REU Site: A Chemical Engineering Approach to the Materials/Biology Interface

  • Balbuena, Perla P. (PI)
  • Ford, David (CoPI)
  • Ugaz, Victor V.M. (CoPI)
  • Hahn, Juergen J. (CoPI)

Grant Details


Abstract for REU Site: A Chemical Engineering Approach to the Materials/Biology Interface

Institution: Texas Engineering Experiment Station Texas A&M University (TAMU)

Principal Investigator: David M. Ford

This REU award for a 3 year Site on research at the interface of biology and materials supports 10 undergraduate students per year for three years in an 8-week summer research program and 1 student during the academic year at TAMU. The objectives of this REU Site are to: (1) actively recruit underrepresented students for participation; (2) open new research opportunities to students who have had little or no previous research experience, providing insights into research methodologies, self-discipline, team integration, and reporting and exchanging new knowledge; (3) provide information on benefits of attending graduate school, the application process, and encourage students to attend graduate school in Chemical Engineering at TAMU; (4) provide community building opportunities among REU students, TAMU graduate students and faculty mentors; and (5) provide opportunities for REU students to present and publish with faculty mentors.

The intellectual merit of the research is to bring the rigorous analytical approach characteristic of chemical engineering to problems at the materials/biology interface. The REU students will participate in developing the next generation of products and processes on biological molecules and organisms.

Recruiting will be targeted at rising junior and senior students in chemical engineering, and from chemistry, physics, biology, or mathematics who express an interest in engineering graduate school. Students will be recruited from TAMU as well as through Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), three Hispanic Serving Institutions and through student engineering organizations such as the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), National Society of Black Engineering (NSBE), Mexican American Engineers and Scientists (MAES) and the Society of Hispanic Engineering (SHPE) to ensure a diverse student population of participants.

This program has the potential to make a significant contribution toward enhancing the diversity of research and education infrastructure at Texas A&M University and toward increasing the production of African American and Hispanic engineers and scientists. The project creates a model program for diverse populations that addresses the exposure to research by undergraduates as well as awareness of the pathway to graduate school.

Effective start/end date03/1/0602/28/10


  • National Science Foundation: $249,722.00


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