SUMMER UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH PROGRAM
The UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science offers first-in-class research opportunities that lead to undergraduates who are well-informed about engineering career opportunities in both academic and corporate settings. UCLA Samueli offers elite undergraduate engineering students a valuable academic research experience. Our program is designed for students who are interested in understanding the impact of engineering research and learning more about the graduate school experience.
The Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) is an umbrella organization that administers and scaffolds summer undergraduate research opportunities within UCLA Engineering. We currently coordinate several programs, including the:
Interactive Systems (REU Site)
Functional Nanomaterials (REU Site)
Engineering Faculty Lab REU Supplement (exclusively for UCLA students doing research over the summer with a faculty member)
Electrical & Computer Engineering Fast Track to Success Summer Scholars Program
Selected scholars will be paired with a UCLA Engineering faculty based on project needs, skills, and interest. Interns will be invited to work on a project that contributes to the momentum of their assigned lab.
The engineering faculty lab REU supplement is for UCLA students who are planning to do research at UCLA over the summer with a faculty member. We do not match UCLA students with faculty members, so UCLA students must independently find faculty members to do research with during the summer.
The application for SURP will be a common application for the REU site and the engineering faculty lab REU supplement. For the students doing the engineering faculty lab REU supplement, the application will merely be a formality.
This year’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program was entirely held in remote settings. Scholars had the opportunity to conduct research with UCLA faculty and successfully publish in the Summer Undergraduate Research Program Journal.
To learn more about our SURP 2020 Scholars, please click this box.
- Must be a continuing student (Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, or Non-Graduating Senior)
- U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident
- Minimum 3.0 GPA
Questions, Comments, Concerns?
For general inquiries, please email .
For specific questions, please contact Program Director, William Herrera, through MyUCLA Message Center.
To learn more about what our SURP students think about the program, please click on this link.
SURP provides students with various opportunities for academic and career growth, including academic research, industry tech talks, and more!
Scholars can expect to work independently or on small teams, along-side other undergraduate and graduate students, in a UCLA Engineering faculty’s lab. Each intern will be provided a research mentor who will help to identify a research topic or question that can be accomplished in the short 8 weeks. Participants should use this opportunity to challenge themselves to contribute new knowledge to the academic community.
Weekly Progress Reports
Scholars will hone their presentation skills and prepare for fielding questions at the Final Poster Symposium by presenting a bi-monthly progress report on their research. Participants will generate a slide set and present to the mentors and other interns on their progress and next steps. A short question and answer session following the presentation should generate dialog about the project.
Each Scholar will have their work published in our annual Summer Undergraduate Research Program Journal. Check out last year’s journal!
Participants will have an opportunity to hear from UCLA Engineering faculty about research conducted at our world-renown institution. Scholars are invited to ask questions and network with our speakers. Past speakers have included:
Professional Development Workshops
Scholars will have an opportunity to participate in workshops designed to aid in their educational and professional pathways.
- Getting acclimated to research
- Pathways to graduate school
- Statement of purpose workshop
Preparing an academic research poster workshop
- Effective presentation & communication skill
- Engineering Design Process
(Formally Wireless Health Institute)
The UCLA Interactive Systems is an REU directed by Dr. Greg Pottie. Students are able to participate in the research of the following faculty members:
– Develop RF fingerprinting algorithms that are tuned to low cost IoT devices in order to overcome the challenges of securing distributed systems that may be conveying personal information.
– Explore a universal language for interacting with IoT and design sensing systems that enable a user to simply point at an IoT device, speak to it, or use freehand gesture to control its interactive behavior.
– Create an intuitive design environment for printable origami robotic boats, along with seed designs in that platform, and develop an app powered by our lab’s Robot Compiler technology that lets students change parameters on the boat to see the effect on the 2D printable template and 3D model of the finished boat.
– Explore creation of group names with smart clothing and group displays, including creation of user interfaces for new people to intuitively understand how the clothing will interact with people and the environment.
– Explore privacy mechanism that allow sensory data – both at the granularity of an individual user and a group of users – to be safely released. An initial approach is to use conditional Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) for synthesizing time series data that can replace the original measurements while preserving the features essential for letting recipient perform tasks such as training a high quality machine learning model, perform a classification with an acceptable accuracy, and safely perform control actions.
Functional Nanomaterials is an REU directed by Dr. Chee Wei Wong. As a part of this program, students have conducted research on several topics, including “Millimeter Scale Magnetic Shielding” and “Ultrafast Real-Time Dynamics of Frequency Microcomb Transitions.” To find out what other students did and what you could work on as part of this program, check out the 2019 SURP Functional Nanomaterials Journal!
ECE Fast Track
In Fall 2015, the UCLA Electrical Engineering Department (now Electrical and Computer Engineering Dept.) inaugurated the Fast Track to Success program for incoming undergraduate students. The main purpose of this program is to recruit a pool of highly talented high school students and provide them with a supportive environment and opportunities so that they can challenge themselves to succeed in their future careers as engineers in industry, academia and entrepreneurship.
The students are expected to maintain an accumulated GPA of at least 3.3 and take at least 30 units worth of honors/advanced standing classes during their four years at UCLA. These students will also be considered for summer internships, starting in their freshman year, with faculty members in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and present their work in a special forum at the end of the summer.
Benefits of Participating
- Conduct research in a cutting-edge field at a world-renown research institution.
- Mentoring from an UCLA Engineering faculty member and graduate student daily lab supervisor.
- Learn how you can impact your community as an engineer.
- Interact with a national community of peers.
- Discover pathways to graduate school.
- Acquire skills that can translate to industry.
- Gain a competitive advantage on your peers.
- Engage the ultimate academic challenge.
- Have fun!