Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
In this work-in-progress paper, we discuss our NSF-supported program designed to select, mentor, and send U.S. undergraduate students in electrical power engineering to the University of Strathclyde in the U.K. during summer to engage in research projects and research-related activities. We discuss the program need, logistics, design, and evaluation results. Each year, six new students participate in the program; they are selected via a nation-wide competition. Our primary motivation for this program is to provide students with experience in international research and help prepare the next generation of U.S. competitive STEM workforce capable of innovation. Moreover, the students will develop soft skills such as teamwork, oral and written communication, and time management. Since the operating parameters of the electric grid (e.g., frequency and voltage levels) are different in Europe from those in North America, the students will also gain a firsthand experience of different practices in distribution and transmission systems. The research performed under this program helps achieve the smart grid vision through a combination of technological advances and workforce training. Ultimately, this research will increase the utilization of smart grid infrastructure by integrating distributed renewable energy resources. Our preliminary evaluation results show that overall student participants were very satisfied with how the program is set up, designed, and run, giving an average score of 4.7 out of 5: 100% of scholars said they would consider graduate school after attending this program, and pointed to its catalyzing role. Students appreciated the international experience; for all of them, it was their first time living in a foreign country for an extended time. For more than half, this was also the first time to Europe; 90% of scholars said knowing what they know now, they would participate in the program again, citing hands-on research experience, learning about the culture, learning how others solve their power needs, and availability of PhD students to help them as the highlights of the program. We have received applications from 17 states, and 8 of 16 scholars were female, providing evidence for the effectiveness of our advertisement and minority recruitment plans.
Mehrizi-Sani , A., & Liu, C., & McArthur, S. (2020, June), Undergraduate Students as Visiting Students in the United Kingdom Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35414
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