2023 - 2024 Program

The Center for Dynamics and Control of Materials is launching a first-year student research program called FUSE – Fusing Undergraduates with Science and Engineering.

Students will participate in their Spring semester of their freshman year and Fall semester of their sophomore year and will work alongside faculty and graduate students, participating in research projects within the field of materials science, performing ~7-8 hours/week of laboratory work. FUSE students will receive intentional mentoring and learn basic research techniques, hone their oral and written communication skills and join a community of supportive researchers. The FUSE program will include a for-credit course that meets weekly and provides an educational program that compliments the foundational research program they are undertaking in the laboratory. Students will participate in research/career development seminars, progress check-in meetings to share successes and challenges with their peers, and a semester-end poster session.  

FUSE will capitalize on interdisciplinary materials science research opportunities within the Center to instill in students the excitement of scientific inquiry and innovation, and showcase the application in a broad range of technologies for the benefit of society. Engagement in open-ended research combined with participation in a STEM-focused student community will foster a sense of belonging and identity to improve retention in undergraduate STEM majors and eventual pursuit of graduate studies. 

FUSE students will have the option to apply to a paid summer research experience through the CDCM MRSEC that occurs the summer between their freshman and sophomore years.  


Program Highlights 

  • Engage undergraduate science and engineering majors in cutting-edge materials science and engineering research projects, allowing them to experience research first-hand. 
  • Provide students with basic research and professional skills to succeed in their undergraduate career and beyond. 
  • Bring awareness to career opportunities in science and engineering fields. 
  • Promote graduate study as a future educational goal. 
  • Teach and demonstrate ethical decision making and professional responsibility. 
  • Create a collaborative, welcoming environment in which the participants are exposed to a diverse peer group and from which they are able to create a support network of researchers, faculty and staff. 
  • Program alumni will be invited to serve as student mentors to help guide new program participants and build a peer community of researchers.
  • Opportunities to participate in internships in industry, national laboratories, or other sectors will be explored. 


Research Program Objectives 

  • Design, conduct, and document a research experiment, thus learning research techniques and lab protocols 
  • Function effectively on a multi-disciplinary research team 
  • Summarize both the technical and experiential aspects of the research experience 
  • Establish strong links with industry & faculty members 
  • Use the experience to become a competitive graduate school applicant 


Research Projects (2024)

  • A model for the heterogeneous degradation of plastics (Lynd Research Group - Chemical Engineering)
  • Tuning Optical Properties by Controlling Thickness of Tin-Doped Indium Oxide Nanocrystal Superlattices (Milliron Research Group - Chemical Engineering)
  • Understanding kinetics of electrochemical CO2 reduction (Resasco Research Group - Chemical Engineering)
  • Designing Hybrid Materials that Efficiently Transfer Energy from Quantum Dots to Molecules (Roberts Research Group - Chemistry)
  • Synthesis of 2D materials using chemical vapor deposition and their assembly into Moire superlattice structures using robotic stamp printing (Warner Research Group - Mechanical Engineering)
  • Strain Engineering of Two-dimensional Transition Metal Dichalcogenides (Yu Research Group - Electrical and Computer Engineering)


FUSE Course Goals 

  • Students should be able to demonstrate the following abilities during and upon completion of the for-credit seminar series: 
  • Prepare abstracts, creating scientific posters and presentations  
  • Identify the “Next Steps” of applying to graduate school 
  • Learn basic research skills  
  • Create a research network  
  • Examine ethics in science and engineering  


Course Highlights 

  • Academic research seminars  
  • Abstract writing & poster design workshops 
  • Reading, analyzing, & writing academic papers  
  • LinkedIn and Networking Workshop  
  • Tours of research labs and other facilities  
  • Communicating Scientific Research  
  • Ethics in Science and Engineering  
  • Grad School 101  
  • Research Mentoring  


Selected FUSE Participants:

  • Perform 7-8 hours of research per week
  • Enroll in a one-hour weekly course during Spring &Fall 2024
  • Attend regular cohort meetings
  • Submit and present a final report


FUSE students must:

  • Demonstrate exceptional academic competence, leadership skills, independence and the ability to balance multiple responsibilities
  • Be first year student in Chemistry, Physics, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Chem Engineering, Biomedical Engineering



Incoming Freshman students in chemistry, electrical engineering, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering, materials science and engineering.


Application Instructions:  

Applications open August 21 and close October 1, 2023. 

  1. Fill out online application & research lab preference form
  2. Submit video introduction to box widget 
  3. Upload to transcript to box widget 


Please label all files in the following format: Last Name, First Name_File Type (i.e., Statement, Letter of Recommendation, Transcript, Insurance)

Contact Information

Abbey Stanzione & Risa Hartman









2501 Speedway
EER 3.804
Stop C0803
Austin, Texas 78712