Summer Research for Foreign University Students

Summer Research for Foreign University Students

Visit here to read about the summer 2014 program.  New research topics for the summer 2015 program will be posted in January, 2015.  Please visit our site then to apply for 2015.  

Interested in graduate studies in civil engineering in the United States? Interested enough to come to the Washington D.C. area this summer and try your hand at some research for three weeks at George Mason University?

How does it work? We’re recruiting top undergraduates and master’s students from civil engineering programs at selected foreign universities to conduct research with us from July 7 to July 25, 2014. It’s a chance for you to get to know us, for us to get to know you, and to work on a real research project that might turn into something more both here and at your current university. You will live in the George Mason University student dorms in the affluent Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington D.C., undertaking faculty-led research on real problems during the week. On the weekends you can see the sites in Washington D.C., check out the city’s entertainment scene in Georgetown or Adams Morgan, go to a Washington Nationals major league baseball game, or to zip up to New York for a weekend on the $25 bus.

Who can apply? Admission is competitive. Here are the guidelines. You must be a full time undergraduate or full time MS student graduating from your home institution in 2015.  And you must be thinking about graduate studies in civil engineering in the U.S., and possibly at George Mason University. You must be interested – really interested — in the research projects listed below and you must have the skills needed to make progress on the project. Finally, you must have a strong positive recommendation from a faculty member at your home institution.

What does it cost? First, there is no application fee for this program.  If you are accepted into the program, you will live in George Mason University dorms right on campus, and we will pay for your accommodation and meals from July 5 to July 26. You will be responsible for your return air and ground transportation costs from your home country to our campus; for your U.S. B1/B2 prospective student visa application costs, if applicable; for your health insurance for the period of the program; and for your other personal expenses and discretionary spending (like for shopping and traveling, typically $250 to $500).

What’s the schedule? Applications are open now, starting with the questions below. We will review applications as they arrive, so early application is recommended for best consideration.  Most review will be completed in March.  We’ll follow up with selected candidates and their recommending professors.  Offers of admission to the program will be extended starting in March; applicants have 7 days to accept or decline an offer. If you are accepted into the program, you must apply for and receive your visa (if the U.S. requires one for your visit) by May 15; we will provide a letter of invitation to accompany your visa application. You must confirm purchase of both your health insurance and your flight to the Washington DC area by June 1. Plan to arrive at the university to move into your dorm room on Saturday, July 5 or Sunday, July 6. Program orientation begins on Monday, July 7. You will conduct research under the direction of a civil engineering faculty member on weekdays from July 7 to July 25, but weekends are yours to explore the area.

What are the summer 2014 research topics and experience required?

  • ENWR1: Sustainable watersheds: fitting field observations to hyper resolution modelling. Required: undergraduate water resources engineering; Geographic Information Systems; eagerness for field work
  • ENWR2: Using wetlands to reduce hurricane coastal flooding. Required: undergraduate environmental & water resources engineering; eagerness for field work.
  • GEOE1: Integrating recycled concrete and geotextiles for more sustainable roads. Required: undergraduate chemistry background; geotechnical lab experience; eagerness for laboratory and field work.
  • GEOE2: Identifying the right aggregate for longer lasting roads. Required: undergraduate soil mechanics; eagerness for laboratory and field work; geology background is a plus.
  • GEOE3: Identifying the final, lowest strength of soil. Required: graduate soil mechanics; soil strength laboratory testing; eagerness for field work.
  • STRE1: 3D printing of buildings and bridges. Required: CAD modeling; undergraduate mechanics of materials
  • STRE2: Virtual bridge inspection. Required: MATLAB; programming; undergraduate structural analysis
  • TRNE1: Managing traffic flow using GPS and smartphone data. Required: travel demand modeling; statistical analysis; programming.
  • TRNE2: Managing travel demand in mega-cities. Required: travel survey modeling; and travel demand modeling; mathematical modeling skills.
  • TRNE3: Do they work? Public-private partnerships for transportation facilities. Required: travel demand modeling; transportation planning; regression models.

Interested? Then let’s get started with a few questions about you ….

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