Research Opportunities

Purdue ME is known worldwide for its research programs and facilities.  But these are not just for graduate students!  Many undergraduate students conduct research with faculty members.  Not only can you get hands-on with your chosen field, but it's also a huge networking advantage and resume builder when you begin to look for a job.

The first step is to browse through the types of research conducted at Purdue ME, and find something that interests you. Then you need to contact the faculty member involved, and ask them about opportunities for undergraduates in their research.  Below are some further resources to help you make it happen.


How to Register  |  Opportunities  |  Scholarships


How to Register

How to Research with a Mechanical Engineering Faculty Member for Credit (ME 29700/49800/49900)

ME 29700, 49800 and 49900 are variable title courses that allow students to partner with a ME faculty member to engage in research for credit. Students should consider a topic or area of interest in which they would like to participate in research.  Students may complete up to nine credit hours of research to apply towards degree requirements.

ME 29700 is for students in sophomore or lower curriculum. ME 29700 can be used to meet free elective requirements

ME 49800 is for students in junior or senior level curriculum and are doing research for the first time for credit with a faculty member. ME 49800 can be used to meet ME elective requirements.

ME 49900 is for students in junior or senior level curriculum and are doing research for the second time for credit with a faculty member. ME 49900 can be used to meet ME elective requirements.

Students are responsible for approaching faculty to discuss research opportunities. A listing of faculty who conduct research in specific areas can be found here. Students should email the faculty member from a Purdue email account to request a meeting to discuss opportunities for research. During the meeting, the student and faculty should discuss the type of research/project, time commitment, expectations, etc.

The student is required to consult their academic advisor to determine how the credit will be applied towards their degree. Students should be prepared with an updated plan-of-study that incorporates the research course. To properly register for the research course, the student should complete the steps outlined below.

Process Summary for students completing research for credit (must be completed by the second Friday of the semester):

  1. Contact faculty member via email to request a meeting to discuss research opportunities
  2. During the meeting with the faculty, discuss the following: type of research/project, time commitment, expectations, etc.
    • Complete the following sections of the Variable Title form with the faculty member; Credit hours, Title, Student information and signature, faculty information and signature.
    • Complete the Undergraduate Research Contract with the instructor. It is important to complete this contract so that students understand the commitment, expectations, and how they will ultimately be graded for their work.
  3. Meet with your academic advisor to discuss how research will be applied toward your degree and bring the following three things with you:
  4. Updated POS with research
  5. Completed Variable Title Form - Click here to complete form
  6. Completed Undergraduate Research Contract - Click here to complete form
  7. Student takes Variable Title form to the Office of the Registrar to complete registration for research course after meeting with their academic advisor.

ME Research Registration Information for Non-ME Majors

All registration for ME faculty directed research is to be completed via a “Variable Title Form” and not a Form 23 or through the Registration Approval Workflow System. Students must see their own Academic Advisor in their home department to get this form and appropriate signature.

Students should register for the ME course number below based upon the following factors –

  • Students in freshman or sophomore level curriculum register for ME 29700
  • Students in junior or senior level curriculum register for ME 49800
  • Students in junior or senior level curriculum who are completing research with the same faculty member in a subsequent semester register for ME 49900.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)

The SURF program is helping students across engineering, science, and technology disciplines discover a world of opportunity available to them through research. By closely working with other creative and innovative people, students explore, discover, and transform ideas into reality to advance society and improve people's lives. SURF matches undergraduates with a faculty member and graduate student mentor who introduce them to the research tools used on the cutting edges of science, engineering, and technology. More information for SURF can be found here: https://engineering.purdue.edu/Engr/Research/SURF.

Discovery Park Undergraduate Research Internship (DURI)

The Discovery Park Undergraduate Research Internship (DURI) program is designed to involve Purdue undergraduates in the interdisciplinary research environment of Discovery Park. The program provides opportunities for students to work with faculty affiliated with Discovery Park on cutting edge research projects that involve combining two or more disciplinary strengths. Working closely with faculty, students experience the excitement, challenge, and power of truly interdisciplinary research in the fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment that is Purdue's Discovery Park. DURI offers 50 part-time (6-10 hours/week) student internship slots per academic semester. More information for DURI can be found here: https://www.purdue.edu/discoverypark/duri


Research Scholarships

The Bottomley Research Scholarships

The Bottomley Research Scholarships were created to encourage undergraduate mechanical engineering students to participate in research projects, and ultimately pursue graduate education opportunities. The Bottomley Research Scholarship provides a $1,000 tuition-based scholarship for the undergraduate student and $500 for the faculty member to use to fund part of the research. There are typically 15 or more Bottomley Research Scholarships each year.

