Tag: Undergraduate Research

What do I need to know to plan out a polymer science and engineering minor?

Here is some additional scheduling information to help plan your minor. Be sure to check the schedule of classes on Banweb, since this can change from year to year.

Introduction to Polymers Course

Select one course below:

  • BE 4300 Polymeric Biomaterials is usually offered spring of odd years, such as Spring ’23, Spring ’25, etc.
  • CM/CH 4610 Introduction to Polymer Science is usually offered every fall.
  • MSE 4110 Introduction to Polymer Engineering is usually offered every fall.

Chemistry or Engineering Courses

Check with the department offering the course for the expected planned schedule.

Elective Courses

Select remaining credits below:

  • BE 3300 Biomechanics I or MEEM 2150 Mechanics of Materials is usually offered every year.
  • BE 4335 Smart Polymers is usually offered fall of odd years, such as Fall ’21, Fall ’23, etc.
  • CH/CM 4620 Polymer Chemistry is usually offered every spring.
  • CH 4710 Biomolecular Chemistry is usually offered every fall but has a time conflict with CM 4855, which is required for senior chemical engineering students.
  • CM 4060 Undergraduate Research in Polymer Engineering is offered on demand. If you are interested in doing undergraduate research in the chemical engineering department then you will need to talk to the faculty who are doing research in the polymer engineering area to see if they have a project that you can work on with them. The faculty currently doing research in this area are Dr. Liu and Dr. Ong.
  • CM 4650 Polymer Rheology is no longer offered because the faculty retired.
  • ENG 4515 Introduction to Sustainability and Resilience is usually offered every fall. To use this class towards the minor you will need to complete a polymer-related term project. Email your topic to the chemical engineering advisor for approval.
  • ENT Enterprise Project Work. Up to 3 credits of Enterprise project work in the polymer science or engineering area may be approved. Email a brief description of your project to the chemical engineering for approval.
  • MEEM 4170 Failure of Materials in Mechanics is usually offered every spring.
  • MEEM 4635 Design with Plastics has not been offered recently. You will need to check with the Mechanical Engineering Department to see when it will be available next.
  • MSE 4430 Composite Materials is usually offered every spring.
  • Undergraduate Research in the polymer science and engineering area from other departments may be approved. Email a brief description of your research to the chemical engineering advisor for approval. Several students have done polymer chemistry research with Dr. Heiden in the Chemistry Department, as one example.


What do I need to know to plan out a mineral processing minor?

If you are interested in adding the mineral processing minor to your record then you’ll need to email your list of planned classes for completing the minor, along with the semester in which you plan to take the courses, to the chemical engineering advisor. We require this to ensure that you’ll be able to complete the minor in the time frame that you need. Then you will need to request the addition of the minor from your MyMichiganTech webpage. Directions for how to do this are on the minor page of the Registrar’s Office, Degree Services webpage.

When planning your minor courses, make sure you have a listing of the most current requirements for the minor. You can get this on the Registrar’s Office, Degree Services webpage. The listing of requirements that you are looking for is called the “minor audit”.

You will need to plan ahead because many of the minor classes have prerequisites that you need to complete first. The prerequisites can be found in the course descriptions or on the minor audit. Course descriptions are in Michigan Tech’s Undergraduate Catalog

Finally, once you’ve figured out the classes that you’ll be taking to complete the minor, you should meet with your major advisor to determine if any (or all!) of the classes for your minor can also be counted towards your major requirements. 

Here is some additional information that may help you with planning this minor. The typical schedule for when classes are offered is listed below, but this can change from year-to-year. The schedule of classes for the following academic year is published in February and so you’ll want to check it once it’s available.

For the required courses:

  • CM 2200 Intro to Minerals and Materials is usually offered every fall semester.
  • CM 3830 Mineral Processing and Extraction Lab is usually offered every spring semester.
  • GE 2300 Mineral Science is usually offered every fall semester. This course includes a lecture and laboratory.

For the thermodynamics courses, check with the department offering the course for the expected planned schedule.

