rig utilizing existing facilities at the Maha Fluid Power Research Center of Purdue.

 

Development of Phase Transforming Cellular Materials (Design and 3D Printing)

Research categories:  Aerospace Engineering, Civil and Construction, Material Science and Engineering, Mechanical Systems, Nanotechnology, Physical Science, Other
School/Dept.: Lyles School of Civil Engineering
Professor: Pablo Zavattieri
Preferred major(s): Engineering (Aero, Civil, Mechanical)
Desired experience:   - Mechanics (mechanics of materials, strength of materials) - Background on CAD software, - Some programming experience would be desired
Number of positions: 1

Phase transforming cellular materials (PXCMs) are a new type of energy-absorbing material which can resist high impact loads without experiencing irreversible deformation. PXCMs exhibit the same level of energy dissipation as traditional cellular materials but are capable of returning to their original shape. This new type of material could be utilized in many applications: automobiles, protective gear, or buildings.
PXCMs consist of periodic unit cells. Each unit cell includes several sinusoidal beams and stiffened beams. A unit cell has multiple stable configurations and each stable configuration is associated with a unique stable material phase. Under an impact load, the progressive phase transformation of each unit cell in a PXCM results in energy dissipation.
PXCMs have exhibited excellent performance resisting loads in one direction. However, it is desirable to develop and test PXCMs that are capable of resisting loads from multiple (and even arbitrary) directions. The objective of this project is to fabricate and test new 3D PXCM models. Those models will be designed using computer-aided design (CAD) modeling software and fabricated using a 3D printer. Compression and tension tests will be conducted on testing machines to evaluate the performance of these 3D printed PXCMs. The test results will then be analyzed using scripts in any number of computer languages (e.g. MATLAB, Python, or C).

 

Development of Theranostic Drug Delivery Systems for Cancer Treatment

Research categories:  Bioscience/Biomedical, Chemical, Material Science and Engineering, Nanotechnology
School/Dept.: Industrial & Physical Pharmacy
Professor: Tonglei Li
Preferred major(s): chemistry, chemical engineering, biomedical engineering, biological engineering
Number of positions: 1

Drug delivery for cancer therapy is far from being satisfactory. A significant portion of potential drug compounds fail to enter the clinic because they cannot be formulated and delivered by existing approaches. Many clinically used formulations are poorly designed, bearing significant adverse effects and limiting treatment efficacy. Over the last few years, nanotechnology has been embraced for developing novel drug delivery systems to combat diseases such as cancer and infection. In our laboratory, we have been developing multicomponent nanocrystals to deliver cytotoxic agents along with bioimaging probes to treat and detect tumors. In this project, the delivery system will be fully tested in vitro and in vivo in order to understand the pharmacokinetic and biodistribution properties and to further improve the formulation design. In particular, the student will be learning and conducting cellular uptake experiment and help graduate students in their animal studies. It is expected that the student will gain a basic understanding of drug delivery for cancer and comprehend the current challenges in cancer therapy. The student will also learn the underlying design principles of our delivery system and, hopefully, provide meaningful suggestions for improvement.

 

Development of a new NanoHUB Tool: Coarse graining of Crystalline Nano-Cellulose.

Research categories:  Aerospace Engineering, Civil and Construction, Computational/Mathematical, Computer Engineering and Computer Science, Material Science and Engineering, Nanotechnology, Physical Science
School/Dept.: Lyles School of Civil Engineering
Professor: Pablo Zavattieri
Preferred major(s): Engineering (Materials, Mechanical, Civil, Aero, Industrial, etc. ), Physics or Chemistry
Desired experience:   Required: Some Programming (the student will learn how to program in NanoHUB), Desired: - Some basic Mechanics (e.g., strength of materials) - Modeling (atomistic, mechanics)
Number of positions: 1

The purpose of this project is to provide numerical tools for understanding the mechanical properties of Crystalline Nano-cellulose (CNC) at different length scale. Due to defects formation at mesoscale, mechanical properties of nano-materials could decrease dramatically and influence the overall performance of materials. Although there are sufficient and advanced numerical packages for modeling materials at nano-scale and macro-scale, having an efficient and reliable numerical method for meso-scale is still challenging. Here we develop a coarse graining modeling tools which provides insight for CNCs interaction, defects formation and mechanical properties at meso-scale. Students working in this project not only learn some important concepts in engineering, but also learn how develop a tool and work with advanced numerical packages.

 

Earth History Visualization

Research categories:  Computer Engineering and Computer Science, Physical Science
School/Dept.: EAPS
Professor: James Ogg
Preferred major(s): Computer Engineering, Computer Science or Earth-Atmos-Planetary Science
Desired experience:   The main special skill is ability to focus on developing and achieving goals. If software/web development, then Java, JavaScript and/or Python; or ability to rapidly learn these. If database development, then any introductory geology course, Excel, Adobe Illustrator and ability to locate published materials.
Number of positions: 2

This SURF team will focus on making our planet's history easily accessible to both public and scientific audiences. In particular, we are building on the past Purdue-developed "TimeScale Creator" visualization system for Earth history (http://www.tscreator.com/). This application creates charts of any portion of the geologic time scale with a choice of bio-, magneto-, chemo-, and other events in Earth history. This exciting set of projects has worked directly with international geologists, and our products are serving as THE global reference for authoritative information on our planet's fascinating and complex history. The experts provide the information, and we strive to make it easy to use by the global audience with various innovative methods.
All accomplishments are put onto the public websites and free downloads for use by a global audience of geologists, earth-science students and the general public.

 

Enabling Ultra-High Diesel Engine Efficiencies Through Flexible Valve Actuation

Research categories:  Mechanical Systems
School/Dept.: Mechanical Engineering
Professor: Greg Shaver
Preferred major(s): Mechanical Engineering
Desired experience:   Thermodynamics, measurement systems; if possible: IC engines, control systems
Number of positions: 1

The Purdue team is focused on improving the efficiency of diesel engines through flexibility in the valvetrain. As one example, cylinder deactivation allows increases in efficiency, and exhaust gas after treatment effectiveness, via reduction in airflow and pumping penalty when 2, 3, or 4 of 6 cylinder are deactivated (both fueling and cylinder valve motions are deactivated). The Purdue team utilizes both simulations and a unique multi-cylinder engine system to study this and other strategies. The project includes funding from, and interaction with, both Cummins and Eaton.

