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Summer Program

Chemical Engineering Undergraduate Summer Research Program

Summer 2020

Application Deadline: Monday, February 17, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.

Undergraduates from other universities (outside of Stanford) should see the research opportunities provided by the Office of Science Outreach.

The Chemical Engineering Summer Research Program is a 10-week program for current Stanford University undergraduate students.  The purpose of the program is to provide students who have identified a specific research project the opportunity to work one-on-one within a research group.

Students will receive a $7,500 stipend that can be used to pay for the cost of housing, meals, supplies and transportation. This is a 10-week, 40-hour per week program held June 22 – August 28, 2020 (exceptions may be arranged with research advisor). After completion of the program, there will be a poster session to present your research.

Announcement of awards or waitlisting will be made by Friday, February 28, 2020.

Students who do not have a research project formed have the opportunity to apply to one of the faculty research projects listed below. Application link is at the bottom of the page.

Cheme-VPUE Summer Research Faculty Projects 2020

Prof. Abu-Remaileh lab project: The Abu-Remaileh Lab studies basic biological processes that are involved in human disease with a special focus on metabolic and neurodegenerative disorders. We use molecular biology tools, mass spectrometry and genetic engineering to understand how cell metabolism is affected by disease mutations in order to define the biochemical basis of human disease and to identify novel therapeutic targets.

Prof. Bao lab project: The Bao Lab works with polymer and nano materials for a variety of applications, such as circuits, sensors, solar cells and batteries. Projects in the group ranges from materials development, materials processing, materials characterization to device fabrication and testing. Undergraduate students will work closely with a graduate student or postdoc mentor. This year’s project focuses on the following: Imagine swallowing a pill that could diagnose a disease and then immediately disintegrate. In this project, we will explore new ways to create ingestible and implantable sensors that physically attach to and interact with the tissue. We will exploit the body's mechanical and electrical properties to develop smaller and safer sensors that could alter the standard of care for patients worldwide.

Prof. Bent lab project: Nanoscale materials play an important role in a number of technological applications. At such a small scale, the properties of the material become increasingly dominated by the properties of its surfaces. The research in the Bent laboratory is focused on understanding and controlling surface and interfacial chemistry and applying this knowledge to a range of problems in nanoelectronics and sustainable and renewable energy.  Much of our research aims to develop a molecular-level understanding in these systems, and the Bent group uses a variety of molecular probes and atomically-controlled synthesis methods. Systems currently under study include atomic layer deposition, synthesis of two-dimensional and hybrid materials, photovoltaics, energy storage materials, and catalyst and electrocatalyst synthesis and characterization. Undergraduate researchers will participate in hands-on, experimental research under the mentorship of a graduate student or postdoc mentor and Prof. Bent.

Prof. Cargnello lab project: The Cargnello lab works in the area of nanostructured materials for energy and environmental applications using catalysis. Every project in the group is composed of three parts: 1) synthesis of nanostructured materials and catalysts; 2) characterization of the catalytic performance of the materials; 3) structural characterization of the obtained catalysts before and after catalytic reaction. The goal of the research is to understand how the atomic structure of a catalyst is related to its performance, and use these design rules to develop better materials for reactions such as CO2 conversion to fuels and chemicals, reduction of methane emission through combustion, production of H2 through photocatalysis, and sustainable synthesis of ammonia.

Prof. Gao lab project: How do we design biological systems as “smart medicine” that sense patients’ states, process the information, and respond accordingly? To realize this vision, the Gao lab tackles challenges across different levels of complexity, such as (1) protein components that minimize their crosstalk with human cells and immunogenicity, (2) biomolecular circuits that function robustly in different cells and are easy to deliver, (3) multicellular consortia that communicate through scalable channels, and (4) therapeutic modules that interface with physiological inputs/outputs. Our engineering targets include biomolecules, viruses, and cells, and we combine quantitative experimental analysis with computational simulation. The student is expected to learn and contribute to the entire process from designing molecular circuits to prototyping them in living cells. An intent to continue into the academic year is preferred.

Prof. Mai lab project: The Mai research group engineers biopolymers, which are the building materials of life. We seek to develop functional biomaterials and to enhance understanding in the physics of soft materials. Molecular-scale biopolymer design allows us to create well-defined molecules that incorporate the rich function of biological systems into responsive materials. This REU project will focus on developing protein-based materials that mimic the function of muscles. Specifically, the student will program biochemical protocols for a liquid-handling robot using Python scripts, in addition to gaining familiarity with experimental techniques in molecular cloning, recombinant protein expression, and biomolecular purification.

Prof. Qin lab project: The Qin group specializes in the modeling of polymeric materials. This REU project combines chemical synthesis with analysis of thermodynamic properties. The student will be directed to (1) synthesize positively and negatively charged polymers with nearly identical backbones, (2) characterize the polymer size and dispersity, and (3) measure the miscibility of polymers in aqueous solutions. The results will be rationalized in the context of a molecular model. The experimental work will be conducted in the lab of Prof. Yan Xia in Chemistry department, and the theoretical work will be conducted in the lab of Prof. Jian Qin in Chemical Engineering department. The ideal candidate will have a desire to gain more experiences in organic chemistry, and in solution thermodynamics.

Prof. Shaqfeh lab project: The Shaqfeh Group is led by Professor Eric S.G. Shaqfeh, in the Departments of Chemical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, and the Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering at Stanford University. We study problems in suspension mechanics, non-Newtonian fluid mechanics, and particle-laden flows through theory, computation, and experiment.

Prof. Tarpeh lab project: The Tarpeh lab designs and evaluates novel processes to convert water pollutants into products. Our major efforts include producing fertilizers from urine, designing electrochemical resource recovery processes, determining contaminant fate, and studying processes to accelerate global sanitation access. We work at several synergistic scales: molecular mechanisms of chemical transport and transformation; novel unit processes that increase resource efficiency; and systems-level assessments that identify optimization opportunities. Current projects for summer 2020 include electrochemical disinfectant production from urine, electrochemical sulfur oxidation, and producing commodity chemicals from desalination brine.

Apply to one of these projects

Application Deadline: Monday, February 17, 2020 by 11:59pm.