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Engineering Students Experience Unique Internship in Maryland

By: Kathleen Tuck   Published 8:45 am / October 17, 2013

IMG_0446By Rebecca Mirsky

Three students from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) participated in a summer internship experience at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Md.

The experience was highlighted in the October/November 2013 bulletin of the American Ceramics Society (ACerS) (volume 92, number 8). Junior Kevin Talley wrote the article describing his experience with fellow MSE students Koyuki Fritchman (senior) and Eric Nelson (sophomore). Talley also serves as a delegate for ACerS’ President’s Council of Student Advisors, a liaison group between the professional society and students of ceramics and materials science.

NIST’s 2013 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program brought together more than 150 undergraduate students from around the country for a unique research experience in a national laboratory. Talley’s article described his experience with the 11-week SURF program, where he interacted with staff researchers, attended seminars and team meetings, and worked in the labs.

MSE assistant professor Lan Li was the PI on the proposal that created the opportunity for this year’s students to attend. Based on the great feedback received from NIST and the students who participated in the program, Li and Chad Watson, MSE’s director of academic and technical advancement, plan to submit another proposal for 2014. Later this fall, Li and Watson will begin seeking interested students with scientific and engineering backgrounds (not just MSE) to apply for the 2014 program.