New Generation Resilient Infrastructure

New Generation Resilient Infrastructure

Research Experiences for Undergraduates
Program Dates: May 24 - July 30, 2021

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NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates:
New Generation Resilient Infrastructure

2021 Summer Program (Pending funding from NSF)
Applications Open: November 15, 2021
Application Deadline: February 12, 2021

COVID-19: We are planning for in-person research opportunities this summer. However, these opportunities will be subject to any state, federal, and university regulations related to the COVID-19 pandemic. We will keep applicants posted as those emerge. All REU students participating in the program will be expected to abide by university public health regulations. Read more.

Overview: With as much as 75% of the infrastructure required by 2050 not yet built, building for the future will require far-reaching changes in how the risk-averse engineering profession achieves the broadest possible level of multi-hazard resilience and sustainability for the smallest possible expenditure of limited natural resources. New manufacturing processes and innovative materials, coupled with advanced modeling and simulation tools, are key to realizing high-performance, sustainable, and multi-functional infrastructure design and construction paradigms, and the future technically skilled workforce. Therefore, it is important to equip the next generation of engineers and researchers with the skillset to creatively adapt innovative new technologies to meet society’s need for multi-hazard resilient infrastructure following collaborative problem-solving approaches. See our list of Summer 2021 Research Projects.

Personal and Professional Development: The proposed REU Site at Virginia Tech will fully immerse and engage a diverse group of undergraduate students in interdisciplinary research, communication, and career development activities centered around new generation structural engineering, resilient materials, smart design, physical security, and large-scale testing. The educational focus of the program is to broaden the scientific base of underrepresented minority and women undergraduates to encourage and reward interdisciplinary research through hands-on laboratory experiences. The tightly integrated experimental and numerical projects will increase the intellectual and research independence of the participants through synergistic cooperation between the young scientists and their faculty and graduate mentors. A collegial learning environment will be fostered to build a strong sense of community through social and professional interactions structured to promote personal wellness and confidence, while also building teamwork, leadership, and problem-solving skills.

Broader Impacts for Students: This REU site will create a talented and diverse pipeline of multicultural scientists and engineers prepared to tackle 21st century challenges of rebuilding old infrastructure and designing more resilient and sustainable buildings.

This will be enabled through multidisciplinary research and professional development training for student participants to: (1) provide meaningful research experiences that extend beyond the laboratory through interaction and knowledge exchange with other young scientists and established researchers in a variety of formal and informal settings; (2) stimulate interest in talented students who otherwise would not have had the opportunity or confidence to pursue graduate degrees in STEM; (3) understand the graduate school experience, admissions process, and how to apply for external fellowships; (4) improve personal and technical communication skills necessary for a successful career in team-based science.