Contact: Susan Montgomery

G. Brymer Williams Collegiate Lecturer and Undergraduate Program Advisor

Chemical Engineering

(734) 936-1890

3142 Dow

Research programs

Summer Undergraduate Research in Engineering

For U-M undergraduate students, SURE offers summer research internships to outstanding undergraduate students who have entered or completed their junior year by the time of their internship. Participants have the opportunity to conduct 10-12 weeks of full-time summer research with some of the country’s leading faculty in a wide range of engineering disciplines. The program provides opportunities for students to assess their interests and potential in pursuing research at the Masters or PhD level in graduate school. All participants must apply online through the SURE website. Accepted applicants from the University of Michigan receive guidance from a faculty advisor in a College of Engineering research facility, a stipend of $4,200, attend regular meetings and seminars, and produce a short YouTube video of their summer research project and/or experience. Learn more on the SURE website

Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program

The Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) creates research partnerships between first and second year students, and faculty, research scientist, and staff from across the University of Michigan community. All schools and colleges are active participants in UROP,thereby providing a wealth of research topics from which a student can choose. Begun in 1988 with 14 student/faculty partnerships, today, approximately 1200 students and over 700 faculty researchers are engaged in research partnerships. Learn more on the UROP website

For pay, credit or as a volunteer

Undergraduate students can work with faculty to get research experience. Photo: Joseph Xu, Michigan Engineering Communications & Marketing

There are many opportunities to work in faculty research labs for pay, academic credit, or as a volunteer. If you want to do this you would elect ChE 290 (sophomores, free elective credit) or ChE 490 (Directed Study, Research and Special Problems, technical elective credit) after making arrangements with a professor to work on a specific project. Projects are available in Fall, Winter, Spring or Summer Terms. If you are looking for a lab job for the summer you should ideally start your search in February.

To find a research position in the Chemical Engineering department:

  • Explore options by visiting the ChE Department research page and the list of available ChE 490 projects. The "ChE 490 Project Descriptions" handout is also available in the Undergraduate Program Office (3146 H.H. Dow). Note that a number of professors have projects available that aren't on this list.
  • Contact the professor to see if you can get a position working in their labs. When e-mailing professors, remember that enthusiasm and interest in their area count for a lot. In the email, include:
    • Why you are interested in working in their labs. Cite the web page, how it relates to your interest, etc.
    • Why you are a good candidate—List relevant experience, your major, resume highlights. "As you can see from my resume..." sentences work well.
    • Your resume, as an attachment.
    • Whether you are interested in a paid position or academic credit, and whether you're willing to consider a volunteer position.
    • Your availability to meet with them in the near future to discuss the position.
  • If you both agree to arrangements for a research project, you can make arrangements to get paid or sign up for that professor's section of ChE 290 or ChE 490. A student enrolled in ChE 290 or ChE 490 for 3 credits will be expected to:
    • Work 12 hours per week (during Fall and Winter terms; 24 hours per week would be required for Spring and Summer 1/2 terms) on the project. This comes to 4 hours per week per credit hour if working a full term, or if working only part of the term, use 60 hours total of work per credit hour to determine total credit hours to sign up for.
    • Submit a carefully crafted and thoughtfully organized written report at the end of the semester.
    • Present a 10 minute oral report near the end of the semester, generally to the professor's research group.

These credits can count as technical electives or free electives.