Summer Undergraduate Research Program

Distinctive elements of the College of Science and Engineering's educational process include many research experiences for science and engineering majors through our thriving summer undergraduate research program.

In the College of Science and Engineering, undergraduates in science, engineering, mathematics and computer science have the opportunity to collaborate over the summer with faculty researchers on projects that address contemporary problems. This real-world research will prepare you for top graduate programs and postdoctoral training at internationally recognized institutions.

Seattle University is committed to making research experiences available to as many students as possible. We have established a strong undergraduate research program and the College of Science and Engineering has committed more than $1 million in grants, endowments and gift funds to support the program and offer paid research positions for qualified students working under the mentorship of a Seattle University faculty member. We also offer research-based courses in science and engineering during the academic year.

Hear from Our Faculty

Dr. Yen-Lin Han

Research in Mechanical Engineering

“When mentoring undergraduate students, it is important to note that the outcomes of undergraduate research focus on more than just the project's results but on students' growth. As a teacher-scholar, I strive to mentor undergraduate research students to enrich their experiential learning experience as a part of the whole person education for their professional formation.”

Yen-Lin Han, PhD
Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Dr. John Carter

Research in Mathematics

“I love working on cutting-edge problems with skilled undergraduate students.  Their energy and insight help make critical advances on scientifically difficult, yet important, questions! An especially fun part of directing undergraduate research projects is showing them the path while staying out of their way as they race towards the solution.”

John Carter, PhD
Professor and Chair of Mathematics


Research in Chemistry

“Students learn and use a variety of techniques ranging from synthetic chemistry to genome sequencing. We apply this multidisciplinary approach to study how the microorganisms in our bodies influence human health with the goal of developing new treatments for disease.”

Chris Whidbey, PhD
Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Summer Research Projects

Each summer, dozens of students work on projects throughout our college. These projects allow students to apply their coursework to practical problems and help advance the Seattle University commitment to professional formation and mission to build a more just and humane world. Research projects may be funded by Seattle University or by grants from external organizations like the National Science Foundation.

The research projects can range from an investigation of extratidal stars in the Milky Way galaxy to probing the molecular evolution of DNA repeats in the human body. Some students go into the field to study beaver habitats in floodplains, while others research in labs to synthesize new antiviral agents or build robots to assist with physical rehabilitation.

The college shows off the work of our students each year at our STEM Research Showcase in the fall.

