Summer Undergraduate Research in Engineering (SURE)

Step Into Penn's Fast-Paced World of Technology-Based Research
Penn Engineering's world-acclaimed faculty, along with our state-of-the-art research laboratories and highly interdisciplinary curricula, offers summer research opportunities for talented undergraduates who seek hands-on research experience.  From robotics and computer animation, nanotechnology, genomics and biotechnology, Penn's centers and institutes are at the forefront of research on multiple scientific and technological frontiers.  Our students play a vital role in posing and answering the questions that will help improve society and transform our world. Through this resource portal, we invite you to investigate the many opportunities to engage in meaningful research experiences in the summer.

Penn Engineering Opportunities

SURE opportunities are open to students in engineering and the physical sciences. The following Penn Engineering programs have opportunities for the summer:

SIG Center for Computer Graphics (SIG)

The Center for Human Modeling and Simulation (HMS), housed in the SIG Center for Computer Graphics, is an exciting place to investigate computer graphics modeling and animation techniques for embodied agents, virtual humans, and crowds. Major foci involve developing behavior-based animation of human movement, especially for gesture, gait, and facial expression, constructing a parameterized action representation for real-time simulation and animation, and understanding the relationship between human movement, natural language, and communication. As a research assistant, you will work side by side with faculty, talented graduate students, and visitors from other universities. You will apply what you've been learning in school in a very direct way. Not only that, but you'll learn the day-to-day operations of working with a team and developing experience and relationships to help you further your career.
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Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter (LRSM)

The Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter (LRSM) provides state-of-the-art Shared Experimental Facilities, which play a vital role in MRSEC research and in promoting collaborations & outreach to the materials community. LRSM is the intellectual focal point of materials research at Penn. It hosts the Materials Research Science & Engineering Center (MRSEC), which consists of five Interdisciplinary Research Groups (IRGs) plus selected seed projects.  As a MRSEC REU Fellow, you will work for 10 weeks with a faculty member on an independent research project. During the program a team of nine faculty members will present weekly lectures on some aspect of materials research and, during the final week, each student is required to make a presentation of his/her research to the other students and interested faculty. Each must also submit a final report and a prize is given for the best paper.
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Littlejohn Undergraduate Research Program

Thanks to a generous gift by Angus Littlejohn, the School of Engineering is able to offer Summer Research Opportunities to Penn Engineering Students. The program is open to rising, sophomores , juniors and seniors.

The program intends to provide students the opportunity to get involved in hands-on engineering research under the supervision of a faculty member. Topics of research include all areas covered by the departments in the School of Engineering and Applied Science. The students will receive a stipend of $5,500 for a 10 week period.

Students are encouraged to seek out a faculty member who is willing to act as the research advisor. A letter of support from the potential mentor and as well as letter from another faculty member is required as part of the application process. The application is done online and should include a one page describing the relevance of the proposed work, a rough plan, expected outcome, your prior experience (if any) and why you are qualified to do this work. Apply Now


Nano/Bio Interface Center (NBIC)

The future of electronics, biomedical, and energy technologies will be determined by research advances in the interdisciplinary fields of nano-biotechnology.  The Nano/Bio Interface Center at Penn supports a summer research experience for undergraduates that will prepare you for that future.  Research experiences are organized around themes like molecular motion, opto-electronic function of biomolecules, and single molecule probes.  This program is appropriates for engineering students and students majoring chemistry, physics and biology.  Additional professional development experience includes writing and presentation skills along with exploring cross-cultural issues.
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NSF/Greater Philadelphia Region/Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Undergraduate Research Program

The National Science Foundation/Greater Philadelphia Region/Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Undergraduate Research Program is in its 24th year. This successful program helps students establish their scientific identity and is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and Penn Engineering’s Office of Diversity & Inclusion. LSAMP is a national coalition striving to increase undergraduate enrollment, retention, and graduation rates of underrepresented racial minorities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) baccalaureate programs who pursue STEM graduate degrees and professional careers. Learn more and apply now.


Penn Research in Machine Learning (PRiML)

The need to analyze and make effective use of the vast amounts of data has made Machine Learning indispensable in many fields of science, medicine and engineering, as well as technology powering modern high-tech industry. Machine Learning addresses the fundamental problems of extracting models and patterns from data. PRiML's focus is on both theoretical and applied aspects of machine learning, especially dealing with fundamental challenges of large scale learning: high dimensionality, very large datasets, limited supervision, adversarial settings, structured outcome spaces.  As a research assistant, you will get involved in research with faculty mentors early in your career.  You will work with a faculty member and a graduate student mentor throughout the summer with the goal of producing an identifiable research result. 
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Summer UNdergraduate Fellowship Sensor Technologies (SUNFEST)

Summer UNdergraduate Fellowship Sensor Technologies (SUNFEST) is a unique program that provides talented undergraduate students with hands-on research during the summer in the area of sensor technologies.  The program is open to students in engineering and the physical sciences. Areas of Research include Micro and Nano Electromechanical Structures and Sensors, Nanotechnology and materials for Sensors, Robotics and Control oriented projects, Wireless Sensor.  As a research assistant, you will be exposed to  real, in-depth research in the area of sensor technology under the mentorship of a faculty member.
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Additional Research Opportunities

Summer Research Opportunities at Penn

Summer Research Opportunites at Other Institutions

International Summer Research Opportunities