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Nuclear Engineering undergraduates conduct summer research through SURF program

Nuclear Engineering undergraduate student, Alexander Bullens stands with his research poster during the 2017 SURF symposium.
Five Nuclear Engineering undergraduate students recently participated in Purdue’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) program, an 11-week summer program designed to expose students to the opportunities available to improve life for individuals and society through research.

163 undergraduate students from 26 institutions participated in the program which culminated during the symposium held in July where students presented their research. The following individuals represented nuclear engineering:

Jackson Ball (Professor Robert Bean)

Patrick Foster (Professor Martin Bertodano)

Arvind Sundaram (Professor Ahmed Hassanein, CMUXE)

Alexander Bullens (Professor Janelle Wharry)

Danielle Krug (Professor Ahmed Hassanein, CMUXE)

Arvind Sundaram spent the duration of the program investigating the properties of tantalum in a nuclear fusion environment, specifically the fuel retention and nanostructure formation on the material surface.

When asked about his experience during the research program Sundaram stated, “My biggest takeaway was the amount of time and effort we had to put in to obtain results…I now have a fair idea of what graduate school is like and the mental fortitude needed to get through.”

This year’s participating students completed their research under the guidance of 155 graduate students and post docs, and 136 professors from 22 Schools/Departments in 4 Colleges at Purdue.

Interested undergraduates enrolled at any U.S. college and university must apply and be selected to participate. Once chosen, students will be matched with a faculty member and graduate student mentor who will instruct the participant in best-practices for research on the forefront of science, technology, and engineering.

To learn more about SURF, visit: