Zeid and Duggan Create REU Pathway for Community College Students
Ibrahim Zeid, professor of mechanical and industrial engineering, and Claire Duggan, director of STEM programs and operations, were awarded a $400K NSF REU grant to create “Pathways for community college students to enrich their education and careers.” The program will provide 10-week summer research experiences and Associate Academic Specialist Jennifer Love will serve as senior personnel on this project.
Abstract Source: NSF
The three-year REU Site at Northeastern University will host 10 students each year from community colleges to participate in research projects focusing on the field of Smart Engineering with four subfields: AI/Machine Learning; Smart infrastructures; Smart materials; and Smart health. The REU site is guided by two of the grand challenges of the National Academy of Engineering: personalized learning and scientific discovery. Specifically, this project trains students about how to conduct cutting-edge research as well as how to communicate their research findings to the broader community. The project focuses on recruiting URM and students who are currently underrepresented in the STEM workforce. The outcome will be a better-trained, diverse scientific workforce, which will help deliver solutions that both benefit the society and maintain the competitive edge of the United States in the global economy.
The goal of the new three-year REU site at Northeastern University focuses on the field of Smart Engineering with four subfields: AI/Machine Learning; Smart infrastructures; Smart materials; and Smart health. The REU site is guided by two of the grand challenges of the National Academy of Engineering: personalized learning and scientific discovery. Community college (CC) students, graduate students, and research faculty will engage in team-based research projects focused on Smart Engineering. The REU site will provide a 10-week summer research experience for 10 CC students each year. REU students will be paired with faculty and graduate students’ teams. In addition to gaining research experience, they will also receive training on teamwork and communication best practices through a suite of professional development opportunities. Field trips to local industry will provide students first-hand exposure to the STEM workforce in action. These efforts are expected to yield two major outcomes: (1) a cohort of CC young researchers, many from underrepresented groups, who have strong understanding of interdisciplinary team-based research, and (2) publications showcasing the work of these students to the broader research community, and communication best practices through a suite of professional development opportunities.
This award reflects NSF’s statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation’s intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.