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Dayton Engineer

Exciting summer undergraduate research projects now in the works at the University of Dayton School of Engineering

By Emma Kraft, School of Engineering communications intern

Exciting projects are in the works at the University of Dayton School of Engineering through S.U.R.E., our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience 2022.

S.U.R.E. gives undergraduate engineering students an opportunity to engage in hands-on research with an engineering faculty member. Rising undergraduate sophomores through seniors are eligible for this ten-week summer research program.

Past S.U.R.E. experiences and projects 

Nathan Brelage, mechanical engineering

Nathan Brelage worked in Dr. Megan Reissman’s lab during summer 2021. Their goal was to dive deeper into what pilots do to control their aircraft. Brelage said, “The hope is that this data will allow us to better understand the motions and behaviors of pilots. Eventually, this could lead to improved training techniques or areas of new focus for pilot training.” 

Skyler Miller, mechanical engineering

Skyler Miller worked in Dr. Reissman’s lab during the summer 2021, and they focused on the influence of sensory perturbations on gait speed with a variable speed. The goal of their research was characterizing human-machine interaction.

Peter Fabe, mechanical engineering

Peter Fabe followed a sustainability route and worked on two projects: one through The ETHOS Center and the other through the Hanley Sustainability Institute. His ETHOS project was through a partnership with MinVayu, a non-profit based out of Auroville, India. He says he spent the summer of 2019 seeking to use a sustainable slurry to print pottery and other architectural structures. Fabe expanded, “My work for MinVayu consisted of developing an affordable, easy to use plastic washer that can be powered without electricity and assisting them remotely with machine design and troubleshooting for their printer.” His second project with the Hanley Sustainability Institute followed a similar path, where he investigated the viability of plastic waste reclamation for sustainable reproduction in additive manufacturing. In regards to the future, Fabe says, “My hope is to continue my research here at UD in graduate school and further my research and machine development for a low cost, open-source desktop 3D printer that will be able to print with locally processed 100% recycled thermoplastics.”

Megan Oleksik, civil engineering

Megan Oleksik worked with Drs. Erick Vasquez, Kenya Crosson, and Garry Crosson for her research in the Summer of 2021. They investigated the synthesis of metal-organic framework hydrogel beads to engender a sustainable and efficient way to desalinate water. Vasquez and Kenya Crosson said this project targeted “desalination processes through surface-modification techniques that could enhance 1) the evaporation processes and remove salts, or 2) the production of functionalized nanomembranes.”

Suheil Salih, engineering technology

Suheil Salih says, “The S.U.R.E. program fosters growth and an appreciation for research, and I would highly recommend it as a valuable experience.” Salih worked with UD professors, Sharon Bommer and Hugh Salehi, as well as a student from the University of Pittsburgh. Together, they examined a literature review and researched nursing cognitive workload and the relation to hospital acquired infections. Their goal was to discover any missing gaps in the literature. 

Braeden Windham, mechanical engineering

Braeden Windham worked in the Behavior of Advanced Materials and Structures (BAMS) lab with Dr. Robert Lowe during the summer of 2021. He said, “We’re characterizing the mechanics of digital lights processing (DLP) printed elastomeric materials. The goal of our research is to experimentally determine the mechanical properties of these materials to facilitate numerical simulations for virtually engineering next-gen soft robots.” In his work, Windham designed custom fixtures for the universal testing machine, along with implementing a new resin on the commercial DLP printers at UDRI. 

Fellowship Application


  1. The program is open to those who will be students during the summer of 2022.
  2. Internal candidates must have completed their first year at UD or the Sinclair Academy.

Visit the S.U.R.E. website for more information and for the application process.

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