WSU Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium on Aug. 2 features work of 82 students from 50 institutions

A student conducts a test on an optical sensor.

Media: Shelley Pressley, WSU Office of Undergraduate Research Director, 509-335-6679,

A student conducts a test on an optical sensor.PULLMAN, Wash.—Investigating topics from smart homes to disease diagnostics to wearable computing and more, more than 80 students from colleges nationwide worked this summer with faculty mentors at Washington State University. Results of their efforts will be shared at the 2019 Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2, in the CUE Atrium on the Pullman campus.

An introductory keynote presentation, “3-D Printing of Hard Materials for Structural and Biomedical Applications,” will be at 9:00 a.m. in nearby CUE 203, delivered by Amit Bandyopadhyay, Lindholm Endowed Chair Professor in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering. The public is welcome at no charge to both the lecture and the poster session.

“By all reports, the summer researchers have made significant contributions to both new and ongoing projects at our university,” said Shelley Pressley, director of the Office of Undergraduate Research, part of WSU Undergraduate Education. “Many of our top researchers and their staff open the doors to their laboratories each summer to welcome student researchers who help to further the research.”

Assistive Funding from NSF, NIH, USDA, and Professors’ Grants

Pressley noted, “The funding to support the students over summer comes from special grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, and from professors’ other grant funding. We appreciate the investments that important organizations make in WSU and in these student researchers.”

Students typically apply online for projects promoted by NSF, for example. Being accepted for prestigious summer research at WSU is not only great to gain experience and fortify resumes, said Pressley, but it’s also a way for students looking ahead to graduate studies to spend time at a school and with renowned professors that interest them.

Diverse in Many Ways

Pressley noted that “diverse” is the word to describe this year’s summer researchers. They are from every year in college—plus a recent graduate and a few high schoolers. They are from 49 schools such as the University of Arizona, the University of Southern California, the University of Minnesota, The Ohio State University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Cornell and Dartmouth, Pacific Lutheran University, Bellevue and Morehouse colleges, and, WSU itself. Their majors are widespread, including such ones as food and nutrition, biomedical engineering, sustainable materials and technology, biology, chemistry, computer science, and forestry.

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