Engineering at Nebraska Fall09
Front and Center
Nebraska opens horizons for future scientists

More future scientists can grow their careers at UNL in the next three years, thanks to National Science Foundation funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

"Students will create new materials via a variety of synthesis/fabrication techniques."

Jeff Shield, Ph.D., who chairs the Department of Mechanical Engineering, said a $366,179 NSF grant will expand opportunities to study materials science and engineering at UNL in summer programs known as REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates).

"Targeted students will be from colleges and universities that lack a strong research emphasis, and particularly those in the upper Midwest," he said, as well as students from underrepresented groups.


Jeff Shield
Mechanical Engineering's Jeff Shield, left, hears from
an REU student explaining his poster from summer
2009 research at UNL.

Shield said the grant provides for an REU site with the Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience, to engage 10 students per year in productive research and study that will expose them to the "broader impact of science and technology on society," and promote their professional development.

"Students will create new materials via a variety of synthesis/fabrication techniques," said Shield, with the interdisciplinary research to involve engineering, chemistry and physics. He added that results could advance materials for biomedical applications, sensors and thermomanagement systems, and more.