Undergraduate Student Research Opportunities in Aerospace-Related Fields

Professor Nosang V. Myung
Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering
University of California, Riverside
Email: myung@engr.ucr.edu
Phone: (951) 827-7710

Ample evidence demonstrates that undergraduate research opportunities are a valuable tool for recruiting young people to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, for retaining them through the bachelor’s degree, and for advancing them to graduate studies. The University of California, Riverside operates a number of programs to provide undergraduates with research experiences during the academic year and particularly during the summer. We request support from the California Space Science Grant Consortium workforce development program to expand the number of undergraduates served by two in the summer of 2011.

Participation in research helps students attain a higher level of competence in the majors, understand the methods and processes of research, make informed judgments about technical matters, and communicate and work in teams to solve complex problems. Students rate undergraduate research experiences as very influential in their career choices. Several studies have examined the impact of undergraduate research experience on advancement to graduate study (Zydney et al., 2002; May and Chubin, 2003; George, 1996). These agree in general that student research experience was both beneficial and a contributing factor in the decisions to attend graduate school.