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Board 63: NSF REU SITE: Collaborative Research: Integrated Academia-Industry Research Experience for Undergraduates in Smart Structure Technology

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

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Paper Authors


Zhaoshuo Jiang P.E. San Francisco State University Orcid 16x16

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Zhaoshuo Jiang graduated from the University of Connecticut with a Ph.D. degree in Civil Engineering. Before joining San Francisco State University as an assistant professor, he worked as a structural engineering professional at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) LLP. As a licensed professional engineer in the states of Connecticut and California, Dr. Jiang has been involved in the design of a variety of low-rise and high-rise projects. His current research interests mainly focus on Smart Structures Technology, Structural Control and Health Monitoring and Innovative Engineering Education.

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Juan M. Caicedo University of South Carolina

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Dr. Caicedo is a Professor at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of South Carolina. His research interests are in structural dynamics, model updating and engineering education. He received his B.S. in Civil Engineering from the Universidad del Valle in Colombia, South America, and his M.Sc. and D.Sc. from Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Caicedo's teaching interests include the development of critical thinking in undergraduate and graduate education. More information about Dr. Caicedo's research can be found online at

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Robert Petrulis EPRE Consulting LLC

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Dr. Petrulis is an independent consultant specializing in education-related project evaluation and research. He is based in Columbia, South Carolina.

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With increasing demands for high performance in structural systems, Smart Structures Technologies (SST) including advanced sensing, modern control, smart materials, optimization and novel testing, is receiving considerable attention as it has the potential to transform many fields in engineering, including civil, mechanical, aerospace, and geotechnical engineering. Currently, there is a significant gap between the engineering science with fundamental research in academia and engineering practice with potential implementation in the industry.

To respond to this challenge, XXXX University and the XXXXX University will collaborate with industrial partners to establish a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site program, focusing on academia-industry collaborations in SST. This REU program will train undergraduate students to serve as the catalysts to facilitate the research infusion between academic and industrial partners. This student-driven joint venture between academia and industry will establish a virtuous circle for knowledge exchange and contribute to advancing both fundamental research and implementation of SST. The program will feature: formal training, workshops, and supplemental activities in the conduct of research in academia and industry; innovative research experience through engagement in projects with scientific and practical merits in both academic and industrial environments; experience in conducting laboratory experiments; and opportunities to present the research outcomes to the broader community at professional settings. This REU program will provide engineering undergraduate students a unique research experience in both academic and industrial settings through cooperative research projects. Experiencing research in both worlds is expected to help students transition from a relatively dependent status to an independent a status as their competence level increases.

The joint efforts among two institutions and industry partners provide the project team with extensive access to valuable resources, such as expertise to offer a wider-range of informative training workshops, advanced equipment, valuable data sets, experienced undergraduate mentors, and professional connections, that will facilitate a meaningful REU experience. Recruitment of REU participants will target 20 collaborating minority and primarily undergraduate institutions (15 of them are Hispanic-Serving Institutions) with limited STEM research capabilities. The model developed through this REU program may help to exemplify the establishment of a sustainable collaboration model between academia and industry that helps address the nation's need for mature, independent, informed, and globally competitive science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professionals and is adapted to other disciplines.

In this poster, the details of the program will be described. The challenges and lesson-learned on the collaboration between two universities, communications with industrial partners, recruitment of the students and development of the program will be discussed.

Jiang, Z., & Caicedo, J. M., & Petrulis, R. (2018, June), Board 63: NSF REU SITE: Collaborative Research: Integrated Academia-Industry Research Experience for Undergraduates in Smart Structure Technology Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30076

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