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Summer is ‘when it happens’ for research on River Campus

July 27, 2018

Research at the University of Rochester doesn’t end when most students leave campus for the summer. It thrives.

“Summer is when it happens,” says Douglas Kelley, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering who is working with five undergraduate researchers. “If you add up the hours, eight weeks of research full time in the summer is about the same amount of time as two semesters, 10 hours a week, which is usually all an undergraduate has time for. And you can work longer chunks of time in the summer, which means you’re even more efficient.”

Kelley says faculty advisors also benefit from summer research.

“I get to dedicate more time,” he says, “so it’s easier for me to be a mentor and push things along.”

Students from across the globe are on the River Campus this summer, taking part in Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) and other research programs with Rochester students and faculty members:

  • 34 students are conducting research in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. They come from 16 institutions, including Florida International, Carnegie Mellon, Swarthmore College, Stevens Institute of Technology, and American University.
  • 23 undergraduates are participating in a summer REU sponsored by the Department of Chemistry. They come from Colombia, Serbia, South Korea, Spain, and other nations.
  • 83 students are participating in programs sponsored by the David T. Kearns Center, as McNair Scholars and Xerox Engineering Research Fellows, and as part of REUs focused on advancing human health; nano, bio, and quantum photonics; and computational methods: mind, media, and music. They come from several American universities, including Arizona State, Baylor, Cornell, Illinois, and Princeton.
  • Five University of Rochester undergraduates are serving as Eisenberg summer interns in the Department of Chemical Engineering.

In addition, other undergraduate students are working in labs as well. They are supported with other funding, such as supplemental money faculty receive through grants.

We know what you did this summer

Meet some of the undergraduates on the University of Rochester campus this summer working with faculty and graduate students on a variety of research projects.

student with lab coat and goggle holding up test tubes

Garrett Hoteling ’19 is working in the lab of assistant professor of chemistry Kathryn Knowles. He’s researching cuprous oxide nanoparticles (Cu2O), which are useful as semiconductors—materials that have the ability to absorb energy—and their possible use in solar cells. (University of Rochester photo / J. Adam Fenster)


student and professor sitting at a desk, the students is using a laptop to show something to the professor

Brianna Taggart ’20, right, is a McNair Scholar in the Kearns Center. She’s working in a developmental psychology lab with Laura Elenbaas, assistant professor in the Department of Clinical and Social Sciences in Psychology, studying young children’s perceptions of peers of different economic backgrounds. (University of Rochester photo / Stephen Dow)


students in front of a computer screen smiles for a portrait

Denis Ioni is a student at Florida International University. She is working with physics professor Patrick Oakes on a project to test how cells use bonds to sense the stiffness of their substrate. (University of Rochester photo / Stephen Dow)


student wearing a lab coat using a compture connected to a device

Frederico Hama ’20 is a mechanical engineering major working in the Kearns Center’s Xerox Fellows program this summer. He has designed, built, and run an experimental device that heats liquid metal, using ultrasound to measure the resulting flows. (University of Rohester photo / Stephen Dow)


student in a lab coat with his hands working through a rubber sleeve

Beauclaire Junior ’20 is a Xerox Fellow working with assistant professor of mechanical engineering Doug Kelley researching the electrochemistry of liquid metal batteries, a new technology being brought to market for storing large amounts of energy on the world’s electrical grids. (University of Rochester photo / Stephen Dow)


student in a lab apron holding a liquid dye and dye crystals

Hilary Luety ’19 is a chemical engineering major and an Eisenberg summer intern. She’s working with lecturer and senior technical associate Rachel Monfredo on a project that involves understanding the chemical engineering aspects related to dyeing, and how she can incorporate her findings into lab modules for the chemical engineering curriculum or a stand-alone course for non-engineering students. (University of Rochester photo / Stephen Dow)


student and professor in the lab in front of a microscope

Holly Coleman, right, is a senior at Missouri University of Science and Technology. She’s working in the Kearns Center’s advancing human health program with professor Diane Dalecki, studying how ultra sound technology can be used to affect the growth of collagen. (University of Rochester photo / Stephen Dow)


“There’s definitely more time for research in the summer as opposed to taking four classes and then coming to a lab during the school year,” says Brianna Taggart ’20, a psychology and African-American studies dual major from Rochester. “It works out great.”

Taggart is part of the Kearns Center as a McNair Scholar. She’s working with Laura Elenbaas, an assistant professor in the Department of Clinical and Social Sciences in Psychology, researching children’s perceptions of peers with different economic backgrounds.

Michael Peyman will be a junior at Arizona State this fall. The electrical engineering major is working with Zeljko Ignjatovic, an associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, on a non-invasive blood pressure measurement device.

“The whole experience has been great,” Peyman says. “I’ve never done research before. The best part is the independence, being able to choose what you want to research.”

All Kearns Center REU students will take part in a research symposium on Monday, July 30 at Feldman Ballroom in Douglass Commons. Oral presentations will be 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., followed by lightning talks from 2 to 4, a poster session from 4 to 5:30, and awards and recognition from 5:30 to 6 p.m.


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Category: Campus Life