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PRISM faculty Mikko Haataja and Jay Benziger awarded REU Site grant from NSF

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded PRISM faculty Mikko Haataja (Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering) and Jay Benziger (Chemical and Biological Engineering) a grant to support research experiences for undergraduates through a project entitled “REU Site – EMERGE: Energy, Materials and the Environment: Researchers Gaining Experience”.

The EMERGE (Energy, Materials and the Environment: Researchers Gaining Experience) program will contribute to the training of the next generation of scientists and engineers to tackle the challenges of providing sustainable energy for the future.  EMERGE engages 8 undergraduate students and 2 high school teachers per year in state-of-the-art materials science research applied to sustainable energy production. A diverse group of students will be chosen for the EMERGE program that will emphasize enabling students with limited access to research opportunities a first research experience.

PRISM faculty from Chemistry, Physics and Engineering will mentor students and secondary school teachers on projects associated with energy storage, energy conversion, carbon capture and environmental monitoring. Through a series of presentations, lectures by the faculty from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, and organized discussion groups, students are also challenged to examine the role of science and engineering research against a broader global societal context.  The research opportunities provide students with hands-on experience to excite and motivate them for careers in research, business or government. Participating teachers will gain an improved perspective of the impact of materials science and engineering for sustainable energy to pass on to their students. The experience, training and professional development opportunities provided by the EMERGE program are key elements to the vitality of science and technology for the next generation.