The H. William Bottomley Global and Research Scholar Program in MechanicalEngineering is named to honor the late H. William Bottomley, a 1943 graduate of theSchool of Mechanical Engineering.  Supported through a planned gift by Jim and Marilynn Dammon, the Bottomley Scholar Program seeks to providedeserving undergraduate students in the School of Mechanical Engineering the opportunity to study one-on-one with a professor or provide assistance for opportunities for study abroad.

Eligibility: To be eligible for the Bottomley Research Scholarships you must:

  1. Be a Mechanical Engineering Undergrad student of good standing
  2. Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher
  3. You must have a ME faculty research mentor working on the research with you
  4. Submit an application consisting of:
  • Your Resume
  • An Updated Plan of study with research credit added
  • A 100 word research description
  • A letter of support from your Faculty Research Mentor

Further Requirements: The recipients of the Bottomley Scholarships will also be required to:

  1. Present research at the Bottomley Poster Session at the end of the Spring semester
  2. Write a 2-page summary of the project, ready for submission to the Journal of Purdue Undergraduate Research (JPUR)

CLICK HERE TO APPLY TODAY!

Click here to submit your Faculty Research Mentor Support Letter.

Questions? Contact the ME Scholarship Coordinator – Kyle Rice (rice55@purdue.edu)

The Robert H. and Barbara J. Popejoy Undergraduate Scholarship and Incentive Award for Independent Study Related to Positive Displacement Compressors

The Robert H. and Barbara J. Popejoy Undergraduate Scholarship and Incentive Award was created to encourage undergraduate Mechanical Engineering students to take on speech research projects specifically relating to Positive Displacement Compressors. This scholarship awards the student $1,000 to be used for tuition and an additional $1,000 to be used to help fund the research project.

Eligibility: To be eligible for he Robert H. and Barbara J. Popejoy Undergraduate Scholarship and Incentive Award you must:

  1. Be a Mechanical Engineering Undergrad student of good standing
  2. You must have a ME faculty research mentor working on the research with you
  3. Submit an application consisting of:
  • Your Resume
  • A 100 word research description
  • A letter of support from your Faculty Research Mentor

CLICK HERE TO APPLY TODAY!

Click here to submit your Faculty Research Mentor Support Letter.

Questions? Contact the ME Scholarship Coordinator – Kyle Rice (rice55@purdue.edu)

The Ralph T. Simon Memorial Scholarship in Mechanical Engineering

The Ralph T. Simon Memorial Scholarship in Mechanical Engineering was created to encourage students to partake in undergraduate research opportunities. This scholarship focuses specifically on projects that address environmentally sensitive areas. All students are eligible to apply, but preference is given to sophomore students and student can continue to receive this scholarship as long as they remain eligible and working on this project.

Eligibility: To be eligible for The Ralph T. Simon Memorial Scholarship in Mechanical Engineering you must:

  1. Be a Mechanical Engineering Undergrad student of good standing
  2. Active in non-academic activities (such as fine arts, athletics, or community service through student organizations or other community outreach efforts)
  3. 3.0 GPA or higher
  4. You must have a ME faculty research mentor working on the research with you
  5. Must be completing a project that addresses an environmentally sensitive area
  6. Submit an application consisting of:
    • Your Resume
    • A 100 word research description
  7. A letter of support from your Faculty Research Mentor

CLICK HERE TO APPLY TODAY!

Click here to submit your Faculty Research Mentor Support Letter.

Questions? Contact the ME Scholarship Coordinator – Kyle Rice (rice55@purdue.edu)

 

Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate Office
585 Purdue Mall, Room ME2008
West Lafayette, IN 47907
Phone: (765) 494-5689
Fax: (765) 494-0051
Email: MEundergrad@purdue.edu