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Sustainable Energy Alternatives and the Advanced Materials (SEAM)

NSF Interdisciplinary Research Experience for Undergraduates
Departments of Electrical, Chemical/Biomedical Mechanical Engineering, Physics & Chemistry

May 30, 2012 – August 4, 2012


The University of South Florida in Tampa, FL, announces summer research opportunities for qualified junior and senior undergraduate students and is now accepting applications. The program is funded by the National Science Foundation’s Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. Students selected to participate in the program will work with faculty, share their experiences with fellow participants, attend seminars, acquire oral and written presentation skills, and learn how to conduct independent research.

The program provides exciting research opportunities. In order to achieve the stringent goals set forth by the Department of Energy, we will involve students in state-of-the-art interdisciplinary research projects in the fields of solar cell characterization, developing nanofibrous and nanospherical conducting polymeric materials for hydrogen storage to be used in mobile applications, renewable production of hydrocarbon and hydrogen fuel production, organic solar cell arrays for on-chip application, material development for super-capacitors and transparent conductive electrodes, and solar energy conversion.

The primary objectives of this REU site will be to

  1. Increase involvement of students from under-represented populations in research
  2. Build a pool of academic researchers and mentors for advanced technical innovation, including students from community colleges and non-engineering degree granting institutions
  3. Increase recruitment of students into graduate programs

Students will spend 10-weeks in research groups performing state-of-the-art research advised by faculty mentors and graduate students. REU participants will attend weekly research seminars, brown-bag student discussion sessions, a journal club, social and community activities, technical and professional training workshops and field trips. Students will be awarded a stipend of approximately $4500 inclusive of support for housing, meals and travel.

Eligibility: REU participants must be undergraduate students and must be citizens or legal permanent residents of the United States or its possessions.

Students will be housed in University Housing in 4 bedroom apartments. These apartments are furnished and include a kitchen and living room and are within walking distance of all the research laboratories. Each student will receive a University ID card, which will allow library privileges, use of the university shuttle bus system, use of the recreational facilities and access to the computer labs on campus. Housing costs are covered by the program. Students are advised to have their own private health insurance for use with a local walk in clinic in the area. The USF Health Center is also available for use, and has a $75 summer fee that is not covered by the program

Program Directors: Contact Dr. Sylvia W. Thomas at, (813) 974-4011, or Dr. Rudy Schlaf at (813) 974-8463 for additional information.

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