University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Illinois Materials Research Science and Engineering Center


Program dates: May 28, 2024 – August 2, 2024 (10 weeks)

Location: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL

Compensation: Students receive a $6000 stipend for the summer. Additionally, students receive free housing, travel to the REU site, and other benefits.


To apply to the Illinois MRSEC REU, you will need to prepare the following materials:

  1. Statement of interest: A one page document that addresses the following: What sparked your interest in materials research, and what have you done to pursue that passion? What are your research interests? Do you have any preference toward experimental or computational projects? What are your academic and professional goals, and how would participating in the Illinois MRSEC REU program help you achieve those goals?  Advice on preparing personal statements can be found here.

  2. Resume: Advice on preparing a resume can be found here.

  3. Two reference letters: At least one should be a faculty member in a scientific field. References are submitted electronically: Within the application, you'll enter contact info (name and e-mail) for your references. After each is entered, an e-mail will be generated that asks them for the letter on your behalf, with a link to where they should submit the letter. Advice on getting strong reference letters can be found here.

  4. Unofficial transcript


The website has resources with helpful information on preparing applications to summer research programs.

Awardees will be notified by e-mail of their acceptance into the program and will be given a specific time window to accept or decline the offer.

The 2024 program application deadline has passed. If you would like to be notified when the Summer 2025 application opens, please send an e-mail to Pamela Pena Martin ([email protected]).


  • Applicants must be currently enrolled in a 2- or 4-year undergraduate program studying engineering, physics, chemistry, materials science, or a related field

  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents

  • Applicants must have completed their freshman (first) year by the start of the program

  • Applicants must be 18 years of age or older

  • Applicants cannot be currently enrolled at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. UIUC students interested in attending an REU program can explore REU options at the national site or There are also MRSEC REU programs at many other Universities, which also offer opportunities for interdisciplinary materials research- find out more at the MRSEC program website

2024 REU Mentors & their Research Areas

I-MRSEC Faculty Members

Materials Science & Engineering
Research Areas: energy storage, photonics, materials chemistry, thermal science
Materials Science & Engineering
Research Areas: spin transport, magnetization dynamics, magnetic heterostructure synthesis and characterization
Mechanical Science & Engineering
Research Areas: atomic scale simulation of defects and strain in 2D materials, data science for quantum and electronic materials, electronic structure and multi-scale modeling
Research Areas: topological superconductors, scanning tunneling microscopy, thin film growth, graphene
Materials Science & Engineering
Research Areas: functional ceramics: Oxides, halides, solid state ionics for energy conversion and storage, point defect-mediated properties: ionic/electronic transport, chemical expansion, catalytic activity, thin film growth by pulsed laser deposition, electro-chemo-mechanical coupling
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Research Areas: modeling of nanoelectronic and magnetic devices for energy-efficient computing and communication, semiconductor electronic devices, spintronics
Materials Science & Engineering
Research Areas: parameter-free computer simulations of excited electronic states and optical properties, interaction of light with magnetic ordering in materials
Materials Science and Engineering
Research Areas: materials discovery and synthesis, crystal growth, magnetic and semiconducting properties, low-temperature transport, in-situ diffraction
Research Areas: Ultrafast laser spectroscopy of electron dynamics in molecules and materials
Mechanical Science & Engineering
Research Areas: 2D materials, electronic, photonic, and mechanical devices
Materials Research Lab Faculty Members

Mechanical Science & Engineering
Research Areas: computational modeling and simulation, geometry of crystal interfaces, grain boundaries and two-dimensional heterostructures, nanoscale friction
Materials Science & Engineering
Research Areas: alloys subjected to external forcing including irradiation and severe plastic deformation, phase transitions and self-organization reactions in dissipative alloy systems, kinetic Monte Carlo simulations, phase field modeling, microstructure characterization by transmission electron microscopy and atom probe tomography
Mechanical Science & Engineering
Research Areas: wearable materials, polymer composites, additive manufacturing, nanomaterial synthesis, electrochemical energy conversion, thermal management
Materials Science & Engineering
Research Areas: nanoelectronics, neuromorphic computing, biomimetic biomaterials, and electronic-neuron interfaces
Materials Science & Engineering
Research Areas: alloy design, additive manufacturing, thermal and mechanical properties, electron microscopy
Materials Science & Engineering
Research Areas: AI-based image analysis, electron microscopy imaging, nanoparticle synthesis and self-assembly, phase transition in batteries
Research Areas: atomic physics, quantum computing, atomic clocks, quantum networking
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Research Areas: organic electronics, solution printing, additive manufacturing, automation, self-driven labs, organic solar cells, 3D printing of structure color, directed and self assembly, fluid flow
Materials Science & Engineering
Research Areas: dynamic polymer networks, functional materials, self-healing, polymer dynamics
Mechanical Science & Engineering
Research Areas: microfluidics, aerosols generation related to bubbles and drops, fluid characterization by rheology, vesicles for drug delivery
Materials Science & Engineering
Research Areas: structural metals and ceramics metal alloys for hydrogen storage applications, sustainable reduction of metal ores for green steel production, high temperature metal alloys and sustainable fuels, radiation tolerant ceramics for sensors and aerospace applications, microstructural image quantification, digital image processing
Mechanical Science & Engineering
Research Areas: mechanics of soft tissues, constitutive modeling, image-based modeling, mechanical testing, tissue microstructure-function relationships, development of image-based mechanical characterization methods
Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering
Research Areas: plasma-enhanced deposition and conversion of thin films, plasma/ion irradiation for material modification and defect generation, low-temperature synthesis for flexible device manufacturing, hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) and diamond growth for extreme environment devices and quantum information applications, impurity doping, solvent-free surface treatment and cleaning
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Research Areas: polymer physics, molecular simulation and coarse-grained modeling of soft materials, charged polymers and electrostatics, macromolecular dynamics and structure, polymer self-assembly
Materials Science & Engineering
Research Areas: advanced metallic materials, mechanical characterization, alloy design and processing, metallic material for extreme environments, additive manufacturing, high-entropy alloys, materials informatics, digital image correlation, fatigue, cryogenic engineering materials, high-temperature materials
Program Participants
Coming Soon!