Undergraduate Research Program

Get involved in undergraduate research through the INSPIRE UTC! 

Undergraduate students involved in research have the exciting opportunity to be directly involved with technology developments at the forefront of their chosen field of study.  Undergraduate research experiences help students prepare for graduate school and provide opportunities to work closely with faculty advisors. They are counted towards experiential learning requirements at Missouri S&T.

Missouri S&T provides scholarships for undergraduate research through the Opportunities for Undergraduate Research Experience (OURE) program.

The INSPIRE UTC provides up to 4 additional research stipends annually for OURE students participating in research projects that are funded by the UTC and led by Missouri S&T faculty.  INSPIRE project descriptions are available here.

how does it work?

Students team up with an INSPIRE UTC faculty sponsor and successfully apply to the OURE Program.  OURE scholarships are $500.  Projects start at the beginning of the summer or fall semester and end at the conclusion of the following spring semester.

To receive an additional research stipend ($500) from the INSPIRE UTC, students must meet the following requirements:

  1. Maintain a minimum 3.5 GPA.
  2. Work with an INSPIRE UTC faculty member on an INSPIRE UTC funded research project.
  3. Actively participate for the full length of the project as agreed with the faculty sponsor.
  4. Prepare and submit a final report, per the requirements of OURE.
  5. Prepare a research poster and present it at the Missouri S&T Undergraduate Research Conference, Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol event, and INSPIRE UTC Annual Meeting (optional).

Research stipends are awarded in 2 installments (fall and spring semester).  For more information, contact the INSPIRE UTC at (573) 341-6114 or inspire-utc@mst.edu.

Freshmen Undergraduate Research Program

Do you want to participate in undergraduate research with a guaranteed research stipend your first year?  Join our team and be INSPIRE’d through undergraduate research!

 INSPIRE stands for Inspecting and Preserving Infrastructure through Robotic Exploration.

 Many of our nation’s bridges were built in the 1950s and 1960s and are in critical need of repair or replacement.  Routine bridge inspections are critical to preserve and protect the condition of bridges.  Currently bridges are visually inspected and manually maintained under traffic control with the aid of heavy lifting and access equipment. This practice is time consuming, dangerous and costly. INSPIRE aims to improve the current bridge inspection process by building flying and climbing robots that make this work safer and more efficient. You can be a part of this transformation by joining our research program.

How does it work?

INSPIRE provides up to (3) $500 research stipends each year to support under-represented freshman who enroll at Missouri S&T.  Selected students will participate in a research project under the direction of an INSPIRE faculty advisor. Projects start at the beginning of the fall semester and end at the conclusion of the following spring semester. Students who actively participate in the full project receive a $500 stipend awarded in 2 installments (fall and spring). 

 Required Qualifications:

  • Applicants must be under-represented students who are admitted to Missouri S&T.
  • Applicants must be able to participate in the research project during both the fall and spring semester of their first year.
  • Minimum 3.2 GPA or above

 Preferred Qualifications: 

  • Students pursuing a degree in civil engineering, electrical engineering, engineering management and systems engineering, computer science or a related science or engineering field.
  • Minimum 3.5 GPA or above.

Applicants who do not meet the preferred qualifications above may be considered based on other academic accomplishments.

If you meet the eligibility requirements and are selected as one of the top 3 applicants, you are guaranteed this opportunity and a $500 research stipend your freshman year.

Undergraduate Summer Research Program

The INSPIRE University Transportation Center (UTC) provides two (2) research stipends each year to support Lincoln University undergraduate students for an 8-week summer research experience on the Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) campus. 

The purpose of the program is to provide underrepresented undergraduates attending Lincoln University an opportunity to conduct transportation-related research and learn about graduate education opportunities at Missouri S&T.  Selected students will participate in a research project directed by a member of the INSPIRE UTC faculty.  Participants will devote at least 40 hours a week to their respective research projects and scholarly activities. At the conclusion of the program, students will present their research to their fellow S&T peers, faculty mentors, and guests using a poster format and oral presentation.

Participating students will receive a research stipend from the INSPIRE UTC and be provided housing on the Missouri S&T campus for the 8-week summer semester.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • All applicants must be underrepresented undergraduate students currently enrolled at Lincoln University. 
  • All applicants must be able to attend the entire program from start to finish.

Preferred Qualifications: 

  • Junior or senior level undergraduate students pursuing a degree in civil engineering or a related science or engineering field
  • Minimum 3.5 GPA or above

Applicants who do not meet the preferred qualifications above may be considered based on other academic accomplishments.

