Undergraduate Research

Undergraduates in CEGE have many opportunities to participate in research with faculty, staff, and other students.

You could work in a variety of research facilities including faculty laboratories, the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, the Theodore V. Galambos Structural Engineering Laboratory, or at outdoor research sites. Students are often supported through research grants obtained by their faculty advisors.

Why Participate in Research?

Participating in research as an undergraduate student in CEGE can help you:

  • Explore your area of interest and clarify your post-graduation plans
  • Become well versed in the scientific process of research including lab techniques, interpretation of data, and the integration of theory and practice, all while working alongside distinguished faculty
  • Develop transferable skills such as written and oral communication, critical thinking, and information literacy
  • Create relationships within CEGE with faculty, graduate students, and your peers
  • Prepare for graduate school by enhancing your research skills and expertise
student working in lab

How to Get Involved in CEGE Undergraduate Research

1

Read Tips on Finding a Faculty Mentor

Establishing a good working relationship with a faculty member is a key element in a successful research project. Finding a faculty mentor can be challenging, but this guide can help you with this process (created by the University of Minnesota).

2

Review Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Read descriptions of some (but not all) recent projects and find faculty who have undergraduate research opportunities available.

3

Research the Project and the Faculty

If you find a project that interests you, take time to find out a little more about the project and the faculty member's field of expertise. This could include looking at the faculty member’s personal or research group website, reading articles published by the faculty member, or finding other information or videos about the research area.

The information you find might be difficult to understand—that’s okay! You don’t need to understand everything you read to be qualified to work on the project. Try your best to understand the information and write down questions to ask the professor when you inquire about the opportunity.

4

Contact the Professor

Connect with the faculty member by writing an email or visiting during their office hours. Indicate who you are, why you are interested in the research, and any experience you have that may be relevant to the position or project. Ask if they are available to discuss the opportunity or if there is a formal application process to follow. Some faculty may ask you to send them a resume. If you need support crafting or revising a resume, check out the CSE Career Center’s resources.

Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program

In addition, the University-wide Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) offers research support for successful applicants.

Contact

Michelle Anderson
Industry & Pre-Major Coordinator
and04707@umn.edu
612-625-1807
Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering
500 Pillsbury Drive S.E., Room 147
Minneapolis, MN 55455