Undergraduate Research

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An Immediate Impact

Research opportunities abound the moment students enroll at UWM. Freshmen can explore research even before their first semester, thanks to the UR@UWM Summer Research for Incoming Students program. And throughout their time at UWM, undergraduates can work directly with talented faculty who have made UWM one of the nation’s top research universities. Students learn about the research process, and many gain experience using scientific equipment.

More than 1000 undergraduate research opportunities covering hundreds of topics are available each year. Students can even earn money for their work through such programs as Support for Undergraduate Research Fellows and the Senior Excellence in Research Awards. For many students, working with faculty members, who are world-class experts in their field, helps them refine their career goals and get valuable hands-on experience. Here are several students who have done just that.

Lainey Koch

Lainey Koch, a junior studying photography, helped turn a trailer into a camera obscura with a built-in darkroom. A camera obscura, or pinhole image, is the natural phenomenon that occurs when an image is projected through a small hole in a screen, showing up on an opposite surface as a reversed and inverted image. Koch took the camera to local festivals and events to teach attendees about the science of analog photography. She collaborated on the project with Joseph Mougel, an associate professor of photography and imagery, and the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum. (UWM Photo – top – Alexis Amenson)

Nisrit Pandey

Nisrit Pandey

Nisrit Pandey looks forward to a career exploring renewable energy, and he’s already doing research in the field. He’s done experiments in the lab of Benjamin Church, an associate professor of materials science and engineering, focusing on lithium and lead-acid batteries. In 2017, Pandey – originally from Kathmandu, Nepal – was one of five students selected for UWM’s Senior Excellence in Research Award. “He regularly inspires students who want to enter the field of energy sciences,” Pandey says of Church. “Working with him for the past three years has provided me with significant exposure in renewable energy, helping me jump-start a career in the field.” (UWM Photo – right -Elora Hennessey)

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