Professional Development


The MSEN TNEWS REU kicks off with a welcome dinner followed by orientation, photos, training and social events that involve REU participants across seven REU programs at the University of Arkansas (UA). Throughout the summer, REU participants from across campus interact in evening activities like bowling, roller skating, and picnics as well as weekend hikes and canoeing. The UA Graduate School hosts several Dinner and Dialogues, with guest speakers on topics such as information science, applying for fellowships, and pursuing graduate education.

MSEN TNEWS REU participants will conduct research spanning nanoscale quantum materials, devices and system in a state-of-the-art research facility dedicated to nanoscale metrology and manufacturing. This 74,000 ft2 facility houses core nanoscale metrologies free of charge to TNEWS students. Its community commons, gathering areas and kitchenette enable frequent connection between REU students, mentors, and program leaders.

A 4000 ft2 class 1000 microfabrication cleanroom (HiDEC) and a nanoscale growth and analysis instruments (INSE) are available to MSEN TNEWS REU participants. World-class equipment includes four generation-II molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) growth chambers with in-situ scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), high resolution X-Ray diffraction (HRXRD), atomic force microscopy (AFM), dual beam focus ion beam (FIB), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and a wide array of tools for laser (continuous-wave and pulsed laser systems from UV to mid-IR), spectroscopic (Raman, XPS, EDS) and microscopic (SPM, IR, ellipsometry) characterization. Hands on training will be provided to REU participants by staff from the Institute for Nanoscience and Engineering.

Participants in the MSEN TNEWS REU will receive training in professional skills to develop their capacities in innovation, design, teamwork, communication, ethics and leadership as they network with nanotechnology leaders among world-class nanomanufacturers and high-tech spin-offs. Participants will interact with industry leaders in nanoscale manufacturing comprised of MSEN alumni, advisory board members, and program leaders to build their professional network. Each student will also deepen their experience using the scientific method, consider its use in a possible graduate degree in STEM for them, and think about how it could lead to a STEM career.

Participants in the MSEN REU will take part in a number of other activities to broaden and enrich the REU experience. The University of Arkansas hosts five undergraduate research programs simultaneously, and we capitalize on this to improve the experience for each individual. All summer program participants are housed in the same dorm to increase the sense of community.

A key supplementary component of the REU site is a three-day trip to the Dallas, Texas to visit four high tech manufacturing facilities for in-depth “behind the magic curtain” tours by senior personnel. The UA groups travel from Fayetteville to Texas on a Wednesday evening, visits three industry sites throughout the day Thursday to view the entire commercial world of μEP, and has a free day Friday to enjoy Dallas, including Six Flags, museums, and shopping. The group returns to Fayetteville on Saturday mid-day.

In addition, MSEN REU participants attend weekly research meetings and are enrolled in a weekly ethics course along with MSEN graduate students. The ethics class has provided the REU students a significant amount of ethical-concept practice time, resulting in a theoretical ethical knowledge base that can be applied to new ethical dilemmas as they arise.