More information: http://www.gregmshaver.com

 

Evaluation of Phase Change Materials for Electronics Thermal Managment

Research categories:  Material Science and Engineering, Nanotechnology
School/Dept.: Mechanical Engineering
Professor: Amy Marconnet
Preferred major(s): Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Materials Engineering, or Electrical Engineering
Desired experience:   Familiarity with Matlab and labview is desired (not required). Ideally completed heat transfer and thermodynamics coursework.
Number of positions: 1

The goal of this project is to develop a thermal management solution based on phase change materials (PCMs) to be utilized within or in contact with semiconductor packages in order to store energy generated by the package. The SURF student(s) will develop an experimental test rig that mimics mobile devices and enables measurement of the transient temperature profiles. In conjunction with the experimental work, the student(s) will develop a compact thermal model to predict the performance.

 

Experimental Study of Breakage of Particles under Compression

Research categories:  Aerospace Engineering, Civil and Construction, Material Science and Engineering, Physical Science
School/Dept.: Aeronautics and Astronautics
Professor: Weinong Chen
Preferred major(s): Aeronautics and Astronautics, Materials Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering
Desired experience:   Any prior experience of using servo-hydraulic machines will be helpful but not required. Microscopy (optical and electron) experience will also be helpful.
Number of positions: 1

Particles in granular materials undergo compressive loading during their manufacturing, processing, handling, transportation, and use. Under large compressive load, some of the particles break. Common example of this phenomenon is breaking of sand particles in sand bags when bullets hit them. Aim of this project is to obtain the complete understanding of causes of particle fracture and also assess the effects of various parameters such as material properties on how particles fracture. To gain this understanding, we need to perform a number of particle compression experiments in which one or two particles will be compressed between two stiff platens at a constant speed. The compression experiments will be repeated for five different materials: soda lime glass, silica sand, polycrystalline silicon, yttria stabilized zirconia, and acrylic (PMMA). The selected student will perform these compression experiments using the servo-hydraulic loading machine. They will then analyze the compression data using MATLAB. They will also observe the fractured particles under optical or electron microscope. The compression data along with the microscopy images will provide us a valuable insight into why and how particles fracture.

 

Experimental testing and validation of P-band bistatic remote sensing of soil moisture

Research categories:  Agricultural, Aerospace Engineering, Electronics, Environmental Science, Physical Science
School/Dept.: AAE
Professor: James Garrison
Preferred major(s): Electrical engineering, physics, aerospace engineering
Desired experience:   Basic signal processing, linear systems. Experience in working with electronic equipment and computer programming. Some knowledge of statistics helpful.
Number of positions: 1

This activity is part of a larger research project, funded under the NASA Instrument Incubator Program, to develop and test a prototype for a new instrument for the remote sensing of sub-surface, or “root-zone” soil moisture. This is an important quantity to measure for our understanding of the water cycle and for practical applications in agricultural forecasting. The innovative technology in this instrument, is the use of “signals of opportunity” (SoOp’s), which are reflections of communication satellite transmissions. In contrast to active radar remote sensing, a SoOp instrument will be much smaller and lower power, as it does not need an transmitter. SoOp also allows measurements to be made in frequency bands that are not protected for scientific use, essentially making the entire microwave spectrum available for remote sensing.

In this particular application, we will use communication signals in P-band (230-270 MHz), which can penetrate the soil to several decimeters. For comparison, satellite instruments today operate in L-band which has a penetration depth of ~5 cm.

On this project, a SURF student would learn the fundamental physical models, apply them in simulations, to predict the sensitivity of the P-band reflectivity to soil moisture variation and instrument calibration. The student would also assist in assembling instrumentation for ground experimentation, processing the data and interpreting the results.

Students should have some experience with electronic equipment and computer programming, and know basic signal processing and linear systems. An interest in Earth and environmental sciences is desirable.

 

Exploring the feedbacks in coupled natural and human systems in response to extreme events using Urban Metabolism Framework

Research categories:  Agricultural, Civil and Construction, Computational/Mathematical, Environmental Science
School/Dept.: ABE/EEE
Professor: Shweta Singh; David Yu (CE)
Preferred major(s): Ag and Biological Engineering, Civil Engineering, Forestry and Natural Sciences, Environmental Engineering and Science
Desired experience:   Land Use Change, Basic Statistics, Food Systems
Number of positions: 2

This is a highly interdisciplinary project cutting across 3 departments and there will be 3 major professors advising the student (Prof Shweta Singh, Prof David Yu and Prof Brady Hardiman). The project will involve literature search, data collection and some mathematical modeling. The details of the project is as follows :

Natural and man-made catastrophes such as severe drought, flood, nuclear disasters, etc. have a severe impact on production of food and food system infrastructure. This may lead to shift in consumption patterns and procuring patterns (such as local farming, urban gardens, etc.) to develop resilience to these extreme events. The goal of this work is identify and quantify the extent of changes in urban metabolism (UM) in response to these events and consequent impact on natural systems; thus exploring the feedback in the coupled natural and human systems (CNHs) in response to extreme events. Specific research questions to be addressed in this SURF projects are:
1. How has urban metabolism changed in response to particular extreme events (drought, flood, tornadoes, infrastructure failures, etc.)? What are exemplary cases of such events and regions?
2. What are short-term and long-term consequences of social adaptations to such extreme events on urban metabolism? Do short-term adaptations lead to unforeseen vulnerabilities of CNHs to different extreme events in the long-run?
3. Did “land use” and local ecosystem change in response to change in Urban metabolism change? (Such as development of backyard farming, local waste to energy, waste generation and disposal)
Research Approach
The summer research will focus on data collection and analysis with respect to these questions. This is a collaborative project between Ag. & Biological Engineering, Civil Engineering, Political Science, Forestry and Natural Resources and Environmental & Ecological Engineering. The project is in collaboration with Professors Shweta Singh, David Yu and Brady Hardiman and the SURF student will be jointly advised by all three.
Data Collection: Student will be expected to collect data for respective urban metabolism variables identified relevant to specific extreme event and also data on land use change for the defined region where there was significant impact of extreme events on urban metabolism.
1. A life cycle approach will be used to study the impact of extreme events on change in UM variable. Professor Shweta Singh will advise the student on quantifying the dependence of the local consumption to production in “distant location”. This will then help relate the potential impact on local food consumption change to production change in other areas. This will be done using an Input-Output model or FAO data. Alternatively, the student will be expected to collect data on consumption pattern change in a local region based on extreme event time map. Specific commodity of consumption that are most effected by extreme events will be targeted.
2. Collect data related to how social systems adapt in response to extreme events and how such social adaptations alter urban metabolism in the long-run. Explore how such changes in urban metabolism affect the capacity of cities to cope with different kinds of disturbances. The data collected will be used to construct systems models to explore the resilience of urban CNHs to unforeseen disturbances.
3. Calculate nitrogen content of food products and waste cycled through urban metabolic processes. Determine origin and destination of this nitrogen content and compare to estimated baseline (‘natural’) ecosystem nitrogen pools and fluxes. Quantify potential land use change associated with extreme events which prompt changes in behavior and urban metabolism.


