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.

Summer 2024 Program Details

  • Dates: May 28 to August 3
  • Stipend: $6,000
  • Apply online by Feb. 15


Eligible students are undergraduates who have
a strong desire to complete a Ph.D. and meet the
following criteria:

  • Have completed their sophomore or junior
    year of college.
  • Have an overall GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0
  • Is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
    enrolled in an accredited college or university.

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 $6,000
  • Housing and travel to and from Madison are provided

Research in MRSEC IRG 1 – Mobility in Glasses and Liquids

This group works to understand and predict mobility in glasses and supercooled liquids with atomic resolution over timescales of seconds or longer. They conduct unique, nanoscale, time-resolved experiments and simulations leveraging new methods in physics-aware, machine-learning.

The combination of atomic resolution and long times will lead to fundamental understanding of glass behavior including viscosity, fragility, and relaxation, as well as the ability to predict crucial glass properties such as plasticity and impurity diffusion from composition and thermal history.

The IRG’s scientific developments will enable rational design of organic and inorganic glasses, which the group will leverage to create high-mobility, anisotropic organic semiconductor glass films for organic electronics and stabilized, confined, drug molecule glasses for pharmaceutical preparations.

Research in MRSEC IRG 2 – Nonequilibrium Magnetic Phases in Strained Crystalline Membranes

Due to their complex free-energy landscapes with many competing interactions, magnetic materials offer tantalizing opportunities for discovering novel phases of matter, such as skyrmions, merons, and hopfions. Understanding, controlling, and switching between these phases holds promise for applications in high-speed, low-power data processing and storage, next-generation telecommunications, and neuromorphic computing Existing paradigms for navigating these landscapes, however, have limited ability to steer beyond the nearby phases.

This group combines large, continuously tunable strains and strain gradients, uniquely accessible in single-crystalline membranes, with ultrafast THz, optical, or X-ray excitation to discover hidden magnetic phases that cannot be accessed via small static strains or excitation alone.

The group discovers, understands, and controls nonequilibrium magnetic phases and dynamics via combined extreme strain and ultrafast excitation. Its specific goals are to: (1) Understand how extreme strain and associated symmetry breaking modifies complex free-energy landscapes for magnetism, to place membrane systems near phase boundaries and lower energy barriers. (2) Tune and enhance otherwise weak excitation-induced quasiparticle couplings such as photon-spin and phonon-spin via strain, to enable resonant excitation. And, (3) Combine strong excitation with extreme strain to access nonequilibrium phases and enable ultrafast magnetic switching.

Wisconsin MRSEC Superseed and Seed Research Groups

Additional research opportunities are available within Wisconsin MRSEC Superseed and Seed research groups. Seed projects change regularly with current projects listed on the Wisconsin MRSEC Superseeds & Seeds page.

Deadline February 15

Program Contact:

Dr. Andrew Greenberg
Director REU in Materials
1415 Engineering Drive
3035 Engineering Hall
Madison, WI 53706
Phone: (608) 890-1534