Undergraduate Research

Conducting top-tier undergraduate research at Michigan Tech gives you an opportunity not only to work alongside professors, but to develop skills that set you apart. Whether you’re looking to continue your studies in graduate school, medical school, or are just fascinated by learning at a different level, there’s a research opportunity here for you. We pay students for more than 132,000 hours of research every year.

Student researchers present their work at Tech's annual Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Symposium, at national conferences, and publish articles in peer-review journals before graduating. Real research adds real value.

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship

Many students find research opportunities by connecting with a favorite professor. You can also participate in our Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF). SURF provides annual awards of up to $4,000 to undergraduate students who conduct a research project under the guidance of a Michigan Tech faculty mentor during the summer semester.

Take Tessa, a biochemistry and molecular biology student, whose work focuses on the "heroes of genetics". Biologists use fruit flies to study wing spots, metabolism, and aging. That matters because the same genes and major metabolic pathways in fruit flies affect cancer and other diseases in humans.

Undergraduate Research Projects

Here are examples of projects Michigan Tech students work on:

  • Applied geophysics: Seismic Amplitude-based Lahar Tracking for Real-time Hazard Assessment
  • Biomedical engineering: Effects of Arsenic on Healthy and Cancerous Dermal Cells
  • Wildlife management and ecology: Assessing Mammalian Assemblages Along Senegal's Largest Artisanal Gold Mine
  • Electrical engineering: Real-time Monitoring of Bone Healing Through Wireless Detection of Stress on the Fixation Plate
  • Forestry: Refining the Quantification of Carbon in Forest Soils
  • Human Biology and Anthropology: The Persistence and Understanding of Clothing at Historical Archeology Sites
  • Mathematics: Building Decision Trees from Low-rank Approximations of Data
  • Medicinal Chemistry: Using a New Approach to Mosher Ester Analysis to Determine the Absolute Stereochemistry of Secondary Alcohols
  • Mining Engineering: Application of Machine Learning to Predict Underground Fire Location
  • Physics: Using Advanced Computing Techniques to Simulate the Universe with Neutrinos
  • Scientific and Technical Communication: Public Tourism Infrastructure and Accessibility: Comparison of Metropolitan, Micropolitan, and Rural Structures

Student Stories

Watch Engineers Take Concepts to Fabrication video
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Engineers Take Concepts to Fabrication

The Shop features the latest equipment, including a laser scanner, 3D printer, saws and drill presses, and more.

Watch My Michigan Tech: Logan McMillan video
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My Michigan Tech: Logan McMillan

SURF. REU. Researching diabetes and sickle cell anemia. Making medical devices. "I've done quite a few things."

Watch Learning on—and from—the lake video
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Learning on—and from—the lake

Transported on our state-of-the-art, floating laboratory—Research Vessel (RV) Agassiz—students study air and water quality in the Earth's largest freshwater ecosystem.

Watch My Michigan Tech: Andrew Miscimarra video
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My Michigan Tech: Andrew Miscimarra

Through the Pavlis Honors College and Peace Corps Prep, Andrew spent five weeks in Tanzania creating hand-washing stations for local schools.