 

Hierarchical Microstructure Descriptions of Materials

Research categories:  Aerospace Engineering, Computational/Mathematical, Computer Engineering and Computer Science, Material Science and Engineering
School/Dept.: AAE
Professor: Michael Sangid
Preferred major(s): CS, AAE, ME, MSE, ECE, IE
Desired experience:   Computer programming - We ask that a student be willing to program in Matlab and Python. iOS application development would also be a plus.
Number of positions: 1

Within our research group, we often use many advanced characterization techniques to probe the unique structure of materials. For instance, we identify a region of interest on the material and conduct separate analyses to quantify grain structure, residual stresses, phases, defect content, and chemical gradients. These distinct datasets need to be aligned and placed on the same grid. Afterwards, we deform the material and quantify the evolution of the microstructure attributes. This provides large amounts of data that needs to be stored and recalled to extract materials science in physically meaningful ways. We are looking for a student interested in programming and creating general tools that help with data structure.

 

High-Strain-Rate Loading of Energetic Materials

Research categories:  Aerospace Engineering, Material Science and Engineering
School/Dept.: AAE
Professor: Weinong Chen
Preferred major(s): Aeronautics & Astronautics, Materials Engineering, Mechanical Engineering
Desired experience:   Student should be familiar with MATLAB. Previous lab experience, experience with energetic material, and/or experience with high strain rate loading would be useful, however it is not required.
Number of positions: 1

High energetic materials have a variety of uses from military-grade explosives to rocket propellant. Given the nature of these compounds, it is understandably important that the materials do not accidentally react. In order to design safety features to prevent this, one must first understand the conditions that cause the high energetic material to react. This project will focus on experimentally determining hotspot formation, crack formation in the high energetic crystals, and delamination of the polymer binder from the crystals using high-strain-rate loading, along with modifying experiments using previous data to determine better results.

In this project, the student will learn how to operate dynamic stress-strain testing equipment, such as the split-hopkinson pressure bar, how to quantify and analyze results, and gain general experience with lab operations. The SURF student will work with a Master's student in the Aeronautics & Astronautics department.

 

Hotspot imaging analysis for experimental cancer

Research categories:  Bioscience/Biomedical, Computational/Mathematical, Electronics, Life Science, Physical Science
School/Dept.: Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering
Professor: Young Kim
Preferred major(s): BME, ECE, ME, Physics
Desired experience:   Imaging analysis, hardware interfacing, optical bench work, optical imaging
Number of positions: 1

Our group has recently developed an optical microvascular imaging platform to predict tumor formation in skin cancer. The primary goal of this project is to examine cancer prevention effects of skin resurfacing on experimental skin cancer, by comparing microvascular imaging with aminolevulinic acid-induced fluorescence imaging in animal models. While fractional ablative lasers are extensively used for cosmetic/aesthetic purposes, we will utilize this light-based treatment modality to prevent against neoplastic formation, because stromal alterations during early carcinogenesis serve as fertile tissue environments for subsequent tumor development. In preliminary data in mice, focal areas of persistent inflammatory angiogenesis are highly reliable predictors of future tumor development. To accurately determine cancer prevention effects, we will combine the two imaging modalities in small animal settings and visualize alterations in the spatial extents of detailed microvascularity. During this research, students will be able to get familiarized with 1) biophotonics technologies, 2) imaging processing, 3) basic cancer biology. This study could have a translational commercial impact, as this non-invasive instrument could be used clinically to assess an individual's risk of future tumor formation and to provide an early assessment of the effectiveness of current and emerging therapeutic and preventive treatment strategies.

 

Hydrophobic Zeolites for Applications in Adsorption and Catalysis

Research categories:  Chemical
School/Dept.: Chemical Engineering
Professor: Rajamani Gounder
Preferred major(s): Chemical Engineering
Number of positions: 1

Zeolites are microporous materials whose internal pores and external properties can be functionalized to be hydrophobic. These materials open new opportunities for performing selective catalytic reactions in liquid water, and for selective separations of non-polar and organic molecules from polar and aqueous solvents. These are fundamental scientific issues that are relevant in the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to renewable chemicals and fuels, and for the conversion of natural and shale gas. This project will involve learning techniques to synthesize and functionalize hydrophobic zeolites and to characterize their hydrophobic properties.

 

In Situ Strain Mapping Experiments

Research categories:  Aerospace Engineering, Civil and Construction, Computational/Mathematical, Computer Engineering and Computer Science, Industrial Engineering, Material Science and Engineering, Mechanical Systems
School/Dept.: School of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Professor: Michael Sangid
Preferred major(s): AAE, MSE, or ME
Number of positions: 2

The research we do is building relationships between the material's microstructure and the subsequent performance of the material, in terms of fatigue, fracture, creep, delamination, corrosion, plasticity, etc. The majority of our group’s work has been on advanced alloys and composites. Both material systems have direct applications in Aerospace Engineering, as we work closely with these industries. We are looking for a motivated, hard-working student interested in research within the field of experimental mechanics of materials.

The in situ experiments include advanced materials testing, using state-of-the-art 3d strain mapping. We deposit self-assembled sub-micron particles on the material’s surface and track their displacement as we deform the specimen. Coupled with characterization of the materials microstructure, we can obtain strain localization as a precursor to failure. Specific projects look at increasing the structural integrity of additive manufactured materials and increasing fidelity of lifing analysis to introduce new light weight materials into applications.

 

Inkjet Printing of Energetic Material in a MEMs Device

Research categories:  Chemical, Material Science and Engineering, Mechanical Systems, Nanotechnology, Physical Science
School/Dept.: ME
Professor: Steven Son
Preferred major(s): ME, AAE, MSE, or ChE
Desired experience:   Two or more years towards a B.S. in engineering or science.
Number of positions: 1

The SURF student will work with a multidisciplinary team to explore printing energetic materials that will be integrated in a MEMs device. Thermite or explosive materials will be printed. High speed imaging, IR imaging, microscopy etc. will be used to characterize the deposition and performance.

