NDnano's undergrad fellows present research at summer poster sessions

November 2011

undergraduate Research Symposium poster session at Jordan Hall Galleria

NOTRE DAME, IN – Thirty-two students participated in NDnano’s 2011 summer undergraduate research (NURF) program. Each student, selected from a pool of 150 applications, dedicated 10 weeks of their summer to be part of a faculty-led research team at Notre Dame.

While the students are busy nearly full time in the science and engineering labs, the NURF program – now gearing up for its fourth year – offers additional opportunities for skills development, such as workshops on creating effective research posters and giving professional presentations. Both workshops were put to good use before summer’s end when several NURF students participated in the Undergraduate Research Symposium held in early August at Jordan Hall.

The event showcased research presentations and posters from students at Notre Dame, the University of Michigan, and Saint Mary's College. One NURF student, Diana Vega Pantoja, was selected to present her work on the design of paper analytical devices as a means of detecting counterfeit medicines in third-world countries (related article).

"This symposium gives undergraduate students an opportunity to present their technical findings to a wider audience," explained Dr. Marya Lieberman, associate professor of chemistry. "The students really have to think about how to place their work in context and how to explain the science and engineering principles that are most important for understanding their data. Whether they give an oral presentation or a poster, it's the capstone of their ten weeks of research." Lieberman, along with Dr. Ceclia Lucero, assistant director for undergraduate research, and Dr. Dom Chaloner, research assistant professor, are co-organizers of the symposium.

NDnano undergrad fellow Kevin Burke presents his work on binary graphene to semiconductor industry leaders at the MIND poster session

Two weeks later, several NURF students presented their summer research to leaders of the semiconductor industry who were on campus to attend the annual review for the Midwest Institute for Nanoelectronics Discovery (MIND).

The NURF program is one of several summer opportunities at Notre Dame. According to Lucero, Notre Dame was host to more than 200 undergraduate student researchers over the summer.

Visit the NDnano website to “meet” the 2011 NDnanoundergraduate research fellows and review the summaries they prepared of their summer work. The NURF program is open to students from any university. The application process for the 2012 program will open mid-January atwww.nd.edu/~ndnano.