REU Students

The Micro/Nano Technology Center (MNTC) is hosting a NSF Research Experience for Undergrads (REU) Site this summer. Students from across the nation will work alongside University of Louisville professors and post-doctoral researchers for 10 weeks, gaining hands-on experience in micro/nano-manufacturing, additive manufacturing and robotics.

Seven of the thirteen students will work with members of the LARRI team. Sara Morice (Vanderbilt University) will be mentored by Dr. Andriy Sherehiy, Colin Warn (Washington State University) will be mentored by Director of LARRI, Dr. Dan Popa, Dr. Karla Welch will mentor Rohit Narayanan (Princeton University), Dr. Dilan Ratnayake will mentor Connor Ferris (University of Kentucky), Muhemmad Yassin (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) will be mentored by Dr. Cindy Harnett, Jack Spieker’s (Washington State University) mentors are Dr. Dilan Ratnayake and Dr. Kevin Walsh, and Patrick Clapacs’ (University of Louisville) mentor is Dr. Sri Chowdhury.

The REU students will participate in classes, personalized independent research projects, professional development and gain exposure to a variety of applications in the health, security, energy, and manufacturing fields. Some of the REU students’ individual projects include Aerosol Jet Printing on 3-D Printed Materials, Characterization of Microrobots Inside the Scanning Electron Microscope, Development of a Multiscale Additive Manufacturing Instrument with Integrated 3D Printing and Robotic Assembly, to give a few examples.

“Through the LARRI program, I hope to learn the workflow that goes into making micrometer and nanometer sized devices: From concept to wafer. So far, I’ve enjoyed learning from some of my graduate and postdoctoral coworkers how they design these devices, the various photolithographic and reactive ion etching equipment used to make the designed features, then taking it to characterization tools such as profilometers to quantify the accuracy of their manufacturing methods. Outside of work, I’ve been having a blast trying all the soul-food-style restaurants in Louisville on my quest to find the best fried chicken in the heart of Kentucky Fried Chicken.” Colin Warn

“I’ve really enjoyed the program so far! It’s been a great experience both in the lab and outside of it.  I think Louisville has a lot to offer and I’ve really loved getting to know the city through soccer games, ghost tours, horse races, and more. As for in the lab, I like how flexible our schedules have been.  Having a flexible schedule gives me the opportunity to utilize my time when in the lab. This way if I can’t get something done by 5pm I can stay late one day and leave early the next to balance out my hours. In the remaining time I hope to learn even more about the research process and how to set up my own experiments better.” Sara Morice

“The LARRI REU program has given me a broad interdisciplinary exposure to robotics in the real world.  I’ve engaged with the engineering side of robotics for many years, but in my REU, I’ve been able to explore its application to the social sciences.  Through my work with some of the lab robots, I’ve learned a lot about genuine human-robot interaction.  The REU program has provided a structured, informative summer in a beautiful city where I’ve grown as an engineer, but also as a student.” Rohit Narayanan