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Energy And Engine Research Through Undergraduate Research Program

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Energy Program and Software Tools

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.530.1 - 10.530.6



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Paper Authors

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Keshav Varde

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3433

Energy and Engine Research through Undergraduate Research Program

Keshav S. Varde College of Engineering and Computer Science University of Michigan-Dearborn, Michigan


The need for engineers to engage in research and development activities in engines and propulsion systems has been increasing. This is more so evident in automotive industry where there has been a push to increase overall efficiency of propulsion systems, make use alternative fuels to help reduce dependency on oil and reduce exhaust emissions, and to use environmentally friendly fuels. Most of the mechanical engineering students have very little research experience by the time they graduate and even less so in engines, fuels and engine exhaust emissions.

To address some of these problems an undergraduate research program was developed and implemented in the mechanical engineering department. Initially, the program catered to a very small number of students seeking to work on research projects in the subject area. However, in the last two years, the National Science Foundation has been funding the project under its Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. The funding allows up to eight students from different institutions to work with the faculty and graduate students on experimental and analytical projects in combustion engines, fuel systems, exhaust emissions, fuel cells and energy systems.

This paper describes structure of research projects, expectations on the part of faculty advisors and students, preparation of student participants for subsequent research career or advanced degree and the extent to which project objectives have been met. Tracking of the past REU student participants has shown that several of them are pursuing advanced degree programs while a similar number is planning to pursue research and development career in industry.


There has been an increased interest in providing research opportunities to undergraduates at many institutions. While major research universities and some well-known liberal arts colleges have provided opportunities to their undergraduates to conduct research in basic and applied sciences and mathematics1-3 these programs have been somewhat limited. This is particularly so in the field of engineering where faculty and their graduate students tend to focus their efforts more on their research projects and funding than training undergraduates for research.

Proceedings of the 2005American Society of Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Varde, K. (2005, June), Energy And Engine Research Through Undergraduate Research Program Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15007

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