Application Instructions:  Interested students should complete and return the application form along with a copy of their unofficial transcript and a letter of recommendation from a Lincoln faculty member.  Email all application materials in one PDF file to inspire-utc@mst.edu by April 1 of each academic year.

Research Stipend and Housing:  Participants will receive a $3,000 research stipend, housing on the Missouri S&T campus, $100 in Minor Bucks to be used during the summer, and a university parking permit for the full 8 week session. 

The stipend is provided to offset the cost of on or off campus food, and personal expenses.  Summer research students are housed in the University Commons, which includes kitchens so students may cook their own meals.  Additional Minor Bucks may be purchased through Dining Services (573) 364-5436.

Selected students are required to participate in the full 8 week summer semester, Monday through Friday, without concurrent weekday employment.  Students must provide their own transportation to/from Missouri S&T.

Download the Application

UNR Research Experiences for Undergraduates

The University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), INSPIRE UTC consortium member, offers a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) site focusing on Collaborative Human-Robot Interaction (CHRI). The site will develop new autonomous robot capabilities and supporting network and data science technology to address real-world challenges of operating autonomous systems.  The University's Robotics Group is made up of faculty specializing in human-robot interaction, assistive robotics, autonomous robots, field robotics, and wireless communication and cybersecurity. The research will be supported by experienced graduate students who will help mentor undergraduate projects. Students will gain experience with robotics, wireless networks, and assistive technology to optimize collaboration between a robot and human partner(s). Students will participate in a research project, prepare a written report on their project, and present to the University's undergraduate research symposium.

 For more information, visit:  https://www.unr.edu/cse/research/intelligent-systems/reu

2020 Graduate Student Poster Session

The INSPIRE UTC hosted a virtual annual meeting on August 3-4, 2020.  Activities included technical research presentations by major university member principal investigators and an INSPIRE UTC executive business meeting. Highlighted topics included the new Educational Module Lecture Series on each completed research topic presented by Major university members at the City College of New York, Georgia Institute of Technology, Missouri S&T, University of Nevada-Las Vegas and the University of Nevada at Reno for undergraduate students from community colleges. This initiative is targeted as a pipeline of workforce development in the area of transportation infrastructure inspection.  Other topics included were updates on recent developments with the seven-state pooled-fund study and a virtual graduate poster session. The graduate students from all INSPIRE consortium institutions held a virtual poster session to offer students the opportunity to showcase their research, communicate results to other students, faculty and staff, engage with representatives from the transportation industry, and facilitate interdisciplinary work by exchanging knowledge and ideas between individuals from multiple disciplines.

First, second and third place awards were given to the following students:

  • 1st Place- Haibin Zhang and Genda Chen, Missouri S&T “UAV-based Smart Rock Localization for Determination of Bridge Scour Depth”

  • 2nd Place- Muhammad Monjurul Karim and Ruwen Qin, Missouri S&T “Bridge Inspection Video Data Analysis for Data-Driven Asset Management”

  • 3rd Place- Yu Otsuki and Yang Wang, Georgia Institute of Technology “Autonomous Ultrasonic Thickness Measurement of Steel Bridge Members using Mobile Sensors”

More Information

2019 Graduate Student Poster Session

On August 4-7, 2019, graduate students from all INSPIRE consortium institutions attended the INSPIRE UTC 2019 Annual Meeting held at the Hyatt Regency At the Arch in St. Louis, Missouri.  Participating students interacted with transportation professionals from government and industry transportation sectors.  A Graduate Student Poster Session was held to offer students the opportunity to showcase their research, communicate results to other students, faculty and staff, engage with representatives from the transportation industry, and facilitate interdisciplinary work by exchanging knowledge and ideas between individuals from multiple disciplines. The INSPIRE UTC External Advisory Committee members attending the meeting served as judges for the poster competition.

First, second and third place awards were given to the following students:

  • 1st Place-
    Vedhus Hoskere, Yasutaka Narazaki, and B.F. Spencer Jr.,
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    "Learning to Detect Visual Defects Using Computer Graphics"
  • 2nd Place-
    Dan Li and Yang Wang,
    Georgia Institute of Technology
    "Dual-Mode Wireless Antenna Sensor for Strain and Crack Sensing"

  • 3rd Place- Vivek Kumar and Branko Glisic,
    Princeton University
    "Numerical Modeling of Early Age Cracks in Concrete for Long-term Evaluation of Structure"

 

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