 

Laser Diagnostics Applied to Reacting Fluid Flows for Propulsion Devices

Research categories:  Aerospace Engineering, Chemical, Mechanical Systems, Physical Science
School/Dept.: Mechanical Engineering
Professor: Terrence Meyer
Preferred major(s): Mechanical, Aerospace, or Chemical Engineering; Physics; Chemistry
Desired experience:   Physics, chemistry, and mathematics courses
Number of positions: 1

Propulsion, transportation, and energy systems rely on the turbulent mixing and efficient chemical reaction of fuels and oxidizers. Such reactions can take place in the liquid, gas, or solid phases and are investigated using sophisticated imaging and spectroscopic techniques. The undergraduate research assistant will work with graduate students and research faculty to assemble and operate flow hardware, align and test optical diagnostic instrumentation, and help collect and analyze data acquired using such techniques. The flows are designed to simulate conditions that are present in a variety of practical devices. The student will gain valuable hands-on experience and theoretical background that will be of use in a variety of fields related to mechanical, aerospace, and chemical engineering, as well as gain insight into potential areas of research for graduate study.

 

Laser direct deposition of advanced materials

Research categories:  Material Science and Engineering, Mechanical Systems
School/Dept.: Mechanical Engineering
Professor: Yung Shin
Preferred major(s): mechanical, materials
Desired experience:   Must have completed the sophomore.
Number of positions: 1

Laser direct deposition is an emerging technology, which allows for direct synthesis of alloys while forming 3D shapes. This research involves the study of the mechanical properties of the laser direct deposited materials. The student is expected to assist the graduate students in the processing and carry out some mechanical characterization.

 

Measurement of greenhouse gas emissions from maize canopies

Research categories:  Agricultural, Environmental Science, Physical Science
School/Dept.: Agronomy
Professor: Richard Grant
Preferred major(s): applied meteorology, meteorology, chemistry
Desired experience:   Willingness to work day or night
Number of positions: 1

Measure CO2 and N2O emissions from several maize fields at West Lafayette, IN using state-of-the-art instrumentation. This project is in collaboration with crop systems scientists and soil chemistry scientists.

The student will be involved in the measurement and analysis of CO2 and N2O measurements and their coupling with wind measurements to determine gas emissions. These emissions will then be related to the weather and soil conditions to determine the driving variables in emissions.

 

Metal-exchanged Zeolites for NOx Pollution Abatement Catalysis

Research categories:  Chemical, Environmental Science
School/Dept.: Chemical Engineering
Professor: Rajamani Gounder
Preferred major(s): Chemical Engineering
Number of positions: 1

Copper- and iron-exchanged zeolite catalysts are used commercially for the abatement of nitrogen oxide pollutants in lean-burn diesel engine exhaust. The structure and density of metal ion active sites in zeolites depends on the distribution of framework aluminum atoms that serve as anchoring points for the active metal species. This research project will involve investigating methods to synthesize and control the arrangement of framework aluminum atoms in zeolites, and to characterize the aluminum distribution using metal ion-exchange techniques. These findings will be used to tailor the structure and reactivity of catalysts used for environmental protection and pollution abatement strategies in diesel vehicles.

 

Microbes in the Air: Dynamics of Airborne Bacteria, Fungi & Pollen in a Living Laboratory

Research categories:  Agricultural, Bioscience/Biomedical, Chemical, Civil and Construction, Environmental Science, Life Science, Mechanical Systems, Nanotechnology, Physical Science
School/Dept.: Civil Engineering
Professor: Brandon Boor
Preferred major(s): I am recruiting students from all engineering and science majors
Desired experience:   Some experience with MATLAB and programming is preferred.
Number of positions: 1

Our homes and offices are home to trillions of microorganisms, including diverse communities of bacteria and fungi. My research group explores the dynamics of airborne microorganisms, or bioaerosols, in buildings. These are incredibly small airborne particles, less than 10 micrometers in size - one-tenth the thickness of your hair! Bioaerosols can be released from our bodies, stirred-up from house dust, and can flow into buildings from the outside via ventilation. By developing a deeper understanding of the emissions, transport, and control of bioaerosols, we can work towards buildings that promote healthy microbial communities.

In this project, you will use our state-of-the-art research facilities to measure, in real-time, concentrations of bioaerosols in a living laboratory (occupied office) at Herrick Laboratories in Discovery Park. You will learn how to develop an experimental plan, conduct air quality measurements, and analyze bioaerosol data. Most importantly, the data you collect will help us learn how people, and the buildings in which we live, influence the behavior of these tiny airborne particles. The project is very well-suited for anyone interested in microbiology, air quality, human health, HVAC systems, or atmospheric science.

More information: http://www.brandonboor.com/

 

Micromachining of plastics

Research categories:  Mechanical Systems
School/Dept.: Mechanical Engineering
Professor: Yung Shin
Preferred major(s): mechanical, materials
Desired experience:   Laser safety training. Must be in junior or senior standing in the fall semester of 2016.
Number of positions: 1

Micro channels are required for various polymers and plastics used in many engineering applications such as micro fluidic device, electronic components and others. This project will involve the studying the micromachining of those materials by a CO2 laser. The student is expected to independently carry out the experimental design, experiments and post characterization to investigate the effects of process parameters on the quality and speed of micro channels for various materials. Must finish the laser safety training before the SURF program.

 

Modeling and Control of Aircraft Fuel Thermal Management Systems

Research categories:  Aerospace Engineering, Computational/Mathematical, Mechanical Systems
School/Dept.: Mechanical Engineering
Professor: Neera Jain
Preferred major(s): Mechanical or Aerospace Engineering
Desired experience:   Desired coursework: thermodynamics, dynamics, control systems. Desired skills: exceptional coding skills. This project may contain aspects that are restricted to U.S. Citizens.
Number of positions: 1

The thermal and power demands on energy systems across a range of applications and industries are facing unprecedented growth. These systems are increasingly required to operate near the edges of their operating envelopes. As a specific example, tactical aircraft must dissipate waste heat to protect flight critical systems. However, each subsequent generation of aircraft faces increasing thermal challenges with decreasing availability of heat sinks – namely onboard fuel and ambient air – and increasing mission loads. This is especially apparent in tactical aircraft with shrinking component footprint requirements and dynamic, strenuous mission profiles. Better energy resource allocation across the aircraft and over the mission is crucial for expanding aircraft capability. Therefore, we require systematic design of energy resource management algorithms that maximize system capability via tight integration among mixed energy domain subsystems.

