Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)

Applications for the POETS 2018 REU Program will open December 2017.

 Calling on engineering undergraduate students to help increase the power density of current mobile electrified systems by 10-100 times the current state of the art!


The Center for Power Optimization of Electro-Thermal Systems (POETS) offers a 10-week summer research program that provides undergraduate students with an opportunity to explore careers in research. Students gain an experience that will help strengthen their knowledge, skills and understanding of research methodologies as well as graduate school. The POETS REU program places students at one of its four universities: Howard University, Stanford University, University of Arkansas, and University of Illinois. While at a POETS institution, REU students work on a POETS research project under the guidance and mentorship of a faculty member and graduate student or post-doctoral mentor. In addition to research, students will participate in bi-weekly research seminars and professional development workshops, engage in a variety of social and professional events and communicate their research progress at multiple venues including POETS’ annual meeting in September. The goal of POETS REU program is to provide a unique summer experience that encourages students to purse graduate studies in engineering.











  • Hands-on research
  • Faculty/peer mentoring
  • Professional development
  • Networking opportunities
  • $5,000 stipend
  • Airfare to and from POETS institution
  • On-campus housing and meal plan provided
  • POETS annual conference in September
  • $500 conference allowance to present REU research during school year (i.e. ASME, SHPE, NSBE)



  • Undergraduates majoring in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) disciplines
  • Students with an average GPA of 3.0/4.0 or higher
  • U.S. citizenship/national or permanent residency is required
  • Students from underrepresented minority groups, women, or veterans are strongly encouraged to apply


The application consist of the following components:

  • A 500-800 word Statement of Purpose that addresses the following issues:
    1. Discuss your post-baccalaureate goals
    2. Discuss how you plan to prepare for a career beyond your bachelor’s degree
    3. Describe how your personal, cultural, and academic development has influenced your educational and career plans for the future.
    4. Explain how a POETS REU can assist you in shaping and achieving your academic goals.
  • A copy of your unofficial transcript
  • Your overall GPA and your GPA in your minor
  • At least one faculty letter of recommendation
  • A list of previous research experience
  • Top four 2018 REU Projects in which you are interested.

Apply for the REU program online once the applications are live in December 2017. Our application deadline is  March 1, 2018. We will be accepting participants on a rolling basis so it is best to apply early.


REU Student Profile Page


Value of REU to reaching career goals presentation

2017 POETS REU information session presentation

2017 POETS REU Brochure


Mr. Joe Muskin (email:, phone: 217-265-6481)

Dr. Jessica Perez (email:, phone: 217-300-5866)