The University of Wisconsin–Madison Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) hosts an annual summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in Materials program. Selected participants will spend 10 weeks conducting research in an area of materials science, engineering, physics, chemistry, science education or public policy.
The Wisconsin MRSEC, one of 28 Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers across the country, are funded through the National Science Foundation (NSF). The MRSEC research programs are at the forefront of interdisciplinary materials research. The center is home to over 20 faculty members and more than 30 graduate student and post-doctoral researchers from more than 10 departments and 4 colleges throughout the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
The Wisconsin MRSEC is seeking talented undergraduates from around the country to join us for an exciting summer working on the cutting edge materials research being conducted within our center.
Research in MRSEC IRG 1 – Stability in Glasses: New Materials and New Insights
Glasses are ubiquitous across materials types and technological applications but the relationships between glass structure, properties, and processes as well as the fundamental physics of glasses remain poorly understood. Wisconsin MRSEC Interdisciplinary Group 1 (IRG 1) uses the cross-fertilization of ideas and techniques from organic and inorganic glasses to address fundamental problems in glass science through the lens of stability. Glasses of the same composition can be created in states of widely varying thermodynamic and kinetic stability. The IRG seeks to use these materials to develop fundamental stability-structure-property relationships for glasses. Efforts include establishing control over stability in organic and inorganic glasses; understanding the structures associated with varying states of stability; discovering the molecular nature of polyamorphism—the existence of two stable liquid states of the same substance; and determining the relationship between the structure and dynamics of liquids as they cool into the glassy state. The IRG integrates theory, simulations, and experiments to expand the range of ultrastable glassy materials and to enable new applications in areas as diverse as hard coatings and quantum information.
Research in MRSEC IRG 2 – Complex Metal Oxides
Complex metal oxides are a diverse and highly versatile class of materials that can exhibit scientifically and technologically important behaviors ranging from magnetism to piezoelectricity. New technologies and new fields of applications can be realized by expanding the scope of available ionic compositions and increasing the geometric complexity of nanostructures formed from crystalline oxide materials. IRG 2 focuses on probing the synthesis of oxides, increasing the range of available oxide compositions, and forming unique nanostructures—directions that are each enabled by the use of novel transformations from the amorphous to crystalline form. This process of solid-phase epitaxy, or SPE, allows the crystallization of materials that cannot be made through conventional processing techniques and provides the freedom to develop new materials and explore new properties.
Wisconsin MRSEC Seed Projects
Additional research opportunities are available within Wisconsin MRSEC Seed research projects. Seed projects change regularly with current projects listed on the Wisconsin MRSEC Seed page.
REU Program Highlights
- Multiple, faculty-led seminars each week on various Materials topics
- A special seminar on applying to, surviving, and excelling in graduate school
- An end-of-summer REU poster session in which students present their research results and conclusions
- Social activities with students from other REU programs
- A summer in beautiful Madison, Wisconsin
- Students receive a stipend of $5,000
- Housing and travel to and from Madison are provided