In this project, you will augment an existing model of a notional fuel thermal management system (FTMS) to include additional aircraft subsystems that are tightly coupled with the performance of the FTMS. You will also use optimization software to optimize the performance of the aircraft over various mission profiles.

 

Modeling and Control of a PEM Fuel Cell Micro-CHP System

Research categories:  Aerospace Engineering, Computational/Mathematical, Mechanical Systems
School/Dept.: Mechanical Engineering
Professor: Neera Jain
Preferred major(s): Mechanical or Aerospace Engineering
Desired experience:   Desired coursework: Thermodynamics, Dynamics, Control Systems, Mechatronics Desired skills: proficiency with MATLAB and LabVIEW software; experience with experimental hardware, specifically data acquisition; experience coding in Modelica
Number of positions: 1

There is a growing interest in distributed energy resources (DERs) in the United States and around the world. Blackouts continue to cause major disruptions in the U.S., but a more distributed energy generation landscape can offer more robustness to these types of failures. From an efficiency standpoint, transmission losses can be minimized by generating and consuming electricity at the same location through an increase in the use of DERs. Finally, since many DERs are themselves renewable (e.g. rooftop photovoltaic solar panel installations), distributed energy generation has the potential to decrease reliance on fossil fuels.

A DER of particular interest is micro-CHP (Combined Heat and Power), also called micro cogeneration. CHP is the use of a prime mover (such as a gas turbine engine) to simultaneously generate electricity and recover useful thermal energy that would otherwise be wasted in the production of electricity, thereby resulting in systems with significantly higher efficiencies than traditional power plants. While CHP has been traditionally used in the industrial and large-scale commercial sectors, micro-CHP systems typically produce up to 50kW of electricity and are primarily aimed at the residential and small building market to meet electricity and hot water and/or space heating needs. From an economic perspective, these systems are particularly advantageous in locations where electricity prices are much higher than natural gas prices, and/or where robustness to grid failures is particularly important (e.g. in a hospital). Common prime movers for micro-CHP include combustion engines, Stirling engines, and fuel cells. Among these, PEMFC (proton-exchange membrane fuel cell) micro-CHP systems have a strong potential for high electrical efficiency, low emissions, and rapid transient response to load variability.

In our research group, we are interested in determining the optimal way to control these systems, particularly through the use of integrated thermal storage. In this project you will work with a graduate student to derive a dynamic model our experimental PEMFC micro-CHP system and collect experimental data to validate the model. Depending on your experience level and interest, the project may include control design (in simulation) for the purpose of optimizing the use of the thermal storage integrated with the PEMFC micro-CHP system.

 

Nano-Piezotronics for Smarter Electronics

Research categories:  Bioscience/Biomedical, Chemical, Electronics, Industrial Engineering, Material Science and Engineering, Mechanical Systems, Nanotechnology, Physical Science
School/Dept.: Industrial Engineering
Professor: Wenzhuo Wu
Preferred major(s): Mechanical, Electrical, Materials, Biomedical, Industrial Engineering
Number of positions: 1

The seamless and adaptive interactions between electronics and their environment (e.g. the human body) are crucial for advancing emerging technologies e.g. wearable devices, implantable sensors, and novel surgical tools. Non-electrical stimuli, e.g. mechanical agitations, are ubiquitous and abundant in these applications for interacting with the electronics. Current scheme of operation not only requires complex integration of heterogeneous components, but also lacks direct interfacing between electronics and mechanical actuations.

Piezotronics is an emerging field in nanomaterials research and offers novel means of manipulating electronic processes via dynamically tunable strain. In this research, the SURF students will develop flexible and transparent piezotronic nanowires transistors for active and adaptive bio-electronics sensing and interfacing. The device is capable of self-powered active sensing by converting mechanical stimulations into electrical controlling signals without applied bias, which emulates the physiological operations of mechanoreceptors in biological entities, e.g. hair cells in the cochlea.

This project is scientifically novel with transformative impact because it not only dramatically advances fundamental understanding of the emerging research in piezotronics, but also enables new opportunities in designing “smarter” electronics that are capable of interacting with the environment seamlessly and adaptively, which is not available in existing technologies, for societally pervasive applications in intelligent wearable devices, surgical tools and bio-probes. The SURF student will work with two PhD students on the nanomaterials synthesis, nanodevices fabrication and measurement. For more information, please visit our lab, the Nanosystems and Nanomanufacturing Lab or feel free to contact me. Contact information appears in the website.

 

Nanostructured Nitrides and Oxides for High Temperature Thermoelectric Power Generation

Research categories:  Material Science and Engineering, Nanotechnology, Physical Science
School/Dept.: Lyles School of Civil Engineering
Professor: Luna Lu
Preferred major(s): Materials science, chemical engineering, physics, electrical engineering etc
Desired experience:   Curiosity, good work ethics, passion about research are far more important than any course work or training in the past.
Number of positions: 1

Thermoelectric (TE) materials have the ability to directly convert heat into electricity due to Seebeck effect. However, the potential impact of TE materials is hindered by the heavy use of toxic, rare, and expensive (e.g. Te and Se) elements. Nanostructured oxides and nitrides, in particularly zinc oxide (ZnO) and gallium nitride (GaN), are promising cost effective TE materials to overcome this challenge, due to their favorable TE properties and earth abundance. To further advance this opportunity, this project investigates a novel mechanism for nanostructuring bulk Nitrides and Oxides with multiple length-scale structures to improve their thermoelectric (TE) properties for power generation. A total of 60% of energy produced in the United States is wasted as heat, which could be directly converted into 3.6 MWh of electricity using cost-effective thermoelectric (TE) materials. Successful completion of this program will enable high temperature TE power generation to recover this wasted energy. More broadly, the science generated from this project will significantly advance the research associated with processing nanostructured bulk materials with decoupled electrical and thermal properties. The fundamental knowledge gained from this program is critical to the development of next-generation electronic devices, such as thermoelectric, photovoltaic, high power electronics, and laser devices, since tunable thermal and electrical properties are of vital importance for further advancement of these technologies.

