Undergraduate research opportunities are among the many distinguishing features of a Villanova Engineering education. Within the College of Engineering, students participate in undergraduate thesis projects, summer research internships or fellowships, faculty research, and externally-sponsored projects completed in collaboration with industry and government agencies. Other opportunities, like the Villanova Undergraduate Research Fellows (VURF) program, are available to students across the University.
Sponsored by Villanova’s Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships, the VURF program provides financial support for student summer research—from stipends to funding for supplies, travel and conference support. On September 23, nearly 75 undergraduate summer researchers, including 25 VURF awardees, presented their work during the annual Undergraduate Research Poster Day. Among them were 17 engineering majors, six of whom had earned the VURF fellowship.
During the poster session, students were on hand to explain both the technical aspects of their work, as well as the practical application and human value of their projects. Samantha Kalup ’16 ME noted that her research on “Mechanical properties of human lumbar intervertebral disc tissues under transient hyperphysiologic loading conditions” had special meaning for her because her father is in the military, one of the groups most impacted by the conditions she studied.