June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
Minorities in Engineering
12.1492.1 - 12.1492.10
Tiered Mentoring in a Cross-disciplinary and Multi-institutional Research Project
A multi-institutional research project titled "Towards Miniaturization of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Reactors: Novel Processing Routes of Fabricating Microstructures on Pressurized Water Reactors" has recently embarked. This research is performed cooperatively between the lead investigators at Southern University which is an HBCU (historically black college or university), researchers at Louisiana State University which is the state's flagship school, and CAMD (the Center for Advanced Microstructures and Devices) which is a state-of-the-art research and technical facility−all located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The major goal of this three-year project is to develop innovative methods to enhance performance of Naval reactors by optimizing manufacturing techniques for complex structures made with high performance materials that can withstand extreme high pressure and elevated temperature. This will be accomplished by unifying the expertise of the team in LIGA (a German acronym meaning "lithography, electroplating, and molding"), simulations of the thermal transport in complex systems, microsample testing, design optimization, and comprehensive microstructural and macrostructural characterization of the proposed structures.
In addition to the faculty and technical personnel, students will participate in a significant way in this project. Graduate and undergraduate research assistants will be employed to aide in the technical aspects of the research. Additionally, these students will also lead in the educational objectives of the project. The team seeks to develop a "research-oriented approach" designed to attract and retain a greater number of high-quality minority students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. This will be accomplished by providing training for graduate and undergraduate researchers in the fundamental area of design, fabrication techniques of microstructures, thermo-mechanical analysis, materials characterization, and advanced experimental techniques. Additionally, there is a tiered mentoring process whereby the faculty and technical staff are mentors to the graduate students, the graduate students are mentors to the undergraduates, and the undergraduates are charged with carrying the mentoring to local high schools. The undergraduates include students of Civil, Electrical, and Mechanical Engineering who are involved in different aspects of this project and others. They are performing demonstrations and making presentations in the area high schools to spark interest in Engineering and to instill an appreciation of the cross-disciplinary nature of research. It is certain that these interactions will impact recruitment and retention while enabling the development of interested students and skilled researchers which will provide a great socio- economic benefit to the nation.
Of course research is a fertile ground for educational development. It is well documented that the experience of conducting research and scientific inquiry helps undergraduate students to excel in undergraduate studies and prepares them for the rigors of graduate-level experimentation and analysis. Additionally, other opportunities rest between the layers of research. Recruitment
Crosby, K., & Ibekwe, S., & Li, G., & Pang, S., & Lian, K. (2007, June), Tiered Mentoring In A Cross Disciplinary And Multi Institutional Research Project Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2365
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