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Undergrad engineers research everything from water quality to wildfires this summer
Date:7/26/2010

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) -- Twenty-one undergraduate students in the UC Riverside Bourns College of Engineering are working with faculty mentors this summer researching everything from water quality to wildfires to materials that could lead to new medical devices.

"UCR has a lot of opportunities to get involved with research," said Erika Aragon, a sophomore, who is one of the students taking part in the Summer Bridge program. "This is the reason I choose UCR. I didn't want to sit behind a book for four years."

The students are being paid through a $3.3 million grant UC Riverside's STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) Pathway Project was awarded by the College Cost Reduction and Access Act and Hispanic Serving Institutions Program.

The grant aims to increase the number of students transferring into the STEM fields at UCR and to enhance support for Hispanic and low-income students who are pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

"The goal of the Summer Bridge program is to get them engaging in research so they are prepared for graduate school," said Jun Wang, who coordinates the program as the professional development officer at the Bourns College of Engineering.

The 10-week program started at the end June. Students work daily in faculty labs and get together weekly for workshops and seminars. The program continues through Aug. 27, when the students will present their research at a symposium. After that, the students will likely remain working with their faculty mentors.

The students include:

Aragon, who lives in West Covina, is working with David Cwiertny, an assistant professor of chemical and environmental engineering. She is researching how ultraviolet light naturally kills bacteria water with the goal of increasing the amount of disinfection.

David Becerra, a fifth-year student from Chula Vista, is working with Shankar Mahalingam, a pro
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Contact: Sean Nealon
sean.nealon@ucr.edu
951-827-1287
University of California - Riverside
Source:Eurekalert

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