REU Skyler Hanson

Skyler Hanson

Skyler is one of 14 participants in our 2019 Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program.

Pictured here, Skyler is at Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago. While there she conducted x-ray diffraction studies on laser heated sample at high-pressures at Sector 16, Advanced Photon Source.

One of the many advantages of participating in our REU program are opportunities to travel to national labs.

After the program ends there is a window of time that the program will support travel to a conference. The following criteria qualifies participants for travel support:

    • Confer with mentor to determine if conference is suitable based on REU project
    • Must be invited to present at conference
    • Forward a copy of invite to Program Coordinator, Charita H. Cadenhead along with mentor approval
    • Participant must submit a write up of their experience at the conference
    • Submit all receipts for reimbursement up to $500.

2018 REU Tristan Carlson Attends CLEO 2019

Tristan CarlsonAttending CLEO 2019 was an eye-opening experience. I was able to learn about so many emerging technologies such as LIDAR, light detection and ranging, for autonomous vehicles and metallic nanoparticles used to cure cancer as well as cutting-edge research being performed around the globe. The caliber of speakers at the conference was quite incredible with talks from researchers at top universities and industrial labs, but most impressively the 2018 Nobel Laureates Donna Strickland and Gérard Mourou.

The poster session was great primarily because it challenged me. I had to present on research performed in the short duration of the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) to experts in optical science and engineering.  Since I had no previous experience, it was very intimidating, but after talks with very friendly scientists my butterflies were partially suppressed. Their pointed questions and conversation helped me gain a deeper understanding of the work, its applications and other lasers operating in the Mid-IR.

The presentations and conference as a whole were very inspiring and have reinforced my desire to continue learning about optics and photonics.  I would love to attend CLEO in the future and hope that other undergraduates from the UAB REU Experimental and Computational Materials Research program get to experience conferences like it. I am very thankful for my mentors Dr. Vladimir Fedorov and Dr. Sergey Mirov, the graduate student from the lab and the UAB REU program for providing me this special opportunity.

To learn more about Tristan.

REU Brian Davis Selected for BMES 2018

Brian Davis Presented Poster at 2018 BMES

Congratulations to Brian Davis for being selected to present his poster at the 2018 Biomedical Engineering Society, October 17-20 in Atlanta, GA.

Abstract Title: Cardiac Magnetogenetics: Noninvasive Control of the Heart
Authors: Brian Davis, Lufang Zhou, Patrick Ernst

Brian’s poster presentation is scheduled for Saturday, October 20 in the from 9:30am – 1:00pm.

You’ll find more information about the BMES on their website.

Congrats to 2018 Expo Winners

2018 REU Expo Winners

Jenna Gearhart

1st Place Physical Sciences Winner

Jenna Gearhart
Waynesburg University
Forensic Science Major



Tristan Carlson

2nd Place (Tie) Physical Sciences Winner

Tristan Carlson
Sewanee:  The University of the South
Physics Major



Victoria Colvin

2nd Place (Tie) Physical Sciences Winner

Victoria Colvin
Troy University
Physics Major



Toria Chukwuemeka

3rd Place Winner Engineering

Toria Chukwuemeka
Xavier University
Biology Major

NSF Renews Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program

Renewal Effective March 9, 2018

PER the NSF website:   The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) will host a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)-site in experimental and computational materials research. This REU-site project plans to recruit students from underrepresented groups and academic institutions where research opportunities are limited. This project offers a broad range of interdisciplinary materials research experiences to undergraduate students with a diversity of backgrounds in physics, chemistry, applied mathematics, and engineering. The undergraduate students will gain experience in materials synthesis, materials characterization and computer modeling and simulations during their ten-week research stay at UAB campus. The scientific research projects have been specifically developed for undergraduate students by an interdisciplinary team consisting of science and engineering faculty at UAB. This project will continue to provide lecture series and workshops in materials growth and characterization, research ethics, and professionalism, innovation and entrepreneurship, and preparation for graduate school to all participants. Our REU participants will publish their findings in peer-reviewed journals and/or present at professional meetings leading to a broad dissemination of new knowledge created in the undergraduate research projects.


REU research projects are organized in four research clusters: (1) materials under extreme conditions (2) materials for energy applications, (3) materials for sensors and laser applications, and (4) biomaterials for implants, tissue engineering, and drug delivery applications. The undergraduate research projects contribute to fundamental understanding of phase transformations and degradation of materials under extreme conditions, novel materials for fuel cells, materials for nanoscale sensors and mid-IR lasers, and 3-D printed biomaterials and stimuli-responsive polymers. Some research projects will also involve the use of national x-ray synchrotron facilities and neutron diffraction facilities in materials research. The undergraduate student projects have short-term achievable milestones, while simultaneously contributing to longer-term scientific goals and technological applications. Our teaming arrangement of REU participants with faculty and graduate students, giving poster and oral presentations, writing a research-style paper, and attending training seminars in scientific communications and ethics will help REU students see the “big picture” of what it takes to develop into a “research scientist” with the critical skills needed for analyzing, interpreting and presenting scientific data.

This award reflects NSF’s statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation’s intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

REUs Tour Birmingham’s Innovation Depot

Dr. Joel Dobbs Leads Tour of Innovation Depot

Dr. Joel Dobbs, Instructor at UAB School of Business (Management, Information Systems and Quantitative Methods) was kind enough to give the REUs a tour of Birmingham’s Innovation Depot.  Dr. Dobbs also presented at one of our seminars this year.  His topic: Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Both the seminar and the tour were a delight and helped to shed new light on how students should approach their careers.  One of the big take aways from the seminar and the tour, per Dr. Dobbs, is that students should approach their careers with the mindset of an entrepreneur.  What a great way plan for an exceptional career path.

Below are photos from the tour featuring participants as well as a sample of some of the features and businesses housed in the Depot.