Our department of 24 faculty, 389 undergraduates, and 187 graduate students welcomes you. Established in 1867, we have a long tradition of excellence in teaching, research, and service.

Student News - February 2015


Two MatSE graduate students received honors at the MRS Fall Meeting in Boston. Thu Doan (Sottos group) won first place in the "Science as Art" contest. Andy Long (Ferguson group) placed third in the Materials Hackathon and won an Outstanding Student Presenter Award. Full story

The Huffington Post lists Janna Eaves (senior in MatSE) and Supriya Hobbs on their list of "12 Ordinary People Who Can Inspire Us." Eaves and Hobbs created Miss Possible, which is designing toy dolls modeled after famous women scientists to inspire girls to go into STEM careers.

Yahoo! puts John Rogers right up there with Stephen Hawking on its list of 8 scientists who are changing the world.

Career Fairs

The ECS Spring Engineering Career Fair is Tuesday, February 3, from 10:00 am-3:30 pm at the ARC. The Spring Engineering Employment Expo will be Thursday, February 12, from 10:00 am-4:00 pm at the ARC.

Career Advice

Starting in February, a representative from Engineering Career Services will be coming to MatSE to advise students on their job search and review resumes. ECS will be in 205A MSEB from 3:30-4:40 pm every other Tuesday starting February 10. All MatSE students are welcome to drop by. Students should be registered to use ECS services including I-Link.

Bergeron Scholarship

MatSE students who have had an internship or MatSE-related research experience qualify for the department's Clifton Bergeron Scholarship. The scholarship is worth $1,000; the amount will be applied to your 2015-2016 tuition bill. No application or letters of recommendation are required. Students must submit a one-page essay on their internship/undergrad RA experience and how this experience will benefit them in their future career plans. A committee of MatSE faculty members will review the essays and make their recommendation to the Department Head. The winner will be announced at the MatSE Awards Banquet on April 17. Essays are due in 201 MSEB on Monday, March 2.

Research Abroad

Learn about international research opportunities where you can earn technical credit and gain hands-on experience in a field you are passionate about. The session will take place on Wednesday, February 4, from 6:00-7:00 pm in 106B1 Engineering Hall. Hosted by IPENG.

Material Advantage News

General Meeting: Material Advantage's February general meeting is designed to get you prepared for spring career fairs! Come to 119 MSEB at 7:00 pm on February 5 to get a crash course in resumes, elevator pitches, interviews, and finding the perfect internship or job!  

Alumni Talk: Are you concentrating in Electronic Materials and don't know whether you want to go into industry or grad school? Come to 119 MSEB 119 at 7:00 pm on February 19 to hear Spencer Wells (BS '13) talk about his experiences in both industry and grad school.

EOH: Interested in helping out with EOH? Email Michael Wu (hmwu2@illinois.edu) to get involved in a project. Material Advantage has 5 projects going and can use all hands on deck - whether you donate 1 hour or 5 hours!

Super Bowl Squares: More details can be found on the Keramos website (http://keramosillinois.org/) and on the Material Advantage website (http://ma.matse.illinois.edu/events/announcements.html). Please contact Kim (kjcampb2@illinois.edu) or Kelsey (wu105@illinois.edu) if you are interested or have any questions. Profits will be donated to the Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club. They focus on providing a safe environment for children to go to after school, where they can grow and learn. More information about this foundation can be seen here http://www.dmbgc-cu.org/.

Service Opportunities

Wesley Evening Food Pantry: MatSE students are invited to help the less fortunate by working a shift at the food pantry at Wesley United Methodist Church, 1203 W. Green St., in Urbana (intersection of Green and Goodwin). Sign up for individual volunteer slots here: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040445adad229-volunteer13.

The days and times MatSE service will be volunteering:
Wednesday, February 18 (no orientation needed)
Move Pallets from 12 - 1:30pm, Unload Truck from 1 - 2:30pm, Set-up and Food Repackage from 6:30 - 8:30pm
Thursday, February 19
No orientation needed: Clean-up from 7:30 - 9:30pm
Orientation manditory: Food Distribution from 3:15pm - 5:30pm and 5:15pm - 7:30pm

Orientation will be available on Wednesday, February 18, at 5:15 - 6:15pm or Thursday, February 19, at 2 - 3pm

Keramos Centennial: Volunteers are needed to help at the Keramos centennial on Saturday, February 21, at the I Hotel. As the event approaches and we have the full list of people attending, we will have a more definitive idea of what volunteers will need to do to help with the event. Please let Kim or Kelsey know if you are interested in volunteering. In addition to the banquet, volunteers will be needed for an informal meet and greet on Friday, February 20, and lab tours on Saturday afternoon.

