Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education & Practice
For the last seven years, a summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates site in structural engineering, funded by the National Science Foundation, has operated at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. During this time, 33 students from 22 colleges and universities have participated in the site. Participants are recruited nationally and have come from as far away as California and Puerto Rico. The program is intended to provide students interested in graduate studies with an introduction to research methods, and to provide students who will not continue their studies past a bachelor of science in civil engineering with a better understanding of how research provides the theoretical foundation of engineering practice. Students work individually with faculty on literature reviews, computer modeling, laboratory testing, and field research. Three students have researched structural failure case studies and the technical and ethical lessons to be learned from them. Participants also have the opportunity to tour construction sites and construction material manufacturers’ and fabricators’ facilities. During the past three years, an ethics seminar series has been added. At the end of the program, students prepare research papers and Web pages documenting their work and present their results to faculty, students, and other participants.
Delatte, N. (2004). "Undergraduate Summer Research in Structural Engineering." J.Prof.Issues Eng.Educ.Pract., 130(1), 37-43.