Asee peer logo

Research Experiences For Undergraduates In Micromanufacturing

Download Paper |


2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Incorporating Advanced Technologies into Curriculums

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

15.1033.1 - 15.1033.10



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Wayne Hung Texas A&M University

author page

Jorge Leon Texas A&M University

author page

Luis San Andres Texas A&M Univeristy

Download Paper |

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

Research Experiences for Undergraduates in Micromanufacturing


Texas A&M University provides research experiences to undergraduate students for micro turbomachinery development. The NSF-sponsored summer program allows undergraduate students, selected from a large pool of students nationwide, to work closely with TAMU investigators and graduate students on topics related to the design and manufacturing of micro turbomachinery. Some students study materials, dynamics, or thermal aspects of turbomachinery, while others explore and develop various micromanufacturing technologies for microturbine fabrication. The nature of micromachinery requires the development of novel micromanufacturing technologies for superalloys and other robust engineering materials. The selected participants study micromilling, electrical discharge micromachining, electrochemical micromachining, and vacuum assisted microcasting. They complete a research methodology workshop and then apply to their own projects through setting objectives, planning schedule, performing experiments, documenting data, presenting results at the campus-wide poster session, and then publishing on national conference proceedings. The program also allows balanced time between technical projects and group activities. The participants tour other research facilities, visit relevant industries, and complete a series of seminars on research and graduate school preparation.

Students are carefully selected from an applicant pool with special attention to those from underrepresented groups and coming from schools with limited research facilities. About 33% of participants are female; they are among the 57% of underrepresented group in this program. At the end of the 2009 summer program the participants successfully designed and fabricated the first prototype of micro turbomachinery. They overwhelmingly enjoyed the program and majority of the participants would like to continue their research careers at graduate schools.


Gas-driven turbomachinery has been developed to either generate or recover energy in power plants or advanced transporting vehicles. However conventional turbomachines are too large and heavy for a host of new applications in military, homeland security, transportation, aerospace, and other commercial applications. To address these needs, research is being conducted to develop novel micro turbomachinery systems that are small, lightweight, fuel efficient, and portable. The interdisciplinary areas of research in which students can participate include dynamics, mechanics, microfluidics, electronics, thermal science, material science, optimization techniques, and advanced micromanufacturing.

Texas A&M University aims to develop micro turbomachinery and has completed the three-year NSF-sponsored Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program. This paper presents the program, its structure, activities, and results.

Hung, W., & Leon, J., & San Andres, L. (2010, June), Research Experiences For Undergraduates In Micromanufacturing Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--17002

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2010 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015