Keramos News

Superbowl Viewing - 5-10 pm February 1 in 218 Ceramics 
Come to 218 Ceramics to stream the game between the Patriots and Seahawks on Sunday night!  We will be having snacks (maybe Pizza!).  More information is on the Facebook event here

MatSE Game Night! - 6-10 pm February 7 in 218 Ceramics
Come play games with other MatSEs! We will be having pizza and snacks available. Get to use the projector and TV as well. Please fill out this form to tell us you're coming, and if you can bring anything as well! (E.g. Nintendo 64, Wii/WiiU, board games, etc.) Also, please join the Facebook event too!

General Meeting - 6 pm February 11 in 218 Ceramics
Come to our General Meeting on February 11 to learn about our new exciting events that we will be having throughout the month of February. Manolo's will be served! 

Keramos Centennial - 6-11 pm February 21, I Hotel and Conference Center
Come celebrate 100 years since Keramos was founded!  More information is found on keramosillinois.org, and on the Facebook event here. Student tickets are $15 and money can be collected online via our website or turned in to Ann Choi (annchoi3@illinois.edu) or Mike Sarantos (saranto2@illinois.edu). We hope to see you there!  

Next Play with Clay Sessions - 5-7 pm on February 3, 11, 17, and 25 at Ceramics Basement
Come to our Play with Clay sessions which will be held in the Ceramics Basement (locations can be found through). Come make slip.

Please fill out this form with the exams of your MatSE courses this semester to help us plan for future events this semester!

Illinois Student Senate Vacancy

The Illinois Student Senate (ISS) serves as the "Official Voice of the Student Bod"" at the University of Illinois. It is committed to representing the views and needs of the student body to campus administration, local, state, and federal governments. The ISS also focuses on bettering the campus community for all students. The organization is comprised of over 100 members who are dedicated to serving this community and are committed to excellence. We currently have one vacancy. Apply by 11 pm Sunday, February 9, at http://iss.illinois.edu/senatorVacApp.asp. Contact Sarah Hochman (shochma2@illinois.edu) if you have any questions.

Undergrad Research Survey

The Office of Undergraduate Research is conducting a survey of all undergraduate students at the University of Illinois about their undergraduate research experiences. Survey participation is voluntary and confidentiality will be strictly maintained. Participants will be eligible for a drawing for ten $50 Amazon gift cards. The survey is available at https://illinois.edu/sb/sec/3450733 and will close at 11:59 pm on February 6.


CareerWISE resilience training program is an evidence-based and freely available online resource that assists women in science and engineering fields STEM to progress through their PhD programs and prepare for future career environments. Developed at Arizona State University with the generous support of the National Science Foundation, the program is the first of its kind - an online, anytime coach customized for women pursuing PhDs in STEM fields.

Student Space Systems

Student Space Systems is a undergraduate group that practices high power rocketry and utilizes technology and engineering to make it possible. Last semester, we successfully launched our "Sierra" rocket, which spans 20 feet in length, flew 6,000 feet, and is of our custom design. We have many engagements this semester including designing our next phase rocket, testing a hybrid rocket motor, constructing a launch tower, and many more.  SSS has the following subgroups: Propulsion, Avionics, Structures, Launch Systems, Special Projects, and Outreach. Students come from many disciplines including computer science, materials science, mechanical engineering, engineering physics, electrical engineering, computer engineering, and aerospace engineering. If any of this seems of interest to you, we encourage you to come to our general meeting at 7:00 pm on Monday, February 2, in 165 Everitt. Check out our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/StudentSpaceSystems

UK Fulbright Summer Institutes

Freshmen and sophomores are invited to an info session to learn more about the UK Fulbright Summer Institutes  on Thursday, February 5, from 3:30-4:30pm in room 514 Illini Union Bookstore Building (entrance near Coble Hall). The US-UK Fulbright Commission offers special Summer Institutes for US citizens to come to the UK.  These programs provide the opportunity for undergraduates (aged over 18), with at least two years of undergraduate study left to complete, to come to the UK on a three, four, five or six week academic and cultural program. There are nine Summer Programs available for US students in 2015.  The Summer Institute will cover the majority of the participant costs: round-trip airfare from the US to the UK, tuition and fees at the University, social programs, and room and board. The application deadline is February 26 or March 5. More information, including descriptions of the nine institutes, can be found on the program website.

