At the U.Va. Engineering School we understand that one of the best ways to promote an understanding of engineering and its impact on the world is to encourage undergraduates to roll up their sleeves and get involved in real-world, substantial research. We support our students who wish to develop their own research and public service projects, by providing guidance, contacts and connections to sources of funding. And we welcome undergraduates into our laboratories, where they become integral members of our research groups and, as they gain experience, take on responsibility for increasingly important parts of our research programs.
In the process, undergraduates find themselves applying the engineering principles they learned in the classroom and they learn to think like engineers. They also learn that successful research requires many of the other skills we stress at the Engineering School — collaborating with others, writing clearly and persuasively, and understanding the social and ethical dimensions of their projects.
Undergraduate Research and Design Symposium
Each spring, the Engineering School’s top undergraduates showcase their fourth-year theses in the Dome Room of U.Va.’s Rotunda before a group of industry leaders and faculty members at the Undergraduate Research and Design Symposium. In recent years, topics have ranged from reducing sonic booms through aerodynamic design to interrupting the mutation of influenza viruses.
The Spectra: The Virginia Engineering and Science Research Journal
With their peers producing a rich and diverse body of research that at times rivals graduate-level work, a group of U.Va. Engineering undergraduate students saw the need to share this research with a wider audience. The group published the first issue of the peer-reviewed journal, The Spectra, in spring 2010.
Learn more about Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) for summer experience.