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Retaining Engineers through Research Entrepreneurship and Advanced-Materials Training (RETREAT): Expansion and Evaluation

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session I

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

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Paper Authors


Margaret Scheiner FAMU-FSU College of Engineering Orcid 16x16

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Ms. Margaret Scheiner is a PhD candidate in Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering at Florida State University with a BS in Materials Science & Engineering from Cornell University. She has contributed to research on dye-sensitized solar cells, synthesis of highly triboluminescent crystals, and pulsed laser deposition of non-stoichiometric thin films. Her current research aims to create a self-healing composite with integrated structural health monitoring capabilities. She is a teaching assistant for the Industrial Engineering program's Senior Design Project course, is a coordinator of the summer internship programs (NSF-REU-RETREAT and AFRL-DREAM), and has extensive STEM outreach experience through DreamOn as well as local chapters of the Society of Women Engineers, the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering, Golden Key International Honour Society, Phi Kappa Phi, and Tau Beta Pi.

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The FAMU-FSU College of Engineering Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) staged at the High-Performance Materials Institute (HPMI) supports undergraduates in various scientific research endeavors with the intent of increasing the number of ensuing student enrollment in engineering graduate programs or pursuit of engineering industry careers. Students hail from a variety of colleges and universities across the United States, from institutions with large, well-established science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics (STEM) programs to small or nonexistent STEM programs. The main criteria for acceptance are (i) U.S. citizenship or permanent residency and (ii) a grade point average (GPA) of 2.8 or higher. This REU is unique in that it combines training in multiscale, multifunctional composites with entrepreneurship principles and ideals. This is made possible through a successful collaboration between the Industrial and Manufacturing Department, the High-Performance Materials Institute, local entrepreneurs, and the Jim Moran Institute of Global Entrepreneurship at the FSU College of Business (JMI). The entrepreneurial focus has proven highly appealing with students frequently referring to this aspect of the program in their applications. During a ten week summer period, ten candidates engage in short courses in design of experiments, engineering data analysis, and entrepreneurship as well as practical training, research seminars, networking socials, and experimental work. The students subsequently apply this knowledge to write a detailed research report and create a business plan to commercialize their research. At the end of the summer, the students compete in the EngiPreneurship (engineering entrepreneurship) competition where they present their business plans to seasoned judges from JMI, the Office of Intellectual Property and Commercialization, Domi Station, and Tallahassee professionals. At the start and end of the program, students rank their ability and motivation to pursue careers in STEM disciplines and are ranked by their graduate student mentors. The combined foci of research, development, and entrepreneurship have shown to increase student engagement.

Scheiner, M. (2016, June), Retaining Engineers through Research Entrepreneurship and Advanced-Materials Training (RETREAT): Expansion and Evaluation Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26098

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