Summer research program supports underrepresented engineering students

Six undergraduate students from Tennessee State University in Nashville and Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Ala., spent two months this summer conducting engineering research at Missouri S&T as part of a new program designed to encourage underrepresented engineering students to consider pursuing graduate studies.

Missouri S&T’s Summer Engineering Research Academy (SERA) is sponsored by S&T’s College of Engineering and Computing (CEC).

“This was a new program, and it was a tremendous success,” says John Myers, CEC associate dean and a professor of civil, architectural and environmental engineering. “We wanted to introduce more undergraduate students from underrepresented groups to the exciting research going on here at Missouri S&T, in hopes of generating interest in going on to graduate school after they finish their bachelor’s degrees. We plan to continue to offer this program in the future.”

“Each of the students worked with an S&T research group based on their expressed interest areas of metallurgical engineering, automation or advanced manufacturing,” says Kelley R. Wilkerson, CerE’07, PhD CerE’12, assistant teaching professor of materials science and engineering and program director.

Each student spent about 30 hours a week on research and spent their remaining time exploring the university, touring labs, attending personal development workshops and participating in social activities. At the end of the two-month program, the students presented the results of their research.

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