The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at NC State University is ranked among the top academic units engaged in scientific research in the United States on a wide variety of subjects from novel transistors for the next generation integrated circuits to concepts that will revolutionize how computers work.
Undergraduate students can be a part of this excitement, gain invaluable experience and have fun at the same time! The ECE faculty welcomes and encourages undergraduate student participation in many research projects funded by industry and/or government agencies.
Undergraduate research is typically performed as volunteer work and it can start as early as the second semester of the sophomore year. Some of the research positions offer stipends for summer or for the whole year.
Undergraduate research is intended to provide an opportunity for the student to get involved in scientific research. This experience is especially helpful if a student is interested in graduate study towards an MS or PhD degree immediately after completing the undergraduate degree. Here is how the undergraduate research becomes helpful:
Typically, students apply for undergraduate research positions after they complete the first semester of the sophomore year. It is unlikely that a student will secure a position without completing any of the ECE courses. Furthermore, taking the introductory courses such as ECE200 and ECE209 help the students understand what electrical and computer engineers do in different specialization areas. This is key in identifying the right project for the student.
The undergraduate research positions are competitive; therefore, a good academic standing will be helpful. Most faculty will be very interested in discussing their research projects with you.
Make an appointment with the Coordinator for Undergraduate Research to talk about your technical interests and future career goals. The coordinator will identify a few members of the ECE faculty involved in the type of work you are interested in, and contact them on your behalf to find out if a position can be created for you. Before meeting with the coordinator, you are advised to review the faculty research page to identify faculty members who are interested in the same sort of work you want to do.
NC State University offers a variety of summer undergraduate research opportunities. The ECE Department's REU:Engineering the Grid Program host a 10-week summer research program for undergraduates in Electrical and Computer Engineering and related fields. Under this program, rising juniors and seniors work with faculty mentors and graduate students representing a variety of exciting research areas. The program encourages research projects that expose the students to different research paths in electrical and computer engineering.
Additionally, the Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management Systems Center, a partner of the ECE Department, has their own FREEDM Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program. FREEDM REU participants will be paired with a faculty advisor and will join the faculty member's research team. Each participant will have a predetermined individual research project, chosen during the selection process, and will be responsible for completing the project within the allotted time.
For more information about the REU Summer Programs available please contact: