Research in Physics and Engineering
Department of Physics and Astronomy

Research activity in physics and engineering as an undergraduate can put you on the right track for a research career. It is also a good way to earn money during the school year and/or the summer.

Opportunities at Augustana

   ●   Ultrafast and Nonlinear Optics Lab - Contact James van Howe

Dr. van Howe's research is focused on developing pulsed fiber laser sources in the near and mid-infrared for applications in spectroscopy and medical imaging.  Currently, Augustana students who are members of his research group include Kyle Weigand, Andrew Kim, Ahmed Abuzant and Andrew Palm.  Click here for further information.  Check out Dr. van Howe's CLEO blog (Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics).

   ●   MoNA - the Modular Neutron Array at Michigan State University - Contact Nathan Frank

Dr. Frank's research interests are in the structure of atomic nuclei at the edge of existence.  The nuclei he studies are so unstable that they emit neutrons.  He is a member of a collaboration of schools similar to Augustana that collects their data from the neutron array detector at Michigan State University.  The data is analyzed on computers at Augustana.  Members of his research group at Augustana include Mark Warren and Steven Ash.  Click here for further information.

Summer Research Elsewhere

Most programs last about 10 weeks and offer about $4000-5000 stipend plus housing and transportation, though there is some variation. Here are some suggestions for looking at what is available.  It is recommended that you apply for more than one.  Most applications can be done online.

  • Look at the complete list of NSF Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) Programs.  Here are the specific REU programs for physics and engineering.
  • Check out the links to the Web pages for the REU programs listed below.  They are sorted by region.
  • The Math/Computer Science Department has resources in the ratiocination room in Olin on the second floor that you might want to use.  They are in colored folders which include Mathematics, Computer Science, Applied Math/Operations Research, and Statistics/Actuarial Science.

Please note that usually the deadline is for receipt of all materials including any reference letters.  Please allow enough lead time for letters of recommendation to be written and submitted.

Illinois and Iowa Deadline


Iowa State University, Ames, IA. Computational Materials Science.

Feb. 15

University of Chicago. Summer opportunities in material research/engineering for all undergraduates, and in physics and astrophysics for minorities and women (Condensed Matter Physics, Elementary Particle Physics, Non-linear Dynamics and Chaos, Space and Cosmic Ray Physics, Astronomy and Astrophysics, Ultracold Atoms, and Biophysics)

Feb. 16
  Argonne National Lab, Argonne, IL. Apply online via the Web page. Feb. 1
  Northwestern University, Evanston IL. Material science research. Feb. 15

Fermilab, Batavia IL. Internships are available for undergraduates in various programs.

Midwest Deadline


Indiana University, Bloomington, IN. Experimental and theoretical biophysics, condensed matter physics, high energy physics, nuclear physics, accelerator and medical physics, and nuclear chemistry.

Feb. 15
  University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Fields of research include Condensed Matter Physics, Particle Physics, Biophysics, Space Physics, Astrophysics, Cosmology, and education.  Juniors and seniors. Feb. 28
  University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.  Research in electrical and computer engineering. Feb. 21
  Notre Dame, Indiana. Fields of research: Astronomy/Astrophysics, High-Energy Physics,  Nuclear Physics, Condensed Matter Physics/Biophysics, Education. Feb. 19
  Hope College, Holland, MI. Topics:  Nuclear physics, Astrophysics, Nanostructured Materials, Nanoscale Magnetism, Superconductivity, Breakdown of  Gases, Transmission Lines. Feb. 15
  Michigan State University. Accelerator physics, acoustics, astronomy, astrophysics, atomic physics, chemical physics, computational physics, condensed matter physics, materials science, high energy physics, low temperature physics, medical physics, and nuclear physics. Mar. 13
  University of Wisconsin, Madison. Placements will begin Jan. 15, with an absolute deadline of Feb. 15.  Various areas of engineering research.  Current sophomores or juniors. Jan. 15
Outside the Midwest Deadline
  American Association of Physicists in Medicine, deadline .  Summer Undergraduate Fellowship Program. Mar. 20
  CERN, Geneva, Switzerland. Review of applicants begins on Dec. 20 and continues until all positions are filled. Applicants must have completed at least three years of full-time study.  One of the most prestigious high-energy physics labs in the world. Dec. 20
  Penn State University.  Materials research. Mar. 1
  Brigham Young. Optics, computational plasma physics, acoustics, materials, atomic, low-temperature physics, and astronomy. Feb. 16
  University of Washington, Seattle. Astrophysics, cosmology, nuclear and atomic physics, condensed matter physics, physics education, biophysics, nanophysics. Feb. 28
  Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Cambridge, MA. Astronomy, astrophysics, cosmology, and planetary science research for first-year, sophomore, junior, non-graduating senior. Feb. 2
  Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA. Solid State Physics, Statistical Physics, Biophysics, Atomic, Molecular, and Plasma Physics, Photonics and Nonlinear Optics, Astrophysics, Nuclear Physics, Electrical Engineering and Nano-Science, Materials Science. Mar. 7
  University of Oregon.  Hover over a dot for information.  Optics, nano, biophysics, materials, quantum cryptography, ratchets and Brownian motion. Feb. 15
  University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.  Condensed matter, high energy, astrophysics, computer modeling. Feb. 14

Last modified:  December 18, 2014