Undergraduate Research

The Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering recognizes the importance of integrating undergraduate research within the educational experience, working one-on-one or in small groups with faculty members — either during the academic school year or over summer break. Engineering students at the University of San Diego are helping to pioneer innovative technologies while working with new discoveries to incorporate real-world, hands on learning to expand their practical and theoretical base of knowledge.

We encourage all students to participate in research throughout their time with USD.

Research Opportunities


Featured Student Research

Dr. Truc Ngo working with two undergraduate students 3D-Printed Biocomposites Using Supercritical C02
Under the direction of Truc Ngo, PhD, and in collaboration with Auckland University of Technology, the project aim was to develop and characterize multi-functional biocompatitle composites using a 3D-printing method in combination with supercritical carbon dioxide processing for biomedical applications.
Ngo, T.T., Blair, S., Kuwahara, K., Christensen, D., Barrtera, I., and Domingo, M. Development and characterization of 3D-printed biocomposites using supercritical C02. The Journal of Supercritical Fluids, 136, 29-26, 2018, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.supflu.2018.01.030.
Dr. Codd standing by solar energy converter with 2 research students Full Spectrum Solar Energy Conversion

Under the direction of Daniel Codd, PhD, the project aim is to explore alternative solar energy harvesting schemes that seek to maximize the use of every color in the full solar spectrum, enabling significant increases in efficiency with potential for lower cost. Student researchers on the project include: Chris Spitler, Erica Jenkins, Marco Zgliczynski, Jacob Platz, Andrew Benson, Hayden Spencer, Trevor Young, Andrew Billigmeier, Denis Howell, Nathan Kramer, Luis Garcia, Danny Cerda and Inri Rodriguez

poster of heat transfer process Understanding Heat Transfer in Directed Thermoplates Under the direction of Imane Khalil, PhD, the project aim was to perform three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations to model and improve the design of a directed heat exchanger. The project was presented at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) 5th Joint US-European Fludis Engineering Summer Conference in Montreal, Canada on July 14-19, 2018. Student researchers on the project include: Quinn Pratt and Ryan Hayes.

Recent Research Publications

Publication of research findings is an important aspect of research. Publications with undergraduate students as co-authors that have been published at the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering include these journal articles and conference proceedings:

Ngo, T. T., Medina, J., White, D., Jooste, D., Jerman, K., Hagen, J., Peterson, J. “Design and Implementation of an Alternative, Low-Cost Water Chlorination System in El Cercado, Dominican Republic.” International Journal of Modern Engineering, 18 (2), 13-20, 2018. http://ijme.us/issues/spring2018/X__IJME%20spring%202018%20v18%20n2%20(PDW-1).pdf#page=15

Ngo, T. T., Blair, S., Kuwahara, K., Christensen, D., Barrera, I., Domingo, M., Singamneni, S. “Drug Impregnation for Laser Sintered Poly(methyl methacrylate) Biocomposites Using Supercritical Carbon Dioxide.” The Journal of Supercritical Fluids, 136, 29-26, 2018, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.supflu.2018.01.030.

Hoffman, L. A., Ngo, T. T. “Affordable Solar Thermal Water Heating Solution for Rural Dominican Republic.” Renewable Energy, 115, 1220-1230, 2018, DOI: 10.1016/j.renene.2017.09.046.

Ghouth, Y., Barnes, B., and Jiang, E. Ebisu: An Innovation User-Input Solution." Creative Collaborations, Univeristy of San Diego, San Diego, CA, 2017.

Fontain, H., Levack, M., and Jiang, E. "Home Automation: Does This Turn You On?" Creative Collaborations, Univeristy of San Diego, San Diego, CA, 2017.

Locke, E., and Jiang, E. "Identifying Birds Through Machine Learning: Creative Collaborations, Univeristy of San Diego, San Diego, CA, 2017.

Amini, D., and Jiang, E. "Don't Waste It! An App to Help Reduce Food Waster." Creative Collaborations, Univeristy of San Diego, San Diego, CA, 2017.

Ngo, T. T., Lambert, C., Dorren, B., Gee, B., Go, S., George, R. D. “Effects of deposition and supercritical CO2 treatment parameters on physical and electrical properties of pentacene thin films.” Synthetic Metals, 220, 384-393, 2016. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.synthmet.2016.06.030.

Khalil, I., Hayes, R., Pratt, Q., Spitler, C., and Codd, D. "Experimental Numerical Modeling of Heat Transfer in Directed Thermoplates." International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, submitted for publication.

Rodriguez, I., Cerda, J., and Codd, D. "Experimental Exploration of a Small Scale Pneumatically Pumped Thermal Storage System." (2016). ASME 2016 10th Internatioal Conference on Energy Sustainability. V001T06A002-V001T06A002. ASME.

Gray, S., Tesfaye, M., Daryanani, R., Dalrymple, O., and Lord, S. "An Experiential Approach to Understanding the Engineering Design Process." In 2016 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conferece (FIE), 2016, pp. 1-5.

Daryanani, R., and Dalrymple, O. "Using an Engineering Design Experience in the 6th Grade Curriculum to Promote Interest and Learning in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math." University of San Diego Creative Collaborations Undergraduate Research Conference, San Diego, CA, April 2016.

Fletcher, J.D., Astatke, Y., Bronner, L. and Dalrymple, O. "Constructing a Model for the Definition and Assessment of Teaching Effectiveness in Higher Education." ASEE Mid-Atlantic Section Conference, 2016.

Ngo, T. T., Kohl, J. G., Paradise, T., Khalily, A., and Simonson, D. L. (2015). "Improving Mechanical Properties of Thermoset Biocomposites by Fiber Coating or Organic Oil Addition." International Journal of Polymer Science. http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/840823.

Shao, A., Addiego, N., Fabian, M., Gledhill, R., Schmactenberger, H.S., Wang, F., and Jacobitz, F. "Problem Solving in the Engineering Classroom: Peer Teaching at the Freshman Level." Creative Collaborations, Univeristy of San Diego, San Diego, CA, 2015.

Stein, R.E., Addiego, N.D., Cho, E.K., Hey, M.M., Schmacctenberger, H.S., and Jacobitz, F. "James Watt: A Cultural and Technical Biography." Creative Collaborations, University of San Diego, San Diego, CA, 2015.

Cho, E., Jerman, K.V., KLaCalli, K.J., Lucero, S.E., Maraga, V.S. Pennington, D.P., Slavensky, A.E., Stein, R.E., and Vranicar, N.C. "It's Critical: Student Attitudes Towards Critical Thinking of an Assessemtn Lecture to an Introductiory Engineerig Class." Creative Collaborations, University of San Diego, San Diego, CA. 2014.

Ngo, T. T., Lambert, C. A., Kohl, J.G. (2014). "Characterization of Compostability and Mechanical Properties for Linseed Oil Resin Composites Reinforced with Natural Fibers." Polymer-Plastics Technology and Engineering, 53(12), 1215-1222. http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/z8bPpF5hh59QMj9nhpAB/full.