Professor Kiril A. Streletzky and associate professor Jessica Bickel from CSU’s Department of Physics have been awarded a grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to re-establish a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site at CSU. The project, titled "Synthesis, Assembly and Characterization of Soft Matter Systems," has received $367,616 in funding to bring 30 students from across the US in the summers of 2024, 2025, and 2026 to CSU to work with faculty from Physics, Chemical, and Biomedical Engineering, and Math and Statistics on 10-week research projects.
REU sites have both scientific and mentoring goals. In mentoring, CSU’s REU site will involve rising sophomore and junior physics and engineering majors, recruited particularly from underrepresented groups, in interdisciplinary research projects within soft matter science and engineering. The REU Site is intended to encourage students to pursue graduate studies in physics and engineering. Fundamental to the REU site is intentional faculty mentoring through meaningful research experiences, which is shown to improve students’ persistence in STEM careers and encourage them to pursue graduate studies in physics and engineering. The scientific focus of this REU is soft matter, a subfield of condensed matter that encompasses a large variety of materials, from polymeric gels that can be used for transport and for directing assembly of other materials, to polymers that can be used for electronic or mechanical applications, to biological materials studied to better mimic nature’s complexity and develop new pathways towards healing.
If you are interested in applying for the program, you can get more information here!