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Board 74: Development and Implementation of an NSF REU Site with Integrated Academia-Industry Research Experience for Undergraduates

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Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

10

DOI

10.18260/1-2--32419

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/32419

Download Count

162

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Paper Authors

biography

Zhaoshuo Jiang P.E. San Francisco State University

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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 an associate 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 http://sdii.ce.sc.edu

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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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Abstract

With increasing demands for high performance in structural systems, Smart Structures Technologies (SST) is receiving considerable attention as it has the potential to transform many fields in engineering, including civil, mechanical, aerospace, and geotechnical engineering. Both the academic and industrial worlds are seeking ways to utilize SST, however, there is a significant gap between the engineering science in academia and engineering practice in the industry.

To respond to this challenge, San Francisco State University and the University of South Carolina collaborated with industrial partners to establish a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site program, focusing on academia-industry collaborations in SST. This REU program intends to 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 is expected to establish a virtuous circle for knowledge exchange and contribute to advancing fundamental research and implementation of SST. The program features: 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 provides engineering undergraduate students with 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 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 mentors for the undergraduate researchers, and professional connections, that would facilitate a meaningful REU experience. Recruitment of participants targeted 20 collaborating minority and primarily undergraduate institutions (15 of them are Hispanic-Serving Institutions, HSI) with limited science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) research capabilities. The model developed through this 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 STEM professionals and could be adapted to other disciplines.

In this paper, the details of the first-year program are described. The challenges and lessons-learned on the collaboration between the two participating universities, communications with industrial partners, recruitment of the students, set up of the evaluation plans, and development and implementation of the program are discussed. The preliminary evaluation results and recommendations are also shared.

Jiang, Z., & Caicedo, J. M., & Petrulis, R. (2019, June), Board 74: Development and Implementation of an NSF REU Site with Integrated Academia-Industry Research Experience for Undergraduates Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32419

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