It was another successful year for the UK College of Engineering’s Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program in Bioactive Interfaces and Devices. The REU program is a 10 week intensive research program that is sponsored by the National Science Foundation. The program brings in talented undergraduate researchers from across the US and gives them the opportunity to conduct research under the guidance of faculty and UK graduate students.
A poster competition and awards ceremony was held to recognize the REU student’s efforts this summer. The event took place at the Hilary J. Boone Center where faculty, graduate students, and parents gathered to celebrate the student’s accomplishments. At the poster competition the REU students displayed their research and gave presentations which were judged by UK graduate students. Awards were given based on the student’s ability to explain their research in an articulate manner and demonstrate an understanding of their research projects by answering questions posed by the judges. At the awards ceremony, following the poster competition, Dr. Isabel Escobar, University of Kentucky Professor – Chemical & Materials Engineering, gave the keynote address.
At the close of the ceremony the awards went to:
1st Place Poster Competition: Melissa Montalvo, University of Alabama
2nd Place Poster Competition: Alina Thokkadam, Rutgers University, New Brunswick
3rd Place Poster Competition: Cole Tower, Allegheny College
Best Blog: Ronald J Vogler, University of Kentucky
Best Oral Presentation: Hannah Tompkins, Whitworth University
“This is a very unique program that enables these students to experience multidisciplinary research by working with faculty and graduate students in a number of different disciplines including in chemical engineering, materials engineering, biomedical engineering and pharmaceutical sciences,” said Kim Anderson, director of the program. “Many of these students come in at the beginning of the summer questioning whether a Ph.D. is for them. We make sure that they spend a great deal of time with our current graduate students and learn what graduate school is all about. By the end of the program, the students have the confidence to do graduate level research and are very excited about pursuing a Ph.D. We have been able to attract high quality students to our REU program, and hopefully many will consider coming back to UK for graduate school.”