 

NeuroPhotonics: High speed calcium imaging of dendritic spine in behaving mouse brain

Research categories:  Bioscience/Biomedical, Computer Engineering and Computer Science, Electronics, Innovative Technology/Design, Life Science, Physical Science
School/Dept.: ECE
Professor: Meng Cui
Preferred major(s): ECE, Physics
Desired experience:   Labview and FPGA programing
Number of positions: 1

There is a ongoing project in our lab to develop an ultrahigh speed imaging system to perform large scale high resolution imaging of dendritic spines of neurons in behaving mouse brain. This development is crucial to push the envelope of neuroscience research.

Students with engineering or physics background are needed. In particular, skills in labview and FPGA programing will be very helpful to this project.

 

Oil-in-water Emulsion Flows through Confined Channels

Research categories:  Chemical, Computational/Mathematical, Physical Science
School/Dept.: Mechanical Engineering
Professor: Arezoo Ardekani
Preferred major(s): Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Physics
Desired experience:   Fluid dynamics, Programming experience
Number of positions: 1

The main goal of this project is to characterize transport of monodisperse and poly-disperse oil-in-water emulsions through confined channels by utilizing LAMMPS as well as experiments. A mesoscopic method called dissipative particle dynamics (DPD) will be used to capture the interaction of the droplets with hydrophilic and hydrophobic boundaries of the channel. We will quantify the transport properties of the emulsion for different scenarios, by varying the droplet size, surface properties of the channel, and addition of surfactants. Surfactant molecules are amphiphilic molecules, containing a hydrophobic tail and a hydrophilic head.

 

Opioid monitoring and anti-overdose drug delivery device

Research categories:  Bioscience/Biomedical, Electronics, Innovative Technology/Design, Mechanical Systems
School/Dept.: BME
Professor: Hugh Lee
Preferred major(s): BME/ECE
Desired experience:   Circuit design, CAD, machining
Number of positions: 1

Prescription-drug addiction is a nationwide epidemic that requires better understanding of drug usage to prevent opioid-related mortality due to accidental overdose. The selected student will work independently or with a graduate student to create a wearable and implantable device to continuously monitor levels of opioid metabolites in the body and to mitigate overdose related fatalities with a drug delivery vehicle.

More information: engineering.purdue.edu/LIMR

 

Optoelectronic Characterization of Thin Film Semiconductors for Photovoltaics

Research categories:  Chemical
School/Dept.: School of Chemical Engineering
Professor: Rakesh Agrawal
Preferred major(s): Electrical Engineering
Desired experience:   Labview programming skills, both laboratory and data analysis is required.
Number of positions: 1

Thin film photovoltaics such as Cu2ZnSnSe4 and Cu(In,Ga)Se2 is an active area of research as they show great promise for use as large scale solar cell materials. In order to understand the limitations of these materials, a variety of optical and electronic characterizations are used to probe working solar cells as well as the solar absorber properties. This project will focus on several optoelectronic techniques including current-voltage response, capacitance measurements, external quantum efficiency, and time-resolved photoluminescence. In addition to performing the core measurements, the student will learn analysis techniques used throughout the semiconductor industry. These results will guide the groups' researchers in creating more ideal materials and solar cells.

 

PAH Analysis in Sediments from Pleasant Run Creek within a reach adjacent to a Former Manufactured Gas Plant

Research categories:  Environmental Science
School/Dept.: Civil Engineering; Environmental and Ecological Engineering
Professor: Chad Jafvert
Preferred major(s): EEE
Desired experience:   Completion of CE/EEE 350.
Number of positions: 1

The purpose of the overall project is to characterize the extent of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) contamination in the sediments of Pleasant Run Creek within a stream reach adjacent to a former Manufactured Gas Plant (MGP) site in Indianapolis. Sediment cores will be removed from the stream and subsamples (with depth) will be returned to the lab for PAH analysis by GC-MS (gas chromatography-mass spectrometry) methods. The SURF student will be involved in processing the samples and in quantifying PAHs within the sediments. This effort is conducted in partnership with an environmental engineering consulting company, and the outcomes will be used by the company to evaluate remediation design options.

 

Polymeric Microparticles for Treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Research categories:  Bioscience/Biomedical, Chemical, Life Science, Material Science and Engineering, Nanotechnology
School/Dept.: Science - Chemistry; Engineering - BME
Professor: David H Thompson
Preferred major(s): biomedical engineering, chemistry, biological sciences
Number of positions: 2

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a class of disorders affecting an estimated 1.3 million Americans including at least 50,000 children. While current therapies for IBD are effective, they are often expensive, challenging to dose, and come with severe potential side effects. The aim of this project is to develop polymeric microparticles to carry drugs in a targeted and sustained fashion to diseased intestines of patients with IBD. Students working on this project will learn the fundamentals of fabricating polymeric particles of a target size, morphology, and drug loading. In addition to learning how to measure drug release rates, students will learn cell culture techniques and use those skills to perform cellular responses to the drug-loaded microparticles. Students with an interest in biomaterials, drug delivery, biomedical engineering, medicine or chemistry should apply. Those with prior research experience are preferred, but first time researchers are also encouraged to apply.

More information: www.chem.purdue.edu/thompson

 

Simulation of Hydrostatic Pumps for High Pressure Applications

Research categories:  Aerospace Engineering, Computational/Mathematical, Computer Engineering and Computer Science, Mechanical Systems
School/Dept.: Ag & Bio Eng. / Mech. Eng.
Professor: Andrea Vacca
Preferred major(s): AA / ECE / ME / ABE
Desired experience:   programming expertise; knowledge of Phyton
Number of positions: 1

Within this project, an advance simulation tool for high pressure pumps, based on the external gear design principle will be created.
The numerical model will focus on the study of the flow dynamics aspects related to the displacing action realized by the unit. The model will take advantage of already existing tools for the generation of the necessary input data related to the geometry.
The simulation will be based on simplified CFD approaches related to the modeling of the flow, considering also aspects related to fluid cavitation.
The model will be implemented in Python.
The activity will also include a validation of the simulation model, based on experimental data available for both standard and novel designs of external gear pumps.

 

Soft Sensors for State Estimation of Robotic Manipulators

Research categories:  Electronics, Material Science and Engineering, Mechanical Systems
School/Dept.: Mechanical Engineering
Professor: Rebecca Kramer
Preferred major(s): ME, EE, MSE
Number of positions: 1

Soft robotics is a research field focused on developing non-traditional robotic systems using materials that are flexible and stretchable. In contrast, many traditional robots are composed of rigid linkages that are controlled to move discrete distances and angles. Because of the of the flexible materials comprising soft robots, they are capable of creating and/or surviving deformations that are many times larger than those found in rigid systems. As a result, the actuation, sensing and control needs differ greatly for soft robotic systems when compared to the traditional robotic systems.

