Summer Means Research for Senior Science Majors

Summer Means Research for Science Majors

 

Every summer finds science majors scattered across the country (and globe) hard at work on summer research projects. This year, all 10 senior physics majors are spending the summer doing research. 80 percent of them are doing it supported by federal grants or funding. The Chemistry and Biology Departments have students researching as far away as Germany and Puerto Rico.

Research is required to earn a bachelor's of science degree at UD. Many students use the summer between their junior and senior years to complete this requirement. Additionally, many students will go beyond the requirement and spend two, or more, summers on research projects.

Biology major Crystal Purcell, BS '15, will spend the summer studying the effects of acidification on macroinvertebrates (for example, crabs) in Puerto Rico. Alec deKeratry, BS '15, a chemistry major, is in Julich, Germany, assisting with Lithium Ion battery research at the Forschungszentrum Julich.

"The end goal is to make Lithium Ion batteries more efficient, safe and affordable. These could then be applied to a variety of machines, such as your laptop battery, a standard AA battery or even hybrid vehicles," said deKeratry.

For most of these students, research assistantships mean a lot of grunt work. deKeratry spends a good portion of his time assembling batteries for different tests.

Sally Hicks, professor of physics, tells how the two physics majors assisting with her Department of Energy-sponsored research on neutron scattering showed up for their first day in white dress shirts and ties.

"They spent the next several hours moving heavy, greasy machinery and didn't complain once," she said.

It's not all grunt work for the research assistants, however. According to Hicks, the students were able to take solo shifts monitoring the accelerator by the end of the second week of experiments.

Research assistantships aren't the only summer opportunity for science majors. Samuel Henderson, BS '15, a physics major, and Aaron French, BS '16, a chemistry major, are two of 24 students accepted (out of hundreds of applicants) to the American Chemical Society's Nuclear Chemistry Summer Schools. French is studying at San Jose State University's summer school in San Jose, California and Henderson at Brookhaven National Lab in Upton, New York.

PHOTO: From left, Thaddeus Howard and Luke Pecha working on neutron scattering research at the University of Kentucky for Hicks (not pictured). 

News

UD Welcomes New Generation of Crusader Alumni

Outdoor chairs filled up quickly as droves of graduates, professors, families and friends arrived on the Braniff Mall the morning of Sunday, May 12, to participate in the 59th annual Spring Commencement Ceremony in honor of UD’s new generation of Crusader alumni.

+ Read More

Board of Trustees Names John G. Plotts as Interim President

The University of Dallas Board of Trustees has announced the appointment of Executive Vice President John G. Plotts, Ed.D., as interim president of the university. Plotts joined the university in December of 2008, initially serving in the roles of associate provost and dean of undergraduate admissions.

+ Read More

Professor of English Eileen Gregory, PhD, Named 2018 Piper Professor

"That's what our teaching, and all our talk about the reflective life, boils down to -- efforts to keep brilliance in our hearts, to remember the lightness that is native to our spirit," said 2018 Piper Professor Eileen Gregory, Ph.D, professor of English. The Piper Award honors 10 professors annually in Texas colleges and universities for outstanding achievements in their profession and is widely regarded as the most prestigious award of its kind in the state.

+ Read More