Research Experience for Undergraduates
in Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering
Summer Internships Photo Gallery
2015 REU Summer Interns
2014 REU Summer Interns
2013 REU Summer Interns
2012 REU Summer Interns
2011 REU Summer Interns
|Asa Roy||Ashley Lloyd||Charles Gilbert||Isis Rivera||Jared Harris|
|Jenileigh Wax||John Muryn||Julia Deitz||Kaitlin Sweany||Kaitlynn Wilson|
|Ricky Kaiser||Robert Glowacki||Ronna Boettcher||Sindhuja Chari|
2010 REU Summer Interns
2010 REU Summer Interns in the Lab with Faculty Mentors
2010 Kent State Conference
2009 REU Summer Interns
2008 REU Summer Interns
2007 REU Summer Interns
2006 REU Summer Interns
|Visit to Ashland Chemical in Dublin, Ohio||Visit to Ashland Chemical in Dublin, Ohio||Academic Career Panel Discussion 7/05/06||Non-Traditional Careers Panel Discussion 7/10/06||Student Presentation|
The summer 2006 program consists of 15 student interns from the following universities: Agnes Scott College, Albany State University, Geneva College, Georgia Inst. of Technology, Grove City College, John Carroll University, Lycoming College, Michigan Technological University, Morehead State University, Mount Union College, Norfolk State University, Ohio State University, Western Illinois University, University of Texas at Austin, Wheaton College.
Majors: Applied Physics, Biochemistry/Molecular Biology, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Physics.
Student comments about the program:
"I think the program is very complete. It is more than a research program. It is a great learning experience at many levels. I decided to go to Akron over working for industry, and I'm very glad I did it. It helped me answer many questions about my career. I was also surrounded by great people. It was a very intellectual community, but at the same time, a lot of fun."
"I liked the fact that different professors were very approachable and seemed to genuinely enjoy sharing their time with us."
"Akron grad students were great to be around! I also enjoyed the few times I was able to be with faculty outside of Goodyear. Grad students, faculty and other interns were all more social than I had expected, and I was fortunate to interact with them both during and after work. Lasting contact with many individuals may be the most valuable aspect of the program for me. Without this social network, I could not have enjoyed Akron nearly as much."
"The orientation was useful in that it provided time for the REU students to become acquainted with each other, some of the faculty and staff, and the overall objective of the program. I believe that it is essential to have this time at the beginning of the program."
"The orientation was helpful, overall. I realize that things like the safety lecture need to be covered, but I've heard that stuff a dozen times. Having said that, I'll probably do something stupid next week and lose a hand or something equally bad."
"The introductory lectures were a bit above my head. I had a hard time following. I had never had any polymer chemistry before Akron and thought that it could have been more general and maybe less information."
"For me (the introductory lectures) were completely necessary because I have never had a polymer course. I referred to the textbook quite frequently when trying to read technical papers."
"I actually really enjoyed the introductory lectures, aside from being sick for the first week and a half! They would have been tough if I hadn't had a solid foundation in organic and physical chemistry, as well as physics, but fortunately I think I've had good preparation in those areas. I don't know how much they helped with my research, per se. I will say that they helped in understanding some of the polymer terminology used by the other interns in their research presentations. Plus, it's good information for me to have as a chemist-in-training, especially since (my college) doesn't offer a course in polymers. It also helped break up that first week a little bit; picking up on the research project that quickly is tough! It's a very steep learning curve! I recommend keeping the lectures. I used the textbook several times during the internship, and I've used it several times since."
"The Friday lunches were good. Keep those. There were a couple of interns that I didn't see much around the dorm, so it was a good opportunity to catch up with them. All the visits were well worth the trip. The visit to Ashland Chemical, in particular, changed some misconceptions I had about the industrial workplace and what to expect from an industrial career. I found it highly informative! (Company X) was less enthralling, but I found it useful, if only for the reason that I now realize that I probably don't want to work for a small company."
"The weekly gatherings were a nice time to get everyone together, although I feel that the first research briefing came too soon. (I had barely started my project at this point.) However, these research briefings provided valuable experience in giving a short, scientific presentation to a group of peers."
