Opportunity Descriptions - Undergraduate Research Training (URT) Program

Opportunities for Undergraduate Research Training are below.

Click here for application instructions

Questions? Email allison.wasiewski@unh.edu for more information.

 

UNH Durham

Primary Research Mentor: Sanjib Paul

Project Description:

This project involves computation of molecular systems, including bio-molecules, polymers, and colloids. The student(s) will learn to set up and run computer simulations of multi-particle systems and model intermolecular interactions under different conditions (for example, temperature and solvent). The student(s) will also learn to extract data from computer simulations using visualization and analysis tools.

Minimum Qualifications: Chemistry and understanding of biological molecules. Access to a personal laptop computer.

Desirable but not required: Knowledge of physical chemistry, numerical methods, and structures of (bio)polymers. Familiarity with Linux platform. 

Dartmouth College

Primary Research Mentor: Bram Kuijer

Project Description:

Trauma hardware that is used to stabilize fractures is limited by conflicting requirements of strength (ultimate and fatigue), anatomy-appropriate section modulus, and aesthetics. Current designs do not meet these requirements and have failure rates over 15% in some anatomical critical structures, for example, the mandible. Localized forming permits a work hardened and thinner heterogeneous, metallic biomaterial that has the required high strength and optimized section modulus for healing. 316L steel is a biocompatible steel that offers high creep, stress-to-rupture and tensile strength at elevated temperature and excellent fabricability and formability which are typical of the austenitic stainless steels and high corrosion resistance.

The selected student will assist in the preparation and examination of metallic samples for characterization using techniques such as electropolishing, mechanical polishing, and electro-machining. Some microscopy maybe included.

Minimum Qualifications: Technical - Basic knowledge of materials science or chemistry and mathematics. Familiarity with basic tools and willingness to learn basic repair and maintenance of machines. Working knowledge of laboratory measurements. Must be able to complete all safety training.  Non-technical - Sitting for extended amounts of time may be required and the ability to lift 25 pounds.

Sustainable Product Design and Innovation, Keene State College

Lead Researcher/Primary Mentor: Dr. Ahasan Habib

Project Description:

This research will provide a background for three-dimensional (3D) printing applications for cell scaffolding. 3D bio-printing is an emerging technology to reproduce scaffolds, or support structures, for living tissue. Advances in 3D bio-printing can lead to the development of tissues and organs that can be used for bio-engineering applications, transplants, and other medical applications. Natural hydrogels are often used for scaffolding materials due to compatibility with living tissues and cells. In this research, novel hybrid bio-ink hydrogels are designed and tested to validate its printability, shape fidelity and cell viability. The designed and characterized hydrogels can be a new potential biomaterial for improved 3D bio-printing processes.

Students will prepare the materials, fabricate scaffold with 3D printing, perform the mechanical tests and document results. Students should also have the ability to work in a team, finish the work in a timely manner, update the work to the primary researcher, maintain proper communication, follow the lab working protocol, manage the test data and maintain records.

Minimum Qualifications: Completed coursework in CAD and basic engineering

Desirable but not required: Organic Chemistry and Materials Science

Dartmouth College

Lead Researcher/Primary Mentor: Chenfeng Ke

Project Description:

Synthesis of polymers for 3D Printing hydrogels.

The student will learn to perform end-group modification on commercial polymers and using rheological measurements to assess the 3D printability of the synthesized hydrogels.

Minimum Qualifications: Organic Chemistry I and II

UNH Durham

Lead Researcher/Primary Mentor: Brad Kinsey

Project Description: 

Trauma hardware that is used to stabilize fractures is limited by conflicting requirements of strength (ultimate and fatigue), anatomy-appropriate section modulus, and aesthetics. Current designs do not meet these requirements and have failure rates over 15% in some anatomical critical structures, for example, the mandible. Localized forming permits a work hardened and thinner heterogeneous, metallic biomaterial that has the required high strength and optimized section modulus for healing. 316L steel is a biocompatible steel that offers high creep, stress-to-rupture and tensile strength at elevated temperature and excellent fabricability and formability which are typical of the austenitic stainless steels and high corrosion resistance.The URT participant, depending on interests and skill level, will either work on the (modeling) numerical simulations of bio-compatible metal deformation OR physical testing to obtain material properties.

The URT participant, depending on interests and skill level, will either work on the (modeling) numerical simulations of bio-compatible metal deformation OR physical testing to obtain material properties.

Minimum Qualifications: Modeling Option – Completed Strength of Materials course.

Desirable but not required: Materials Science coursework

UNH Durham
Lead Researcher/Primary Mentor: John Tsavalas

Project Description:

Synthesis of polymer nanoparticles/microparticles for 3D printing.  Functionalization of nanoparticles for bio-compatibility.

Minimum Requirements: Chemistry I and II

Desirable but not required: Organic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, Polymer Chemistry, Chemical Engineering

Lead Research/Primary Mentor: Katherine Mirica

Project Description: 

This project involves the synthesis, development, and implementation of novel porous materials (metal-organic frameworks or MOFs) in portable sensing devices.

Students will learn how to synthesize and characterize conductive MOFs and integrate them into portable electronic devices for sensing of neurochemicals. Students will be trained to carry out electrochemical testing to study the efficiency of the fabricated devices.

Minimum Qualifications: College-level coursework in General Chemistry

Desirable but not required: Coursework in Organic Chemistry

Lead Research/Primary Mentor: Nikhil Padhye

Project Description: 

The project will require developing computational models (computer programming) for simulating pharmaceutical manufacturing processes. Experimental verification and testing will also be needed. The computer programming requires working with Python and Fortran languages. Experimental work may require working with mechanical testing, digital imaging correlation and/or testing forming rigs.

Minimum Qualifications: Interest in programming in Python/Fortran/C and manufacturing. 

Desirable but not required: Development of software or large-scale computational tools.

Lead Research/Primary Mentor: Kyung Jae Jeong

Project Description: 

This project explores the encapsulation of various stem cells in porous polymeric scaffolds and their differentiation into different lineages. The scaffolds will be made of assembly of polymeric microspheres and microgels. Through this project, the participating students will learn to work with polymeric materials, create 3D porous scaffolds, culture mammalian stem cells and characterize stem cell differentiation and proliferation within the scaffolds.

 

Minimum Qualifications: Freshman level Chemistry and Biology