NSF REU Site @ UC San Diego
Designing for Safety and Safety by Design
Designing for Safety and Safety by Design
A Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site at UC San Diego, Department of Structural Engineering (grant no. NSF-EEC 1757994)
The 2021 NSF REU Summer Program at UC San Diego will be held as a virtual/remote program due to the COVID-19 panedmic and campus regulations.
The overarching goal of this NSF REU Summer Program is to immerse students in a meaningful and highly interdisciplinary research environment within the structural engineering domain and to teach them that design does not end with construction. Instead, designing for safety embodies: quantifying potential load conditions, damage mechanics, and uncertainties; monitoring for anomalies during operations; processing this information through cyber-modeling via digital surrogates; and translating the information to actionable knowledge for improving current and future system designs. This REU Site will recruit and train 12 to 14 diverse U.S. scholars, working in pairs in a faculty member's lab, for eight weeks each summer to conduct high-impact research alongside other undergraduate and graduate students. Download the flyer today!
2021 REU Summer Program Information
Application Deadline: January 15, 2021
Program Dates: June 20, 2021 to August 14, 2021
Duration: 8 Weeks
Funding: $6,500 stipend + domestic round-trip travel
Housing: No campus housing provided due to virtual program
Note: Students traveling by car are reimbursed based on mileage (or equivalent airfare, whichever is lowest), and on-campus parking is included
2021 REU Summer Program Overview
REU student scholars will work in pairs and be assigned - based on their interests – to work with a faculty mentor and graduate student in Structural Engineering. Students will conduct independent research while collaborating with and learning from other undergraduate and graduate students in an integrated group setting. In addition to research, students will also be immersed in a plethora of enrichment activities.
Sample Research Topics
Cyber-modeling and digital surrogates
Risk and damage assessment
Signal processing and analysis
Structural design and optimization
Structural health monitoring
Student Enrichment Activities
Research and laboratory training
Research facility tours
Graduate school preparation training
Collaborate with ENLACE students
Social activities with other undergrads
Faculty and graduate student lunches
Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium
Caption: Structural Engineering Powell Labs
Prof. Ken Loh (PI), Director of REU Summer Program - Stimuli-responsive materials
Prof. Michael Todd (Co-PI), Associate Director of REU Summer Program - Structural health monitoring
Prof. J. S. Chen - Machine learning data-driven computing
Prof. Alicia Kim - Topology optimization
Prof. Hyonny Kim - Composite materials
Prof. Ingrid Tomac - Post-wildfire mudlows
Limited to U.S. citizens, nationals, and permanent residents (no exceptions)
Enrolled as a student during time of application
Students transferring institutions (e.g., from two-year to four-year institutions) are also eligible
Completed at least one-year of their undergraduate studies
Declared majors in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines
For exceptions and waivers, please contact the Director of the REU Site, Prof. Ken Loh
Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
Preference will be given to students with GPA greater than 3.3
Completed online application and supplemental documents, including:
PDF copy of official transcript
Resume or curriculum vitae
Letters of recommendation (optional and/or upon request)
Women, underrepresented, economically-disadvantaged, and first-generation college students are strongly encouraged to apply
Applications for Summer 2021 are being accepted as of October 15, 2020, and the priority deadline is January 15, 2021. To help you prepare your application, you can download the list of questions before formally submitting your application. Applications are still being accepted after the deadline, but priority will be given to those applications submitted before January 15.
We are monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and its development in the United States. Our goal is to hold the summer program in-person, but its implementation will depend on the State of California and Campus policies. As a result, student selection notifications will be delayed to early April. We thank you for your patience and understanding.
Note: You may need to sign into Google (Gmail) in order to complete the online application.
About UC San Diego Structural Engineering
Students scholars in the 2021 REU Program at UC San Diego will conduct research in and be housed in the Department of Structural Engineering. The Department, and its faculty and students, conduct cutting edge research in aerospace, biological, civil, geotechnical, mechanical, and naval/marine structures by integrating engineering mechanics theories, computational modeling simulations, experimental testing, and practical design concepts. In addition, the Department is home to the world-class Charles Lee Powell Laboratories, the Caltrans Seismic Response Modification Device, and the Englekirk Engineering Center. Through these facilities, students and visitors have access to some of the most innovative and productive research infrastructure in the world.
Captions: UC San Diego, Jacobs School of Engineering quad adjacent to Structural Engineering