"I found there are many things that must be taken into consideration on science from an ethical point of view. The (ethics) workshop did a good job on highlighting some things that could be forgotten easily when doing research."
"I enjoyed (Prof. Foster's) thoughtful presentation of and enthusiasm for the (ethics) subject matter. In particular, discussions on the recording and integrity of our data, proper publication and acknowledgement procedures, case studies in unethical research, and addressing professional approach to problems were useful."
"I learned a lot from (the panel discussions). It gave me some insight to the different jobs available with a chemistry degree. Some of the jobs I did not even know existed or were an option."
"The panel discussions I found to be the most useful meeting held each week. For the most part, the panels were able to answer many questions I had about the differences between the varied career paths in the sciences."
"I enjoyed the faculty seminars because they gave me a feel for what types of research are carried on at a university such as Akron, especially for the varied approaches and thought processes used in determining which research to pursue. It was also interesting to see the different personalities of various professors, and that there was no one "right" personality required to be a successful researcher."
"The faculty seminar series was useful in terms of giving us an appreciation for and broadening our horizons about the research areas in Polymer Science and Engineering. However, with the exception of a few professors, I felt that the information presented was too complex considering our basic knowledge about polymers and the specialized knowledge in the respective areas that we were conducting research."
"I thought the (Northeast Ohio Undergraduate Research) symposium was well organized to be beneficial to us. It was wonderful to hear about the projects other students worked on, present my work to people outside The University of Akron, and have to defend my work independent of my mentor and advisor. I felt especially lucky because I was able to meet a few professors who gave me some useful information regarding internships and Graduate School."
"I think (the Northeast Ohio Undergraduate Research Symposium) was very well organized, and it was a good feeling to be there and show your accomplishments to other students. I also felt very proud to be part of the Akron program because everyone had a successful experience."
"The Akron 50th Anniversary symposium was a great end to the internship! The technical talks were really good, and the picnic was fun. It was a good sendoff for all the interns."
"I would (and have) highly recommend the (UAkron REU) program, or similar programs, to anyone considering graduate school. I had done research before coming for the summer, but this was a very different experience. At Akron, I had to learn how to work in a group, as well as on my own, and was under real pressure to complete the project in a fixed time frame. This was a great introduction to graduate school. It was tough, no question about it, but I'm excited about graduate school and still have every intention of going. The summer at Akron showed me some things to watch out for, but also cleared up some misconceptions I had about what graduate-level research is like. Overall, I was very encouraged by what I experienced!"
"I loved the research and the opportunities that the university opened for me. I learned how to use several instruments and how to present my research. My advisor was helpful and made sure that I was always busy; he kept me in the lab instead of reading journals the whole time. I appreciated all the hands on experience I received and the independence that was given to me as well as the much needed guidance from my mentor and advisor."
"I was particularly impressed about how organized the entire program was - form the initial contacts sent confirming acceptance to the program, through to the final day when the program ended. I also liked the fact that there was a sense of camaraderie and fellowship among the interns, and that there was open communication and dialogue with the professors. The PSSO officers and the other graduate students, for the most part, were very friendly and made the overall experience better, by giving assistance in the laboratory, showing us around the area, and participating in activities. The housing accommodations were also commendable, and the Housing and Residence Life Staff were extremely cooperative in sorting out any residential issues and/or concerns. At the end of the summer, I can truly say that the REU program was a rewarding one and all the individuals responsible for the successful hosting deserve to be lauded."
2005 REU Summer Interns
The summer 2005 program consisted of 12 student interns from the following universities: Baldwin-Wallace College, Benedictine College, MIT, Mount Union College, Ohio University, Texas A&M University, University of Akron, University of Michigan, University of Southern Mississippi, Vanderbilt University, and Youngstown State University.
Majors: Biochemistry, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Mathematics or Polymer Science
Student comments about the program:
"The orientation was very informative and gave me a good foundation on which to begin, expectations were laid out, introductions were made and tour of the building and pertinent parts of campus made me feel comfortable and welcome."
"I liked having my own specific research project to work on."
"Overall, I enjoyed the program a lot. I think Dr. Gujrati contributed to this quite a bit- although the program as a whole I thought was very worthwhile as well."
"Everything was great! I felt very independent working in Dr. Pugh's lab."
