Undergraduate Research

A hands-on approach to learning.

Undergraduate students at CEE have ample opportunities to participate in hands-on research. Students might find themselves in the field during a class, working with classmates on a design project or with a faculty member on their research. Participation in research allows you to explore your interests, gain a better understanding of a given topic, develop scholarly and interpersonal skills, and – sometimes – effect real-world change.  

Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)

Paid positions for undergrads to actively participate in research and work with faculty, graduate students and other researchers .

More About REU


Course Projects

Several courses (e.g. CEE195 About Civil Engineering and CEE458 Water Resources Field Methods) offer design projects, field experiences and even travel for real world problem-solving .

View CEE Courses


PURE Research Program

PURE is a student-run interdisciplinary program in Grainger Engineering that connects freshmen and sophomores with graduate students for semester-long engineering research projects.

Visit PURE


Undergraduate Research Spotlight:

Analyzing the frequency and timing of sea ice cracks in the Antarctic
Senior Cici Teng is working with assistant professor Hannah Horowitz to better understand the sources of sea salt particles in the atmosphere in polar regions – particularly those released from cracks in frozen seawater.

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Class project leads to startup company

A team project on sidewalk repair cost estimates during a required first-year course inspired a student to launch a startup focused on automating civil engineering inspections.

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Engineers in Action student group builds a bridge in West Virginia

A group of CEE and MechSE students traveled to West Virginia this summer, to rebuild a damaged bridge for a rural community.

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Trip offers students unique opportunity to gain real-world design experience.

Students in a popular environmental engineering lab course had a unique opportunity to see first-hand the results of a natural disaster, and to work on practical design solutions to aid recovery.

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Students help develop drone assessment system

Two CEE students visited Mexico City in the wake of a 7.1-magnitude earthquake to gather data on damaged buildings for use in the development of a system that will utilize drones to help assess structural damage.

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Students blog about their class trip to Africa

Twelve students in the CEE 449 class (Environmental Engineering Lab) traveled to East Africa to learn about the issues facing rural communities in developing countries.

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Ready to apply?

Become part of a tradition of excellence: of groundbreaking research, historic firsts and future promise.

Undergraduate Contacts

john popovics

Associate Head and Director of Undergraduate Studies
1116 Newmark Lab
(217) 244-0843

Becky Stillwell

Assistant Director of Undergraduate Programs
1102 Newmark Lab
(217) 333-3812

Greg Coughlin

Undergraduate Program Coordinator
1102 Newmark Lab
(217) 265-5539