Category: Jobs in ECE@BU
It’s been a bitter winter in Boston, but that didn’t keep students and faculty from making their way toward the Photonics Building Colloquium Room on January 22. Anxious undergraduate students looking for research opportunities mingled among the 28 tables of Boston University researchers at the recent ECE Undergraduate Research and Lab Job Fair hoping to find opportunities to gain hands-on engineering experience.
The story of the research fair goes back four years ago when Dean Kenneth R. Lutchen spoke to matriculating freshman about the importance of research. While listening to the talk, Professor Mark Horenstein (ECE) realized that while entering students were being encouraged to engage in research, no one was telling them how.
In response, Horenstein started the annual ECE Undergraduate Research and Lab Job Fair as a way for undergraduates and faculty to explore mutual interests related to research and for students to ask about available research positions. The event also provides a public forum in which faculty can showcase what is happening in their laboratories. “This is a get-to-know-you meet-and-greet event,” says Horenstein.
Watching presentations and submitting resumes to BU faculty and graduate students, about 75 students attended this year. Two sophomores, Dean De Carli (EE ’16) and Matthew Owney (EE ’16), were scouting for summer and fall positions.
“Even though I didn’t get any research jobs, I was able to connect with the faculty,” said second-time attendee, De Carli. Owney added that he is looking for any opportunity since it’s his first time attending the fair.
Horenstein tells younger attendees, such as Alexandra Miller-Browne (CE ’17), that it’s important to “build up your skills as time goes on; don’t get discouraged.”
People on the other side of the table have a similar thought process. Dr. Traci Haddock, Executive Director of the Center for Synthetic Biology at BU, says, “Most students have no experience, but we will take anyone who is interested.” For example, she is looking for students to help develop the iGEM team’s website and build genetic devices this summer.
Third-time veteran, Associate Professor Robert Kotiuga, changes his presentation every year but remains steadfast in his belief that though people will always possess different areas of expertise, “it is important to be passionate about the project.”
Every year since the program’s initiation, the event has turned out eager attendees, and 2014 was no exception. Students continue to return each year, hoping to gain experience and take advantage of the department’s available opportunities.
-Chelsea Hermond (SMG ’15)
In late January, eager faculty members and graduate students representing 28 research labs in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering waited
behind tables lined around the Photonics Building colloquium room.
They had come together for the third annual ECE Undergraduate Research and Lab Job Fair in hopes of finding undergraduate students to assist them in their research activities. The event is designed to help students get involved with engineering research.
Professor Mark Horenstein (ECE), who has organized the event since its inception, said that the fair meets the needs of the many undergraduates seeking a chance to gain research experience.
“We hold this function as a way to better engage our students and showcase the research that is going on in the department,” said Horenstein.
After Horenstein gave a brief introduction, students immediately began speaking with the available professors and submitting their resumes.
Patrick Williamson (BME ’16) was one of the event’s younger attendees.
“I am interested in a broad scope of areas, but I am more interested in research,” he said.
Williamson was one of many students hoping to sell his skills and find a research position in one of the department’s labs.
Providing research opportunities to undergraduates gives students some research background prior to graduate school. It also allows professors like Douglas Densmore (ECE) a chance to find students who can help him with his projects. “We need help in a variety of levels – from simple to complex,” he said.
Bessie Steinberg (ECE ’14) came to the fair in order to get a research-based part-time job. She expressed the desires that most students in the room felt: “I want to apply what I have learned in class.”
The event has been very successful over the last three years. This time, 84 students registered to attend the sold out event.
Horenstein’s goal is simple. The fair is designed, he said, “for students to walk away with an opportunity” as long as they are willing to contribute their skills and hard work.
-Chelsea Hermond (SMG ’15)
These days, finding a job out of college can be a challenge – especially if graduates can’t list any experience on their resume.
Last semester, several of Boston University’s Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE) students told their professors that they were interested in research but didn’t know where to start.
Enter the first-ever ECE Undergraduate Research and Lab Job Fair.
“Students were eager to add some research experience to their resumes, so we wanted to give them a chance to see how many opportunities were available within the department,” said Professor Mark Horenstein, who organized the fair.
Held on January 31, the fair provided students with an opportunity to speak to faculty and graduate students about working in an ECE lab – either during the academic year or in the summer. Both paid and unpaid jobs were available.
“Sometimes we, as students, lose perspective on the potential of our education beyond the classroom,” said Nick Dougherty (CE ’12). “This was a great opportunity to really find out more about the research that goes on at the college.”
The event proved to be very popular with registration filling up nearly a week early. More than 75 students attended and had a chance to speak with 28 faculty members on hand to offer projects.
“There seemed to be a constant buzz throughout the evening,” said Horenstein. “Students were so eager to hear about the projects that the event lasted almost an hour longer than scheduled.”
Opportunities for research varied across different disciplines of ECE and included topics like smart parking, 3-D video, and cybersecurity.
The fair provided opportunities for experiential learning, a highly effective educational method that involves making meaning from direct experience. Kenneth R. Lutchen, Dean of the College of Engineering, has been emphasizing the importance of educating societal engineers at BU, and first-hand experience is an important step toward becoming one.
-Rachel Harrington (email@example.com)
The Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering is seeking candidates for several anticipated faculty positions at all ranks in signals and systems, communications, computer systems and networks, photonics, solid-state devices and nanostructures, and related areas.
For more information, please see our employment webpage.