Undergraduate Research

Our extraordinary faculty-to-student ratio provides great opportunities for undergraduate students to work in state-of-the-art research laboratories during the academic year and in the summer. Below you can see examples of outstanding student research, along with helpful information to guide undergraduates toward finding research positions at Penn Engineering.

Research Spotlight:

AutoPlug Receives First Prize at 2010 World Embedded Systems Conference
AutoPlug, an embedded systems device developed in the laboratory of Rahul Mangharam, Stephen J. Angello Term Assistant Professor in the department of Electrical and Systems Engineering (ESE), won first prize at the 2010 World Embedded Software Competition held in Seoul, Korea.  

The device was ESE junior Kevin Conley’s summer research experience as part of the Rachleff Scholars Program and was developed in collaboration with team members Teddy Zhang, a junior in ESE, Gabe Torres, a senior in ESE and CIS, and Madhur Behl, a doctoral student in ESE. Learn More!

Wetstone Receives a 2011 CRA Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award
Jessica Wetstone, undergraduate research student in the GRASP Laboratory, won an honorable mention in the Computing Research Association’s Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Awards for 2011.

This program recognizes undergraduate students in North American universities who show outstanding research potential in an area of computing research. This year's nominees were a very impressive group and t is quite an honor to be selected for Honorable Mention. Learn More!

Finding a Research Mentor and Research Experiences:

Students are encouraged to explore the Penn Engineering Faculty Expertise Directory, which features School's standing faculty and is searchable by department, research center affiliation, and research expertise keyword. Users can identify which faculty are conducting research in a specific area and contact faculty members whose research interests them.

The Engineering Dean's Advisory Board (EDAB) has put together a guide for their fellow students that gives step-by-step instructions and tips on how to secure research positions as an undergraduate. Everything from where to look for research to the best ways to communicate with faculty is covered in this comprehensive guide. Download it now!

For those of you who are Bioengineering majors, the Penn student chapter of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) has assembled its own student guide on starting up research. Download it now!

Summer Undergraduate Research in Engineering (SURE):

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. Learn more.

International Summer Undergraduate Research in Engineering (iSURE):

Opportunities for undergraduates are available during the summer to spend eight to 12 weeks on a research internship in one of Penn Engineering's partner institutions abroad. The following is a listing of currently available options, including directions for applying. Learn more.

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 $4,500 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

Rachleff Scholars Program

This program offers Penn Engineering undergraduates the opportunity to gain valuable research experiences with standing faculty and to participate in a community of peers who share a common interest in research and scholarly inquiry. Learn more.

Penn's Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (CURF)

CURF offers a wide variety of research opportunities to undergraduate students including freshman. Visit their website for a list of grants. The calendar of information sessions and application deadlines is available here.