"I enjoyed the trips to NASA and Advanced Elastomers the most. I also enjoyed the concert at Blossom."
"Trips taken offered great insight into what can be accomplished in this field and the benefits of attending graduate school, they gave me a sense empowerment, made me feel as if I could really make great accomplishments!"
"Dr. Mattice was a great research mentor. He provided a challenging but very rewarding project."
"Dr. Foster is probably the most methodical and efficient man I've ever met. I'd recommend him, I think I learned a lot."
"I really enjoyed visiting Spectra, as it was a small company and we really got to see what was going on and what specific chemistry they were using to build a business."
"I would highly recommend Dr. Newkome and his group. I learned an immeasurable amount from the group."
"The weekly gatherings were helpful. I especially enjoyed the trip to NASA, although all the trips I think were worthwhile."
"My mentor, Dr. Pugh, served a great example to show what women can achieve in science, it is inspiring to be guided by such an accomplished scientist and I continue to enjoy working with Dr. Pugh."
"I thought that the symposium at the end of the conference was a good time to see what other areas of research exist and also it was a great time to network with people that will be the leaders of my field."
"I think the symposium at the end of the summer was a good experience in presenting scientific work and made it possible to not just say 'I conducted research', but say 'I conducted research and presented the results...', which I think greatly enhanced the experience."
"I had a great time and learned a lot from my time at Akron. I think that the only thing that I would change would be to require people to live in the dorms. I just saw that it took about the whole summer to actually start hanging out with the people that were living at home and I really think that they missed part of the experience of an REU."
"The coordination with the Math REU students was a really good idea. I also liked the idea of pairing Math kids with Polymer kids for the suites."
2004 REU Summer Interns
The summer 2004 program consisted of 14 student interns from the following universities: Ashland University, Mississippi Valley State University, Mount Union College, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Texas A&M University, University of Akron, University of Tulsa, Washington & Jefferson University, Youngstown State University.
Majors: Biology, Biochemistry, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics or Physics.
Student comments about the program:
"Of course, I learned a lot of things, including how to operate the Molecular Dynamics Simulation programming, while working on my project. It was a very good experience to work in a top institution of polymer science research in the world."
"The orientation provided me with most of the information that was needed."
"I would definitely recommend Dr. Sokolov for future students. He has a number of research projects appropriate for undergraduates to take part in and a great research group that is very helpful and has a good attitude."
"I liked the diversity of the students in the college."
"I loved the Friday group lunches. Those were awesome and I enjoyed hearing about everybody's progress as well as hearing from people from outside groups that none of us normally see."
"I enjoyed visiting Bayer the most, but all three trips were a great learning experience. The weekly meetings could have been shorter. I enjoyed hearing about the research being done by graduate students the most. I also liked hearing the faculty presentations."
"I really liked working for Dr. Pugh's group in that I was able to do 'real' research--in other words, something a real graduate student would do, and not some tried-and-true experiment. I definitely think that it gave me a feel for graduate school."
"Dr. Quirk was a wonderful faculty mentor. He paired me up with a great grad student and was always available to answer questions, unless he was at a conference."
"The trips and weekly gatherings were good because you were able to see what the other students were working on, even if you didn't totally understand it. I liked Firestone the best because they actually showed you labs and processes, instead of just physical types of experiments and tests."
"Ali Dhinojwala is an excellent mentor. He was very helpful while I interned and he has continued to be helpful after I left Akron, especially with recommendation letters and advice. I highly recommend him for any future interns."
"Drs. Newkome and Moorefield are wonderful people and mentors and I would recommend them to anybody."
"I liked visiting Goodyear. The trips to the companies were very interesting. It allowed the interns to really see all of the processes that actually went into a tire."
"Dr. Gujrati was great. Had a lot of time to help me. Very available, very knowledgeable. Great guy."
"I enjoyed the opportunity to present my research orally at the symposium because I feel that you can never speak in front of a crowd too much, and presenting chemical information makes speaking in public that much harder."
"I thought (the symposium) was a great experience. I learned how to share my research with others and answer any questions. I also enjoyed hearing about the research being done at Case Western Reserve University."
"I took my poster to the Conference on Undergraduate and Graduate Student Research and won an award for best poster."