For this project, a 1 degree-of-freedom pneumatic arm will be instrumented with a network of strain gauges. The arm will be actuated using pneumatics. State estimation and thus, control, of the arm will be accomplished by instrumenting the surface of the arm with a network of sensors composed of highly stretchable elastomer strain gauges. This project will require the design, manufacture and integration of sensors onto the pneumatic arm. The effect of different types and magnitudes of loading on the sensor output will be studied and used to iterate the design of the sensor network.

 

Stimuli responsive fluidics controls on a paper-based bacterial detection platform

Research categories:  Bioscience/Biomedical, Chemical, Innovative Technology/Design, Material Science and Engineering, Mechanical Systems
School/Dept.: Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering
Professor: Jacqueline Linnes
Preferred major(s): chemical, biomedical, materials, or mechanical engineering
Desired experience:   Helpful coursework: polymers, thermodynamics, organic chemistry Skills: Demonstrated ability to work independently and creative and resourceful thinking. Experience tinkering and rapid prototyping is favored.
Number of positions: 1

The Linnes Lab aims to develop a rapid, paper-based point-of-care diagnostics to enable timely and appropriate treatment of infectious diseases ranging from cholera to sepsis. To automate the multistep detection assays on these tests, we are integrating stimuli responsive polymers (e.g. wax) to control the flow of sample and assay reagents. We seek a motivated student to optimize the composition and high-throughput deposition of candidate polymers. You will gain technical experience in fluidics and bioassays through this cross-institutional project with collaborators in the mechanical engineering department and clinical partners in Eldoret, Kenya.

 

Stretchable Electronics Enabled by Nanomaterials

Research categories:  Bioscience/Biomedical, Electronics, Material Science and Engineering, Mechanical Systems, Nanotechnology
School/Dept.: Biomedical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering
Professor: Chi Hwan Lee
Preferred major(s): Biomedical, Mechanical, Electrical, Materials Engineering
Desired experience:   It would be great if you have cleanroom experiences or other device fabrications, but they are not required.
Number of positions: 2

In this research, we are exploring novel nanomaterials as a building block for stretchable electronics for application of skin-like wearable biomedical devices. The scope of project spans on synthesis, manipulation and large-scale integrations of the nanomaterials into fully functional devices, and their device applications. Two graduate students in the lab will assist throughout. For more information, please visit our lab, Soft BioNanoTronics Lab or feel free to contact me. Contact information appears in the website.

 

Tracking down performance bugs in Android Wear

Research categories:  Computer Engineering and Computer Science
School/Dept.: ECE
Professor: Felix Lin
Preferred major(s): Computer Engineering/Science
Desired experience:   Passion to hack and to build software.
Number of positions: 1

The undergraduate will deal with system software of some cutting-edge wearable devices.

A newcomer to the mobile ecosystem, wearable is expected to deliver low UI latency with high efficiency. However, our pilot study of Android Wear shows that responsiveness and efficiency suffer from excessive CPU idle episodes that prevail in short user interactions; these idle episodes are rooted in a variety of improper/dated app and OS designs.

We plan to thoroughly characterize the performance issues and implement solutions.

More information: http://xsel.rocks

 

Turbulence characterization in the bottom boundary layer of Lake Michigan

Research categories:  Civil and Construction, Environmental Science, Physical Science, Other
School/Dept.: School of Civil Engineering
Professor: Cary Troy
Preferred major(s): Civil or mechanical engineering
Desired experience:   Student must be proficient in use of Matlab, and should have taken a first course in fluid mechanics or hydraulics. Experience with water (lakes, rivers, oceans) is also helpful, as are courses in basic statistics.
Number of positions: 1

This project aims to characterize near-bottom turbulence in the deep waters of Lake Michigan, for the purpose of better understanding the impact of invasive mussels in the lake. Turbulence remains one of the most challenging topics in fluid mechanics, particularly in the deeper waters of large lakes. The student researcher will analyze a set of velocity, temperature, and fluorescence data collected in Lake Michigan for the purpose of estimating turbulence quantities, including turbulent kinetic energy, shear velocity, Reynolds Stress, and turbulent kinetic energy dissipation. The student will work closely with graduate student researchers and the summer project may involve additional field work.

 

Ultra-Flexible Triboelectric Nanogenerators for Self-Powered Wearable Sensors

Research categories:  Bioscience/Biomedical, Chemical, Electronics, Industrial Engineering, Material Science and Engineering, Mechanical Systems, Nanotechnology, Physical Science
School/Dept.: Industrial Engineering
Professor: Wenzhuo Wu
Preferred major(s): Biomedical, Mechanical, Electrical, Materials, Industrial Engineering
Number of positions: 1

Triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) has emerged as a promising technology for efficiently harvesting mechanical energy due to high conversion efficiency, low fabrication cost, and broad choice of materials. TENGs utilize contact electrification to generate surface charges and convert mechanical energy into electricity from contact and separation between triboelectric layers. Apart from material selection and device structure, one crucial factor affecting the performance of contact electrification process is materials properties and topography of triboelectric contact surfaces. In this project, we will manufacture large scale TENG with modifiable properties at high production rate. These flexible TENGs will be used to harvest mechanical energy from human body, e.g. muscle stretching/motion, and from ambient environment, e.g. wind, raindrops. The converted electricity can be utilized to power small electronic devices, e.g. sensors and processers. The TENGs can also function as self-powered wearable sensors to quantitatively track human motion and monitor posture. The student will work with our PhD students on the nanomaterials synthesis, nanodevices fabrication and measurement.

For more information, please visit our lab, the Nanosystems and Nanomanufacturing Lab or feel free to contact me. Contact information appears in the website.

 

Ultrasounded guided nanobubbles

Research categories:  Bioscience/Biomedical, Nanotechnology
School/Dept.: ABE
Professor: Joseph Irudayaraj
Preferred major(s): Biological/Biomedical/Chemical Engineering, Biochemistry
Desired experience:   Exposure to biology, some research experience, very high motivation
Number of positions: 1

The purpose of the project is to influence current drug delivery methods and techniques, which allows a step forward to precise drug delivery and more effective therapies. The specific drug delivery system that the lab will be working with is cellulosic polymer nanobubbles. These nanobubbles can be guided using ultrasound to precisely deliver cargo to the desired location inside the tumor. Tests will be conducted to analyze the effectiveness of the delivery of the anticancer drug to tumor infested organs of mice.

