Participating in undergraduate research allows you to work closely with a faculty mentor and graduate students, explore the idea of research and graduate studies, and get in-depth experience in a specific focus area. More than 20% of Electrical and Computer Engineering students participate in at least one research experience during their undergraduate career.
Undergraduate Research Funding Opportunities in Electrical and Computer Engineering
Students have significant opportunities to pursue paid undergraduate research activities in ECE. The vast majority of research-active faculty involve both graduate and undergraduate students on their research teams, and often have research funding available for undergraduate students, as part of their grant funding or through supplementary funding such as NSF’s Research Experience for Undergraduates program.
ECE Undergraduate Research Fellowships
In addition, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering supports several Undergraduate Research Fellowships. These $5,000 awards can be used for research during the academic year or during a focused 10-week research experience over the summer. To apply, students need to identify a faculty mentor and proposed research project and fill out an application. The deadline for Fall 2020 URF applications is Friday October 30, 2020.
The Fall 2020 URF awards include industry-sponsored awards from both Schneider Electric and North American Stainless. A detailed description of the projects available through these sponsored awards can be found here. These include projects related to power and energy as well as automation, monitoring, and control, and multiple ECE faculty have research expertise in these areas and are available to mentor these industry projects.
For more information about the URF program or with finding a faculty mentor, see “How to Find a Faculty Mentor” below or email firstname.lastname@example.org with a question.
How to find a Faculty Mentor
Finding a faculty mentor is easier than you might think. One approach is to …
- Learn about the areas of research of the ECE faculty, for example at https://www.engr.uky.edu/ece/people or https://www.engr.uky.edu/ece/research , or by talking with graduate students in the department.
- Talk to the faculty member! That’s right, here in ECE we actually encourage our students to literally talk to faculty. You can stop by during published office hours, send them an email, or even just talk to them in the hallway. Ask them what kind of research projects they are working on and whether they have any undergraduate research opportunities.
- Participate. Go to team meetings, identify specific tasks you can help with, do the work, analyze the results, and help present the findings.
Undergraduate Research Student
Edward Ojini, B.S. Electrical and Computer Engineering
LEXMARK RFID Undergraduate Research Assitant
Edward worked under the Mechanical Engineering department at the University of Kentucky, to develop new designs and functionalities, and conduct various testing for a prototype project for LEXMARK. He oversaw the coding and fixture components of the prototype.