REU Site: Interdisciplinary Research Experiences in Metrology & Non-Destructive Inspection
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This new three-year Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site Program, Interdisciplinary Research Experiences in Metrology & Non-Destructive Inspection, at Texas A&M University (TAMU) will enhance the knowledge and skill-level of a diverse cohort of undergraduate students with limited access to research opportunities through empowering, hands-on and interdisciplinary research experiences in both traditional/advanced metrology and non-destructive inspection (NDI) technologies. Metrology, the science of measurement, and (non-destructive) inspection transcends scales, materials, and disciplines; yet, rarely are its salient aspects emphasized. This site is a first-of-its-kind direct response to a specific concern raised by regional industry partners and technical workforce recruiters about the lack of pragmatic metrology/NDI-related knowledge and skills in their incoming regional workforce. The impact of this site will be to create empowered future researchers and a workforce well-rooted in metrology/NDI, and motivate them to pursue advanced degrees; they will become the future pioneers in related STEM fields, and will help foster our nation''s competitive advantages and thirst for innovative solutions.Each summer, 10 students will be hosted at TAMU, where they will be immersed in hands-on research experiences comprised of a state-of-the-art research project, technical sessions/seminars, lab practice, field tours, and professional-development workshops. This experience will also serve the TAMU upper-level undergraduates and graduate students with invaluable team and personnel management experience. This site will advance scientific knowledge through inter-disciplinary research projects, and help further the field especially in regard to the energy and manufacturing sectors. Five vertically-integrated teams, each comprising two REU students, one senior undergraduate and one graduate student (from TAMU) and a faculty mentor, will work in concert on select research projects over 10 summer-weeks. This on-site experience will be supplemented with follow-ups for continued interaction, growth, and guidance for pursuing advanced study. Student deliverables include public dissemination of research results, and a follow-up plan tailored to each student''s career interests. The impact of this site will be to excite, empower, and educate students, and to enable/inspire them to pursue advanced study and STEM careers.