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Summer Undergraduate Research in Engineering (SURE)

SURE offers summer research internships to outstanding current U-M undergraduate students who have completed their sophomore or junior year (preference will be given to those who have completed three years of study) by the time of their internship.  Participants have the opportunity to conduct 10-12 weeks of full-time summer research with some of the country‚Äôs leading faculty in a wide range of engineering disciplines. The program provides opportunities for students to assess their interests and potential in pursuing research at the Masters or Ph.D. level in graduate school.  All participants must apply online through the SURE website.  Accepted applicants from the University of Michigan receive guidance by a faculty advisor in a College of Engineering research facility, a stipend of $6,000, attend regular meetings and seminars and contribute to an abstract booklet with highlights of their summer research project and/or experience.

Selection Process: Once the SURE Manager has shared your application with the Department, we will provide the eligible applications to the Faculty Mentors who will review your application materials. It is possible that they will reach out to you directly for further information. You do not need to do anything else, but if you have any specific questions regarding a SURE Project, you are welcome to reach out to the listed Faculty Mentor. Any notification of an offer will be sent from the SURE Manager.

General Timeline:
January – Application opens and is due
February – Applications are reviewed
March – Offers will begin being sent out
April – Offers may still be issued during this time
May – SURE Projects may begin

Learn more:

The 2024 SURE application opens on January 15, 2024.
Click here to access and submit application.

The application is due January 28, 2024

Mechanical Engineering 2024 SURE Research Projects


ME Project #1: Dynamics of Piezoelectric Microsystems
Faculty Mentor: Kenn Oldham,
Prerequisites: Statics and or dynamics coursework
Project Description: Piezoelectric microsystems are miniature sensors and actuators that convert strain to voltage, and vice versa, in devices just a few millimeters in size.  Applications include miniature robotics, medical devices, and micro-assembly.  In this project, the student will perform a combination of experimental testing and dynamic modeling of devices fabricated by the Microdynamics Laboratory in Mechanical Engineering, to better understand motions that are feasible for these miniature engineered systems.
Research Mode: Hybrid, In-Lab 

ME Project #2: Offshore Wind in the Great Lakes – Stakeholder Mapping and Data Analysis
Faculty Mentor: Sita Syal,
Project Description: EMBERlab is seeking an undergraduate research assistant to work on a project exploring offshore wind energy in the Great Lakes. We are interested in understanding the sociotechnical barriers, or those that involve both technology and stakeholders, and understanding which populations might experience disproportionate benefits or burdens from these energy systems. Our longer term goal is to co-develop a sociotechnical decision tool with communities across Michigan to evaluate potential offshore wind developments. The researcher on this project will be gathering literature, information, data, and case studies related to offshore wind in the US and in particular, the Great Lakes. They will also map spatial data to understand the offshore wind landscape and relevant stakeholders. Additionally, we are hoping to get in touch with community partners who might be interested in collaborating, so there will hopefully be an opportunity to speak with these partners and form relationships.
Research mode: Hybrid

ME Project #3: Design and Material Characterization of Cellulose Hydrogels for Wound Healing
Faculty Mentor: Jing Tang, Ph.D.,
Prerequisite: General lab experience. Basic knowledge of biology and engineering.
Project Description: The project focuses on the development of cellulose-based hydrogels to address chronic wound healing. It capitalizes on the inherent properties of cellulose, a biodegradable nanomaterial derived from biomass, for its potential in biomedical applications. The project explores the use of cellulose hydrogels in creating conductive, robust devices suitable for wound care. It involves evaluating the hydrogels’ mechanical adhesion, electrical conductivity, and drug delivery capabilities. The goal is to bridge the gap between cellulose hydrogel-based sensors and their specific applications in wound healing, offering a multifunctional solution that combines mechanical, electrical, and drug stimulations for enhanced wound care.
Research mode
: In-Lab

ME Project #4: 3D-printing of Personalized Orthotics and Prosthetics
Faculty Mentor: Albert Shih,
ME 250 and ideally ME350
Project Description: This project partners with clinicians of the Orthotics and Prosthetics Center of Michigan Medicine to explore new applications of 3D-printing for design, manufacturing, and testing/evaluation of custom foot orthoses and prosthetic sockets with personalized fit and comfort. Innovative design features enabled by 3D-printing and initiated from clinicians and engineers will be explored and analyzed to create new classes of foot orthotics and prosthetic sockets for patient care.
Research Mode: In-Lab

ME Project #5:  Capturing the interaction between slender worms and granular materials
Faculty Mentors: Hongyi Xiao,, Eleni Gourgou,
Prerequisites: ME211, ME240, ME360, ME395
Project Description: Understanding the interaction between an elastically deforming body and granular materials is key for soft robotic locomotion and underground sensing. This interdisciplinary project aims to understand how C. elegans, a 1mm-long, slender nematode worm, traverses in granular materials made of micron-sized particles. The student will be involved in a mix of research activities, that will include i) participation in the development and performance of wet lab experiments, ii) analysis of worm motion and of the packing structure of the surrounding particles, and iii) computational mechanics simulations that couple an elastic body that mimics the worm and discrete particles that represent the granular material. The student will participate in regular meetings with faculty mentors and other team members, maintain a lab notebook, and submit a report at the end of the program.
Research Mode: In-Lab, Hybrid