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)