Physics and Engineering Student Research

A group of students work on their assignment in class.

Students who pursue a major in the physics and engineering department have a unique opportunity to conduct research alongside experienced faculty. This student research involves the methodical formation of a scholarly honors project, the process and goal of which is to prepare students for the world of post-baccalaureate scholarship and research.

Some of PLNU’s physics and engineering majors engage in summer research with faculty at PLNU. Other students participate in Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs), which are generally held at major research universities and funded by agencies such as the National Science Foundation.

All research involves working closely with a faculty mentor on a research project, and the research generally culminates in a presentation of your findings. Many physics and engineering students turn their summer research projects into honors theses. In completing the thesis, you will be coached through the various stages of conducting a research project and transforming your work into a scholarly presentation and paper.

The Department of Physics & Engineering will strongly support you as a research student, and you can look forward to working with your faculty mentor throughout the research, editing, and presentation processes, all while gaining invaluable advice and guidance every step of the way.

2016-17 Student Research

Graphene Synthesis, Transferring, and Characterization
Madison Berger, Alex Koch and Estifanos Mekuria
Research performed at PLNU

Development of IspF inhibitor​​​​​​​
Daniel Harper
Research performed at PLNU​​​​​​​

Graphene Synthesis by Chemical Vapor Deposition​​​​​​​
Kathrine Quiros, Michael Lambert, Daniel Solar
Research performed at PLNU​​​​​​​

Neural Network Compression​​​​​​​
Richard Dallas Probert
Research performed at SPAWAR​​​​​​​

Exploratory Coordination Chemistry: Metal Nitride Nanoclusters with Cobalt, Bismuth, & Titanium Specis
Brendan Crabb
Research performed at PLNU​​​​​​​

2015–16 Student Research

Effect of Oxygen Concentration on Sonoluminescence at PLNU
David Graham, Dallas Probert, and Lindsey Watson
Research Performed at PLNU

Biomedical Physics — Fluorescent Dyes
Alyssa Forber
Research Performed at Texas Christian University

REU — Reaction Front Barriers in Vortex Domain Flows
Laura Skinner
Research Performed at Bucknell University

Structural Engineering
Daniel Sarkisian
Interned at CityScape Engineering for Research

Single Particle Structure of 209,210PbHg Investigated Through the Deep Inelastic Reaction 136Xe + 208Pb
Clayton Hamill
Research Performed at Brookhaven National Lab

Organocatalysis by Site-Isolated N-Heterocyclic Doped into the UIO-67 Framework
Brendan Crabb
Research Performed at PLNU

2014–15 Student Research

Constructing of and Initial Observations With a Sonoluminescence Chamber
Drew Eby, Alyssa Forber, and Laura Skinner
Research Performed at PLNU

First Principles Calculations for Nanostructured Thin Films
Carina Kazmierowick
Research Performed at the Center for Sustainable Materials Chemistry (CSMC), University of Oregon, UC Berkeley

Characterization of Al-doped Zinc Oxide for Transparent Conducting Oxides
Melanie Broman
Research Performed at Materials Science and Engineering REU, North Carolina State

2012–13 Student Research

Holographic Interferometry
James Carmichael
Research Performed at PLNU

Quantitative Imaging of Sm-153
Hannah Ponek
Research Performed in Medical Physics at John Hopkins University

Undergraduate Lab Curriculum Development
Joshua Ortega
Research Performed at PLNU

Study of Brownian Motion Through Video Analysis
Erik Tammaru
Research Performed at PLNU

Graphene Synthesis
Andrew Schalin and Joshua Wathen
Research Performed at PLNU

2011–12 Student Research

Graphene Synthesis
Hannah Ponek
Research Performed at PLNU

Conservation of Water and Electricity for New Building Sites
Derek Richdale
Research Performed at Texas A&M

Structural Response to Earthquakes
Kurt Kellogg
Research Performed at UCLA

Robotic Controlled Quadrotor
Austin Timm
Research Performed at PLNU