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A Summer Program to Promote an Integrated Undergraduate Research and Group Design Experience

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

NSF Grantees’ Poster Session

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.116.1 - 24.116.12



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Paper Authors


Chiang Shih Florida A&M University/Florida State University

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Dr. Chiang Shih is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering Department, FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, Florida State University. He received his Ph.D. degree from the Aerospace Engineering Department at University of Southern California in 1988. He has served as the department Chair from 2002 until 2011 and is currently the Director of the Aeropropulsion, Mechatronics and Energy Center established in 2012. He is also the PI of the NSF REU program on "Multi-physics of Active Systems and Structures."

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William S. Oates Florida State University

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A Summer Program to promote an Integrated Undergraduate Research and Group Design ExperienceThe current REU program provides undergraduate students in engineering and related fields anopportunity to participate in ongoing active research programs, including the development ofmicro air vehicles, multi-modal robots, active flow control, aeroacoustics, sensors and actuators,smart materials, etc.. The multidisciplinary nature of these projects has engage students in cross-cutting technologies by inspiring the integration and synthesis of ideas and facilitating a betterunderstanding of engineering design at the system level.For the past two summers, we have recruited 33 REU students, 22 external and 11 internalstudents in the program. Among external participants, seven are international exchange studentsfrom three Brazilian universities. During the 10-week summer program, they were assigned to28 projects supervised by 10 engineering faculty and more than 20 postdoc/graduate studentmentors. In addition to their individual projects, REU students were engaged in group activitiesincluding group design project, research lab tours, weekly seminars, outreach and socialactivities. The summer programs were culminated in a whole-day research symposium withindividual and group presentations plus poster sessions.One unique aspect of the program is the integration of the group design experience into thesummer program. Students were assigned in groups to work in design projects relevant to theirassigned research tasks. Group collaboration sessions were reserved for all REU students toshare their experiences and work on group projects. Two open-ended design projects wereimplemented: (1) Use of smart materials to develop multi-modal movement and agility in 2012.(2) The development of a quad-rotor aircraft with indoor maneuverability in 2013. In the paper,we will discuss lessons learned in the coordination of the group project and propose a strategy tooptimize the integration of REU students’ individual research efforts with the group designproject to further enhance the overall REU experience.

Shih, C., & Oates, W. S. (2014, June), A Summer Program to Promote an Integrated Undergraduate Research and Group Design Experience Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20008

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