URT Descriptions - 2021

Opportunity Descriptions - 2021 Undergraduate Research Training (URT) Program

Opportunities for Undergraduate Research Training are below.

*Some training opportunities are able to be done remotely. This is noted in the title/description.*


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


UNH Durham/Virtual - 2 positions

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. 304L 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/Virtual - 1 position

Primary Research Mentor: Biswajit Gorai

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

UNH Durham/ In person only - 2 positions 

Project Title: Development of Multifunctional Biomaterials to Enhance Cellular Function (UNH Durham)

Lead Research/Primary Mentor: Linqing Li

Project Description:This project involves the development novel biomaterials with controlled multifunctionality as a platform to better understand how extracellular matrix cues regulate cell signaling and as a vehicle to control cellular function. The students will learn how to conduct chemical modification of macromolecules, formulate various types of hydrogels, characterize multi-scale mechanical testing, and integrate these biomaterials with various in vitro cell culture systems for tissue engineering applications particularly in the area of tissue vascularization and mechanobiology. 

Minimum Qualifications: Basic Knowledge of Chemistry, Cell Biology and Materials Science 

Desirable but not required:Fundamental of Tissue Engineering Principles and Mammalian Cell Culture

UNH Durham/In person only - 1 position

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

UNH Durham/Virtual - 2 positions

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.

Keene State College/Virtual - 2 positions

Project Description:

This research aims to provide a background for three-dimensional (3D) printing applications for cell scaffolding. 3D bioprinting is a rapidly growing field attempting to recreate functional tissues for medical and pharmaceutical purposes. Among various techniques, the extrusion-based 3D bioprinting process can fabricate intricate and well-defined pore geometries mimicking the native tissue architecture. Due to the biocompatibility and shear thinning capacity, natural hydrogels are used for the extrusion-based bioprinting process. Maintaining proper printability and shape fidelity during and after the printing process is crucial to achieving a successful scaffolding technique. Therefore, finding out the appropriate biomaterial components and compositions and related process parameters is critical, and this is the goal of this research. The designed and characterized hydrogels with proper process parameters can help improve the cell scaffolding technique.

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