2023 Summer Undergraduate Research Experience
Research opportunities in polymers, catalysis, enzyme engineering, and data science at the Center for Plastics Innovation (CPI). Experience in chemical conversion strategies and enabling cross-cutting tools to address the global problem of plastics waste.
- Research projects with graduate student, postdoc, and faculty mentorship
- Research seminars
- Professional development workshops
- Industry and government lab site visits
- Counseling on STEM academic careers
- Interdisciplinary research symposium
- 10-week, full-time summer research experience
- $6,000 stipend for each student
- University housing supplement for external applicants
- Application deadline: February 15, 2023
Pandemic Contingency: Please keep in mind that although we are planning for a fully in-person experience in 2023, we continue to monitor the status of the pandemic. We will follow campus and State of Delaware recommendations to prioritize the health and safety of our participants and local community. Applicants must be prepared to comply with University of Delaware COVID-19 requirements for campus visitors. Thank you for prioritizing public safety alongside us.
2023 Summer Research Projects
Synthesis of circular polyolefin-like polymers (Rowan Research Group, Univ. of Chicago, Chicago, IL)
Heterogeneous catalysis applications in plastics waste (Vlachos Research Group, Univ. of Delaware, Newark, DE)
Solvent-less separation of polymers (Lee & Gorte Research Groups, Univ. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA)
Whole-cell enzymatic upcycling of plastic waste (Kunjapur Research Group, Univ. of Delaware, Newark, DE)
Intelligent data management system for plastics innovation (Fang Research Group, Univ. of Delaware, Newark, DE)
Interested in a project that’s not listed? Mention it in your application or contact Dr. Katie Herbert (email@example.com) for more information.
Highlights from 2022 REU
Meet the Team:
Mike Axiotes | University of Delaware | Sophomore | Biochemistry
Joseph Castaneda | CUNY – City College of New York | Sophomore | Chemical Engineering
Lorenz Cushman | University of Utah | Junior | Material Science Engineering
Harrison Goehrig | Bucknell University | Sophomore | Chemical Engineering
Jack Granite | University of Delaware | Senior | Chemical Engineering
Daniel Nakamura | University of Rochester | Junior | Chemistry
Lauren Smith | Delaware State University | Sophomore | Enviromental Science
- Breaking down plastics using chemical catalysis and enviornmental microbial communities from plastic enriched soils
- Biocatalytic approaches to valorize products of polymer deconstruction
- Upcycling plastics waste to reject per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances from water
- Cutting cost and waste: support screening for Ni-based catalyts in polyethylene hydrogenolysis
- Biodegradation of different plastics using microbes from mealworms
- Upcycling of plastic waste via organo-catalyzed synthesis
- Sustainable polymers: closing the loop for a circular economy
Industrial Site Visits
Several off-campus trips took students to regional industrial and national lab sites including Under Armour, ExxonMobil, NIST, and DOW.
Summer Workshop Series
Weekly workshops instructed students on effective literature search methods, developed their presentation skills in various settings, and introduced them to leaders in the scientific fields.
Students presented their summer projects at the University of Delaware’s Undergraduate Research symposium, held virtually for the 2022 event. CPI REUs also presented their work at the annual CPI Retreat.