Brown bag lunches and student partners
We organize weekly brown bag lunches to develop student/faculty interaction beyond the daily research interactions and to foster student/student communication. These lunches give students a chance to informally discuss their research progress and problems. The goal of these lunch meetings is for the students to share their own personal experiences and to learn from each other's successes and failures. Senior chemical engineering undergraduates, the IGERT students, NSF-REU and summer scholars students in undergraduate research programs are invited to attend these lunches and to provide their unique perspective on research and the very different types of challenges presented by a research project.
Presentation and communications skills workshop
In addition to research skills and outstanding research experiences encouraging the pursuit of advanced engineering training, we feel that is important to understand how to present the results of student projects in a coherent and efficient manner. Thus, we host a workshop at the beginning of each summer to advise students of the “do’s and don’ts” in the delivery of scientific presentations.
Students have ample opportunities for professional, academic and career development in relevant areas as they prepare for graduation from college via workshops:
Introduction to Research
The workshop features Ignorance: How it Drives Science, by Firestein, and includes best research practices and tools for literature searches, such as using online resources (e.g. the Science Citation Index).
The integrity of academic science and engineering is addressed by Professor Tom Powers, Director of the Science, Ethics and Public Policy Program, an Associate Professor of Philosophy at UD, as well as a Research Faculty Fellow at the Delaware Biotechnology Institute, whose work focuses on understanding the appropriate content and pedagogy for ethics training. A second aspect of the workshop addresses the ethics of technologies, such as the remediation of environmental harm and climate change and the prospects of irrevocable harm.
Professional Development Graduate School Prep Boot Camp
Near the end of the 10 week program, students review the graduate school application process, common application materials, themes to consider when writing a statement of purpose, GPA and GRE requirements and application deadlines of many graduate programs. Additionally, the workshop covers the importance of reference letters, opportunities to develop professional relationships as an undergraduate, and fellowship opportunities.
In addition to personal lunch sessions and workshops, students have the chance to hear world-class national and international scientists and engineers as part of the Center for Catalytic Science and Technology (CCST) and the Center for Molecular and Engineering Thermodynamics (CMET) summer seminar series.
The University of Delaware is located in the heart of the chemical industry. Our Department has strong links to the local and regional industry, and many of the NSF-REU students will be working on research projects which have direct industrial support or specific industrial collaboration. The program covers several facets of energy related research. We plan three site visits during the summer to industries with sponsorship from Dow (Collegeville, PA), DuPont (Experimental Station, Wilmington, DE), Exxon-Mobil (Clinton, NJ), Air-Liquide, Gore global R&D facilities, Air Products, or NIST.
Student Living and Social Activities
Students are housed in University of Delaware student dormitories. The dorms are within walking distance of the Chemical Engineering and Materials Science Departments. REU students live in the same dorms as students in the UD Summer Scholars research program encouraging group activities such as informal picnics, discussion groups, personal mentoring and weekend trips to New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, and the Delaware beaches. Furthermore, students are in close proximity to outdoor recreational opportunities at White Clay Creek State Park, including disc golf, biking, running and hiking trails.