 

VACCINE-Visual Analytics for Command, Control, and Interoperability Environments

Research categories:  Computational/Mathematical, Computer Engineering and Computer Science, Innovative Technology/Design
School/Dept.: ECE
Professor: David Ebert
Preferred major(s): Computer Engineering, Computer Science, other Engineering majors with programming experience
Desired experience:   Programming experience in C++, others as described below
Number of positions: 5

We are currently searching for students with strong programming and math backgrounds to work on a variety of projects at the Visual Analytics branch (VACCINE) of the Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence in Command, Control and Interoperability. Students will each be assigned individual projects focusing on developing novel data analysis and exploration techniques using interactive techniques. Students should be well versed in C++ upon entering the SURF program, and will be expected to learn skills in R, OpenGL, and/or a variety of other libraries over the course of the summer.

Ongoing project plans will include research that combines soil, weather and crop data from sensing technology to provide critical crop answers for California wine growers and producers, programming for criminal incident report analysis, incorporating local statistics into volume rendering on the GPGPU, healthcare data analysis, and analyzing customizable topics and anomalies that occur in real-time via social media networks Twitter and Facebook. If you have CUDA programming experience or an intense interest to learn it, please indicate this on your application form. We also plan to have a project that will assist first responders in accident extrication procedures.

The ideal candidate will have good working knowledge of modern web development technologies, including client-side technologies such as HTML5, SVG, JavaScript, AJAX, and DOM, as well as server side components such as PHP, Tomcat, MySQL, etc. Experience in visualization or computer graphics is a plus. The project will likely be based on the D3 (http://d3js.org/) web-based visualization toolkit; prior experience using D3 or other visualization APIs for the web is particularly welcome.

Of the past undergraduate students that have worked in the center, five of their research projects have led to joint publications in our laboratory and at many of our areas' top venues. Sample projects include visual analytics for law enforcement data, health care data and sports data. Students will be assigned individual projects based on the center's needs which will be determined at a later date. To learn more about the VACCINE Center go to the website provided below.

More information: http://visualanalytics-cci.org

 

WeRead: Engage Students in Reading Assignments

Research categories:  Industrial Engineering
School/Dept.: School of Industrial Engineering
Professor: Ji Soo Yi
Preferred major(s): IE
Desired experience:   Prior research experiences with qualitative research with some basic web programming skill sets are required.
Number of positions: 1

Students are expected to know what subjects will be covered in class before they come. One good way is to do the readings assigned by teachers. As active learners, they usually come to class prepared and do the readings. However, many students spend little time reading their textbook or additional reading materials. Without preparing for class, it’s hard for them to understand the content and lead the in-class discussion. In this project, we are trying to encourage students to read materials before the class, so they can effectively communicate with classmates in the student-led discussion.

In order to achieve the goal, we are conducting a design study to develop a web-based tool to engage students in reading assignments, titled “WeRead: Engage Students in Reading Assignments”. Before starting to develop a web, we will collect data to understand the current situation and needs regarding reading assignment through a survey for students and instructors. The survey results will be used to decide what features and functions that will be shown in this web application.

 

Wearable Sensors for Improving Health Care Delivery

Research categories:  Bioscience/Biomedical, Industrial Engineering, Innovative Technology/Design
School/Dept.: Industrial Engineering
Professor: Denny Yu
Preferred major(s): Industrial Engineering, Biomedical Engineering
Desired experience:   Strong interest in human factors and healthcare. Experienced with Matlab. Comfortable with conducting field and laboratory-based studies.
Number of positions: 1

Healthcare is provided in a dynamic environment with complex human interactions. Excessive team and individual workload impact both patient and care provider safety, but quantifying workload in these environments remains elusive. Student selected for this project will conduct cutting-edge and applied research related to smart wearables for reducing provider workload and sensor-based quantification of human dynamics with the goal of informing interventions to enable the highest levels of health care delivery.

 

Web Programming

Research categories:  Computer Engineering and Computer Science
School/Dept.: Electrical and Computer Engineering
Professor: Yung-Hsiang Lu
Preferred major(s): ECE, CS
Desired experience:   Two programming courses
Number of positions: 2

This project builds a web-based tool for programming assignments. Computer programming has become very complex and many tools are available. However, using these tools requires knowledge and skills beyond the background of many students. This project creates a web tool that analyzes students' computer programs and help students learn better. The system is operational since September 2015 and is conducting alpha testing now.

More information: https://access.ecn.purdue.edu/

 

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; Computer Science
Desired experience:   Serious interest in and enjoyment of programming; programming skills in any language, physics coursework.
Number of positions: 15-20


Advances in nanoscale science and engineering promise to provide solutions to some of the Engineering Grand Challenges of the 21st century. The Network for Computational Nanotechnology (NCN) has several undergraduate research positions available in exciting interdisciplinary research projects that use computational simulations to solve engineering problems in areas such as nanoelectronics, predictive materials simulations, materials characterization, nanophotonics, and the mechanical behavior of materials. The projects cover a wide range of applications, including development of systems with increased efficiencies for energy storage or energy conversion, development of next-generation electronic devices, improved manufacturing processes for pharmaceuticals and other materials, and the prediction and design of new materials with specific properties. Descriptions of the available research projects, requirements, and faculty advisors are posted on the website provided under 'More Information' below.

We are looking for students with a strong background in engineering or physics who can also code in at least one language, such as C or MATLAB. Selected students will work with a graduate student mentor and faculty advisor to create or improve a simulation tool that will be deployed on https://nanoHUB.org.

nanoHUB is arguably the world’s largest nanoscale science and engineering user facility, with over 300,000 annual users. nanoHUB’s simulation tools run in a scientific computing cloud via a web browser, and are used by researchers and educators world wide. As part of our team, you will be engaged in 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. At the end of the summer, successful students will publish a simulation tool on nanoHUB, where it can impact thousands of nanoHUB users.

In addition to the regular SURF workshops and seminars, NCN provides some additional activities and training for our cohort of summer students. More information, including examples of previous student projects, is available on the NCN SURF page: https://nanohub.org/groups/ncnsurf.

In your SURF application, be sure to list the specific NCN project that you are interested in, along with your qualifications for that project. Students are matched to NCN projects based on their interests, qualifications, and available openings on projects.