Intellectual Merit This three-year REU site program will engage 10 undergraduate students for 10 summer weeks each year in research using wind energy as a platform in the entire range of the energy spectrum, which includes fundamental science all the way to economics and entrepreneurship. Specifically, students including women, minorities, and community college students will gain the opportunity to join research projects directly immersed in the wind energy development of the Great Lakes region, including offshore (shallow and freshwater) applications new and unique to the industry. Projects will involve the following: (1) the on-campus, three-wind turbine Ohio Wind Energy Research and Commercialization (WERC) Center, (2) renewable energy storage, (3) smart grid interfaces, (4) complementary renewable technology, (5) innovation/entrepreneurship, and (6) the business implications of an emerging industry. In addition to the research projects, participants will also attend seminars with multiple high-profile speakers involved in the regions wind-focused clean tech transition, including for-profit, industry, government, and academic institutions. Participants will develop a personal understanding of the basic science, engineering, and business skills required for modern energy research. Interdisciplinary work will be inherent of several engineering disciplines (Mechanical & Aerospace, Civil, Chemical, Materials, and Electrical) that mix daily within the wind industry. Students will be positioned to follow multiple post-baccalaureate tracks in the sciences and business, including M.S. in energy and joint science/MBA paths. Broader Impacts Recruitment efforts will be targeted to women, minorities, and community college enrollees. Engineering majors as well as physics, chemistry, and other sciences will be eligible for this REU site program. Undergraduates, including sophomore through senior, will explore the complex interplay of engineering, economic, and entrepreneurial considerations involved in an actual regional energy transformation. Students will gain direct experience with the implementation of renewable energy technology in an industry poised for radical economic growth and increased academic interest. A diverse range of young researchers will be recruited to the emerging field of alternative energy and a growing number of energy M.S. and Ph.D. programs across the nation will be provided with well-prepared and enthusiastic candidates.
REU Site: SUR-WInD: Summer Undergraduate Research in Wind Innovation & Development"