Month: December 2013

REU at University of Utah – Due January 15th!

Research Experience for Undergraduates

University of Utah MRSEC Next-Generation Materials for Plasmonics & Organic Spintronics – Salt Lake City, Utah

June 2 – August 1, 2014

$4500 stipend, travel allowance, housing & meal plan

Apply online by January 15, 2014 at: <>

Open to U.S. citizens & permanent residents obtaining an undergraduate degree Spring 2015 or after.

Women & minority students are especially encouraged to apply.

Students from non-research institutions may be given priority.


D.O.E. Scholars Program – Deadline January 12th!

Deadline: January 12, 2014

  • Career possibilities with the nation’s leading sponsor for scientific research
  • Opportunities to learn from top scientists and subject matter experts
  • Stipends of up to $650 per week (depending on academic status)
  • Travel arrangements to and from appointment site

Applicants must be US Citizens and undergraduates, graduates or post-graduates of an accredited college or university.  The program is open to majors in: Engineering; Physical Sciences; Environmental Sciences; Computer Science and Information Technology; Physics; Business; Policy; Program Management; Mathematics; Statistics; Safety and Health; Accounting and Finance; Law; Communications; and other related areas.

Overview of the DOE Scholars Program

Scientific research conducted through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) supports an improved quality of life for all Americans. With a mission focused on discovering solutions to power and to secure America’s future, DOE is committed to:

  • Energy security
  • Nuclear security
  • Scientific discovery and innovation
  • Environmental responsibility
  • Management excellence

What is the DOE Scholars Program?

The DOE Scholars Program offers unique opportunities that introduce students or post-graduates to the agency’s mission and operations. Participants in the DOE Scholars Program gain a competitive edge as they apply their education, talent and skills in a variety of scientific research settings within the DOE complex. Appointments are available for a variety of disciplines at participating DOE facilities nationwide.

The DOE Scholars Program presents you with the opportunity to explore a federal career with DOE at various stages in your education.

Engineers use electricity to peek inside bridge cables for corrosion

Engineers use electricity to peek inside bridge cables for corrosion

Bridge closed for repair work


Originally Published December 5, 2013 in the UB Reporter

Tresor Mavinga
“We need to be as accurate as possible to save money, time and lives.”

Tresor Mavinga, civil engineering and mathematics major

Rust is a civil engineer’s nightmare.

Across the United States, more than 200 million trips are taken daily across bridges rated structurally deficient or in need of significant maintenance and yearly inspection. One major culprit: corrosion of reinforcing steel.

Now, however, UB researchers believe they can detect corrosion before the damage becomes severe by sending a jolt of electricity between opposite ends of steel cables. An inconsistency in the charge would alert them that the cable is suffering from corrosion and the bridge is in danger of falling.

“The No. 1 priority of all civil engineers is the safety of the public,” says Tresor Mavinga, a UB senior civil engineering and mathematics major involved in the research. “Corrosion can affect any structure, not just bridges, and we don’t want that to happen. We need to be as accurate as possible to save money, time and lives.”

Led by Salvatore Salamone, assistant professor of civil engineering, Mavinga and Alireza Farhidzadeh, a civil engineering graduate student, embedded piezoelectric transducers — devices that convert a signal from one form of energy to another — onto each end of a wire.

They then fired one volt of electricity through the metal using ultrasonic-guided waves, which can travel a long distance with little loss in energy, while monitoring the charge received at each end. The experiment was repeated with the same wire after it was rusted with a saltwater mixture. Because the cables are corroded, most of the energy from the electrical charge will be lost during the transfer between transducers.

Since the sensors and transducers are permanently attached to the cable, engineers can test the wires remotely off-site.

The new method of testing could do away with time-consuming and expensive visual tests, which often rely on drilling through concrete to inspect the cables or spotting cracks in the concrete caused by increased stress on the weakened wires.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, corrosion problems have increased significantly over the past three decades and are likely to continue. The increase is in part due to the rising use of road de-icing salts, which are extremely corrosive to the protective films on metals.

Corrosion test

The steel cable tendon, which is found in most bridges, is suspended above a saltwater mixture with ultrasonic sensors attached at both ends for corrosion monitoring. Photo: Marcene Robinson

The steel cable tendon, which is found in most bridges, is suspended above a saltwater mixture with ultrasonic sensors attached at both ends for corrosion monitoring. Photo: Marcene Robinson

Improved testing is a needed step toward improvement of American infrastructure.

U.S. bridges were graded a C-plus by the American Society of Civil Engineers in its 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure. And of the more than 17,000 bridges in New York, 12.5 percent are structurally deficient and 27 percent are considered functionally obsolete.

The report adds that one out of nine of the nation’s bridges is structurally deficient and that more than 30 percent of bridges have exceeded their 50-year design life; the average age of the nation’s bridges is currently 42 years.

2014 Ivy Plus Symposium March 13-15 – Due Dec 14th


LSAMP will sponsor any Junior or Senior with good grades and good standing with LSAMP!  Contact Dr. T or Nancy for details!

Dear Student:

The 2014 Ivy Plus Symposium will be held on March 13-15 in Cambridge MA, hosted by Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

This is your chance to interact with faculty and hear about cutting-edge research and PhD programs from the world’s leading institutions of higher education. This two-day symposium features mini symposia, lab and archival tours, graduate student and alumni panels, poster session, research talks by several dozen faculty from among the nation’s leading universities and much more.  Join us for unique opportunities to:
*       Hear about emerging research and new interdisciplinary collaboration.
*       Present your own work and get feedback from faculty, graduate students, and postdocs in a poster session.
*       Attend a panel discussion by faculty to get an inside look at the admissions process and learn more about how to pursue a research degree.
*       Learn how a PhD can open doors and lead to exciting career opportunities. Hear from alumni about careers within and outside of academia.
*       Connect with peers and explore Cambridge and Boston!

The deadline for application (including transcripts, two letters of recommendation, a resume and a personal statement) is December 14th.  There is no application fee but there is a $200 registration fee for attendees. Financial assistance may be available to help offset the costs. Admitted students will be notified of the travel grant opportunities.

Additional information and the online application form are available at or email us at:<>
Lois Ricciardi
MS PHD’S Project Coordinator
Institute for Broadening Participation

MS PHD’S Profile<>