Students may pursue independent study, ChE 490, or participate in a special undergraduate research program, ChE 499. These opportunities are particularly valuable for students planning to earn an advanced degree or for students desiring work in a specific industry.
ChE 490 – Independent Study
Students may participate in a special topics project involving independent study by registering for ChE 490. These projects may include literature studies/reviews, completion of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers Student Design Contest Problem, setting up a laboratory experiment, etc.
Students may receive a maximum of three (3) credits that can be applied to the professional (technical) electives requirement. Students will select these projects by consultation with individual faculty members.
A written report will be required at the conclusion of the project, and an oral presentation also is expected. Participation in regional student chapter meetings also is anticipated for outstanding contributions.
Honors program students may participate in either option by registering for ChE 490H.
ChE 499 – Undergraduate Research
Students considering future research studies (such as graduate school) and employment (in an industrial or academic research environment) may participate in a special undergraduate research program by registering for ChE 499.
At least three (3) credits per semester are required, and students are strongly encouraged to participate for two semesters. These credits can be applied to the degree program as professional (technical) electives (six credits maximum).
Through ChE 499, students will participate in special meetings covering topics like:
- the methodology of conducting scientific research
- the status of the research in industry and academia
- ethics and scientific professionalism
- general opportunities for graduate research in chemical engineering
- application procedures for graduate school
- availability of national fellowships
- specific research opportunities at Iowa State University
A faculty coordinator will arrange these general meetings. Students will select research projects (see below) by consultation with faculty members (collaborative projects are encouraged) and will attend group meetings on a regular basis.
Students also will be encouraged to attend the graduate research seminar (ChE 601). Upon completion of the research project, a written report will be submitted to the faculty coordinator.
A poster display and presentation will be scheduled, and the superior achievement in ChE 499 will be determined by a panel of faculty and students. Outstanding performance in ChE 499 also will be recognized by participation in regional student chapter meetings and other events.
BioMaP Undergraduate Research Program
The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at ISU hosts a summer research experience for undergraduate students called Biological Materials and Processes (BioMaP): Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU). The program creates novel research experiences for undergraduate students in the areas of biological materials and processes. Students will be active members of interdisciplinary groups and will interact with faculty, post-docs, graduate students and industry. The National Science Foundation funds this program.