Completed Summer Research Projects

  • Faculty Dr. Stenbak / Researcher Jessica Albert / Project Genetic Diversity of Microscopic Green Algae in Cascadian Lakes.
  • Faculty Dr. Luckey / Researcher Natalie Crouse / Project Run for Your Life: A Support to a Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Exercise Intensity on Cardiovascular Outcomes in the Hypertensive Rat Model.
  • Faculty Dr. Zanis / Researcher Kathleen Maruna / Project Genomic and Genetic Diversity of Chloroplasts in Green Algae.
  • Faculty Dr. Zanis / Researcher Jillian Abullarade / Project Mutation Rates and Experimental Evolution of Microsatellite Repeats in E. Coli.
  • Faculty Dr. Kaiser / Researchers Abigail Westburg, Stephanie Walter, Daniel Bies / Project Characterization of BrxL, a Bacterial Factor Required for Defense Against Bacteriophages.
  • Faculty Dr. Kaiser / Researchers Sydney McGuire, Julieta Peralta / Project Testing the Behavior of WYL-Domain Protein as a Transcriptional Regulator for the BREX Phage Restriction System.
  • Faculty Dr. Hultgren / Researcher Aidan Gillespie / Project Evolution of Color Patterns in the Genus Alpheus.
  • Faculty Dr. Hultgren / Researcher Grace Nguyen / Project Creating a Comprehensive DNA Barcode Library for the Genus Alpheus.
  • Faculty Dr. Frato / Researcher Lily Grant / Project Developing a Toolbox for Insertion of the Lignin Biosynthesis Pathway into Chlamydomonas Reinhardtii.
  • Faculty Dr. Frato / Researcher Andrew Pendergrass / Project Troubleshooting PCR Strategies for Amplification of Genomic DNA from Chlamydomonas Reinhardtii.
  • Faculty Dr. Langenhan / Researchers Justus Curry, Crystal Barich / Project Progress Toward the Synthesis of Acyclic Nucleoside Mimics as Potential Antiviral Drug Candidates.
  • Faculty Dr. Latch / Researchers Arthur Lu, Karla Borella-Leon, Aeisha Abdulla / Project Predicting Fates of Aquatic Pollutants: Development of Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationships for Photochemical Reactions.
  • Faculty Dr. Watson / Researchers Lucas Hill, Connor Chung, Chance Jellinek / Project Synthesis and Reactivity of Poly-Alkylated Ferrocenes: The Effect of Methylation Upon Electrophilic Addition.
  • Faculty Dr. Whidbey / Researchers Sejal Dhaliwal, Robel Teshome / Project Development of a CRISPRi System in Vaginal Lactobacillus.
  • Faculty Dr. Whidbey / Researcher Zainab Ahmad / Project Activity-Based Protein Profiling in the Vaginal Microbiome.
  • Faculty Dr. Lauer, Dr. Lee / Researchers Ryan McGeary, Joseph Pancini, Sarah Creighton / Project Using Environmental Sensors to Evaluate Salmonid Passage Through Beaver Dams.
  • Faculty Dr. Bae / Researchers Linh Le, David Stanko, Angelo Alfonso / Project Personalized Asthma Risk Prevention: Synthetic Oversampling for Enhanced Classification on Imbalanced Data.
  • Faculty Dr. Zhao / Researchers Riley Young, Julian Stefanzick / Project Workplace Discrimination in Software Engineering: Forms, Causes, and Effects.
  • Faculty Dr. Kong / Researchers Charles Burr, Mia Lee, Greta Mason-Todd, Eugene Keehan / Project ChromaScribe: a Visualization Webtool for Qualitative Coding of Stigmatized Topics.
  • Faculty Dr. Kim / Researcher Taylor Hill / Project Power-Spectrum Density (PSD) Study of a High-Sensitivity Torsion Balance.
  • Faculty Dr. Abraham / Researcher Jaron Ngo / Project A Remote-Sensing System for Ground Water Monitoring.
  • Faculty Dr. Abraham / Researcher Logan Kuniyuki / Project Through-Metal Wireless Power Transfer.
  • Faculty Dr. Hamel / Researchers Theo Proctor, Emmanuel Rujoni / Project Experimental Evaluation of Manufactured 2D Lattice Structures.
  • Faculty Dr. Han / Researchers Joanna Van Liew, Manilyn Cabrera, Jonathan Fu, Matthew Baysa, Noah Turoski / Project Soft Robots for Finger Rehabilitation.
  • Faculty Dr. Ren / Researchers Brian Baek, Joseph Hess, Daniel Henriksen / Project Screening and Optimization of Cryoprotective Agents (CPAs) for Electromagnetic Heating of Cryopreserved Biomaterials.
  • Faculty Dr. Hughes-Clark / Researchers Matthew Kolmanovsky, Cynthia Luna, Sarah Torset, Connor Barringer, Fidan Aydamirova / Project Characterizing the Tidal Disruption of Inner Galaxy Globular Clusters.
  • Faculty Dr. Tabatabai / Researcher Gabriel Kuntz / Project Mechanical Properties of Fish Shoals.
  • Faculty Dr. Tabatabai / Researcher Mitchell Rask / Project The Effects of Changing Geometry on Motion Fish in Shoals.

STEM Research Showcase

Join us at the annual STEM Research Showcase on October 18, 2024, at 3 p.m. in the Bannan Arboretum.

Contact Us

For more information about undergraduate summer research, please inquire below.

Carolina Delgado-Ruiz

BANN 344