SPE Scholarship

The SPE Foundation, an affiliate of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE), offers numerous scholarships to students who have demonstrated or expressed an interest in the plastics industry. Applicants must be majoring in or taking courses that would be beneficial to a career in the plastics industry including, but not limited to, plastics engineering, polymer science, chemistry, physics, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, and industrial engineering. All applicants must be in good standing with their colleges. Applicants must complete an online application and submit it to the SPE Foundation by May 1. Please note that if you are applying for the Extrusion, PMAD or Vinyl Plastics scholarships, the deadline is March 1.

Horatio Alger Honeywell Scholarship

The Horatio Alger Association is pleased to announce that its Honeywell scholarship program for students studying in the fields of STEM (science, technology, engineering, or math) at both Honeywell partner schools and Horatio Alger Collegiate Partner institutions is once again available. We will be awarding 10 scholarships at $10,000 each to students pursuing STEM degrees who have critical financial need ($55,000 or less family income) and who are going to be in their sophomore year for academic year 2015-2016. The online application is currently open on our website and will close Friday, March 20

Summer Research

Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP) is a gateway to graduate education at Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) universities. The goal of the program is to increase the number of underrepresented students who pursue graduate study and research careers. SROP helps prepare undergraduates for graduate study through intensive research experiences with faculty mentors and enrichment activities. Students wishing to participate in SROP must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher (4.0 scale)
  • Be a citizen or a permanent resident of the U.S.
  • Be enrolled in a degree-granting program at a college or university in the United States, Puerto Rico, or other U.S. territory
  • Have completed at least two semesters of undergraduate education by the time of the summer experience
  • Have at least one semester of undergraduate education remaining after completing the summer research experience
  • Have a strong interest in pursuing a Ph.D.

Selected participants will be expected to complete 40 hours of research each week.  Participants must be willing to devote full-time to the program during the eight- to 10-week session.  Due to the intense research schedule, SROP participants are not allowed to work an additional job during the summer program. Application information 

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship

The Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) is sponsoring a competitive Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship for undergraduate students at the University of Illinois. The goals for this initiative are to provide students with funds necessary to conduct research during the summer term at Illinois.

Eligibility Requirements:
Students must be current UI undergraduate students, and be in good academic standing. GPA will be considered during the selection process. Applicants must have faculty support or mentoring during the duration of the summer employment. Research must be conducted on the UI campus; students cannot use the money to work in an off campus lab or to fund an outside internship. Funding is provided for students pursuing their own research projects or working on a faculty-led project. 

Additional Requirements:
A letter of support must be provided by a faculty member. For students doing an independent research project, the letter should come from a faculty mentor familiar with the student’s research plans. For students doing research as part of a larger faculty-led project, a letter of support must come from a faculty member directly involved in the project who will supervise the student. If students use their own research as the basis of a presentation at a conference or campus event, there must be an acknowledgement of the Office of Undergraduate Research for its support on the poster or in the paper. Students must provide a 3-5 page summary of their research, suitable for website posting, to OUR following the completion of the project.

Funding Restrictions:
The application must itemize how the students will spend their time and how the employment is important to the student and the project on which the student will work. Funding will be given to the student as a lump sum, and use of the funds and the conduct of the student research must meet all UI employment and safety standards.

Application: http://go.illinois.edu/surf2015.
The deadline is February 20, with winners notified by March 9.

More REU programs

Bionanotechnology Summer Institute at University of Illinois: http://nano.illinois.edu/summer-institute-2015
University of Nebraska-Lincoln: http://www.unl.edu/summerprogram/

MatSE Jobs

Cindy Brya emails the undergrad and grad student listserves with job opportunities or internships for MatSE students. If you miss an email or accidentally delete a job posting in which you're interested, go to http://go.illinois.edu/matse_jobs. On the site, you will find current and previous job postings which Cindy has forwarded to students.