For the elective courses:

  • CM 3825 Sampling, Statistics, and Instrumentation is usually offered every other spring during odd years, such as Spring ’23, Spring ’25, etc.
  • CM 4020 Undergrad Research in Mineral Processing Engineering is offered on demand. If you are interested in doing undergraduate research then you will need to talk to the faculty who are doing research in the mineral processing area to see if they have a project that you can work on with them. The faculty currently doing research in this area is Dr. Eisele and Dr. Pan.
  • CM 4505 Particle Technology is usually offered every other spring during even years, such as Spring ’22, Spring ’24, etc.
  • CM 4510 Interfacial Engineering is usually offered every other spring during odd years, such as Spring ’23, Spring ’25, etc.
  • CM/MSE 4740 Hydrometallurgy/Pyrometallurgy is usually offered every spring.
  • EC 4630 Mineral Industry Economics is usually offered every other spring semester and requires principles of economics as a prereq. However it hasn’t been offered recently and so you’ll need to check with the College of Business to see when it will be available next.
  • ENT XXXX Enterprise Project Work. If you are doing work in Enterprise that is in the mineral processing area then up to three credits of Enterprise may be approved to use towards the minor. Email a brief description of your project for each of the semesters that you wish to be considered for approval to the chemical engineering advisor.
  • GE 3400 Drilling and Blasting is usually offered every fall and requires additional prerequisites. However, if you have already completed both PH 2100 University Physics I and CM 2200 Intro to Minerals and Materials, then you might be able to get permission to enroll in the class. Contact the instructor of the course for consideration.
  • GE 4360 Bulk Material Dynamics and Engineering is usually offered every spring and requires additional prerequisites. However, if you are a chemical engineering student who has already completed both PH 2100 University Physics I and CM 3110 Transport & Unit Operations I, then you might be able to get permission to enroll in the class. Contact the instructor of the course for consideration.
  • MSE 2121 Materials Characterization I and MSE 2122 Materials Characterization I Lab are offered every spring and require additional prerequisites and so you’ll need to plan ahead.


How do I sign up for the undergraduate research course?

  1. Find a faculty supervisor.  Approach a faculty member who is doing research that interests you and request to work with them.  Together you will settle on the research project details.  See the research brochure for a list of items you’ll need from your faculty supervisor.
  2. Pass the department’s safety test.  Go to the ChE department office (Chem Sci room 203) to sign up to take the test.
  3. Complete the enrollment request form.  Go to the Department’s undergraduate research webpage to complete the enrollment request form.
  4. Verify your registration.  You will be contacted once you’ve been enrolled in the class.  Verify your registration by checking your schedule on Banweb.


How can I arrange to take the CM Department Safety Exam?

All students enrolling in the Departmental research courses must pass the Chemical Engineering Department Safety Exam.  Any individual who is requesting a key to a laboratory in the Chemical Engineering Department must also pass the Safety Exam.

The first step is to study for the exam. The study materials for the safety exam are located at this link. The three items to study are listed under Manuals.

www.mtu.edu/chemical/facilities/safety/research/

When you are ready to take the test, please contact Mo Anton in the Department Office (Chem Sci 203, 487-3132, maanton@mtu.edu) to schedule a time to take the test. You must get an 80% to pass. You are allowed to retake the exam, if needed.


What opportunities are there to do undergrad research off campus?

I can recommend two large programs that sponsor undergraduate research:

  • Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program, sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF), and
  • Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program, sponsored by the National Institutes of Science and Technology (NIST)

NSF through the REU program sponsors summer research programs at many universities.  These are competitive programs and an excellent way to check out if you are interested in graduate school.  You may obtain more information about the REU program from the NSF website.  Undergraduate students sponsored with NSF funds must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States or its possessions.  NSF maintains a website that allows you to search by topic for REU programs throughout the country.  A contact person and contact information is listed for each site.

NIST sponsors an undergraduate research program (SURF) that brings students to their Gaithersburg, MD location (near Washington D.C.) to do research with government scientists.  This program requires that your university apply for you and cost-share your application.  Thus if you are interested in the NIST program, you will have to interest a professor here at Tech to cosponsor your research.  For more information see the NIST SURF website.


What opportunities are there to do undergrad research at Michigan Tech?

Undergraduate research is an excellent idea for all students, but it is an especially good idea for those who are interested in attending engineering graduate school after completing their B.S. degree in chemical engineering.  Check out our short video on the subject.

There are three paths to undergraduate research experience at Michigan Tech (for information on off-campus possibilities, click on the tag below), and all three of them begin with speaking with a professor.  You must go to individual professors, presumably those who do research in areas that you find interesting, and discuss with them what types of opportunities there are to do research in their laboratories.

There are three types of research arrangements possible:

  • Research for credit;
  • Research as a part-time job;
  • Research as an unpaid intern.