Clean Energy Bridge to Research – What to expect

Benefits of Participation

By participating in the Clean Energy Bridge to Research program, you will:

  • Gain research experience in nationally recognized labs.
  • Prepare for graduate school.
  • Network with peers and research professionals.
  • Receive mentoring from top faculty.
  • Create potentially publishable work.
  • Receive a competitive stipend, and restitution for travel and housing.
  • You may be eligible to receive academic credit and attend professional conferences.

Participating students will have the opportunity to work on research that has the potential to revolutionize the field of clean energy. Because CEBR is multidisciplinary, it offers research experiences in a variety of scientific disciplines including chemistry, physics, materials science and engineering, and electrical engineering.

Research projects within CEBR’s labs cover a broad range of topics, offering interested students a diverse choice of labs and research projects. Students can choose to work on the theory that drives the development of new molecules for trapping solar energy, new electrode materials and chemistry for batteries, or models for grid management of renewable energy. Other labs work on integrating these new materials into devices at both the nano- and macro-scale. Click here to view  a  list of faculty who may be willing to sponsor a Summer REU student.

Activities

In addition to the work that REU students do in the lab, they also participate in CEBR’s, seminars, social activities and field trips that provide them with increased networking and learning opportunities (not to mention fun) and other enrichment and outreach opportunities sponsored by the Clean Energy Institute. Some students may be eligible to receive academic credit and be provided with the opportunity to attend professional conferences to share their work and learn about that of others. All students that are accepted into the program are supported financially with competitive stipends. Capped grants are available to reimburse students for room, board and travel costs to the different institutions. Students who excel in the exploration summer may be invited to continue their research during the following summer.

By the end of the summer students are familiar with both the technical skills of performing research within the lab, and the social and cultural skills necessary to succeed in industry and academia. Students are generally exposed to a variety of research activities which may include literature search, experimental design, bench work and lab notebook management, mathematical modeling, instrumental characterization, computer/software control and analysis, lab safety, as well as communication, organizational and interpersonal skills. Although each student’s experience differs according to research group, some general expectations are outlined below.

1. Students accepted into the full program are expected to work in their designated laboratory for 9 weeks, 40 hours per week to complete an academically appropriate research project designed in conjunction with their advisor. By the end of the nine-week session, students are expected to complete an abstract or summary of their work, a poster and a presentation. Other assignments may be required.
2. Exploratory students will conduct a focused research task in a lab  for 4 weeks, 40 hours per week, and produce an educational product that helps translate the research to others. Students have the opportunity to visit several lab and research settings as they establish relationships build awareness.  Students who excel in the exploration rotation may be invited to continue their research during their sophomore year and the following summer.
3. Community college teachers will participate in the exploratory experience with the goal of creating curricula that they can use to prepare students for clean energy content and research.

The initial orientation will introduce students to the rationale behind research, general research procedures (as needed for each cohort), how to set realistic goals and expectations, and how to handle frustration and setbacks. Students are encouraged to meet frequently with their faculty and graduate/postdoctoral advisors, particularly in the early stages of the program, to precisely define their projects and review lab-specific safety protocols. Students’ project plans will be approved by their faculty advisors by the end of week two.

Throughout the summer, students may gather weekly for content seminars and skill-building workshops. Final reports (abstracts) will be due in the 9th or 10th week, at which time students may also be required to participate in a final symposium and present their work. These reports will be reviewed by the faculty advisors and posted online.

Students are also invited to participate in a variety of social events and extra-curricular activities including lunches, outdoor field trips and sporting events.

Past Student Projects

CEBR 2016 projects

Exploratory REU – (4 week)

UW URP Li-air poster   Nanoparticle catalysts for Lithium air batteries- Son Luong-

Thermal Stability of LiCoO2  and Spark Plasma Sintering Wiki Article  – Joel Crain

(AB 7-21-2016) Pyrolidinium TFSI Ionic Liquid preparation – Arthur Beausoleil

Secondary Use of Li Ion batteries from buses website   Alek Lazarski

CEBR builds on the success of the Hooked on Photonics (HOP) program which ran from 2004 to 2014 with NSF support. To see examples of the types of research students produce, read through the abstract books:

Other Resources

Learn about the scientific concepts behind CEBR research at the Clean Energy Institute – Science of Clean Energy

Explore research focus of CEI affiliated faculty and labs.

Investigate other research opportunities at: