University of Wisconsin Madison College of Engineering
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Research projects for the BS degree in engineering physics


Rather than the traditional focus on design in an engineering undergraduate degree, the Engineering Physics degree is focused on research. EP majors spend two years on common math, science, engineering and liberal electives courses and then specialize in a research-active emerging technology focus area. This includes a research project in which EP majors work closely with a faculty research mentor, accumulate eight research credits over their last four semesters, and complete a research thesis.


The first course in the research sequence — EP 468, Introduction to Engineering Research — assists students in learning about the research process and identifying a research project, in order to provide them with a successful launch into their research. This is the first in a series of four courses in the research sequence that were developed to guide students in their pursuit of research and completion of a thesis. The research sequence courses also provide connections between the students in the EP major and a supportive framework for engaging in research.


In the subsequent courses of the research sequence, a student works with their faculty mentor to formulate a research proposal, conducts the research to solve or otherwise address the problem, and presents their research in a written thesis and oral defense of the results. Throughout this process, the EP research students meet weekly to develop and hone their skills. Frequently the advanced students meet in conjunction with the EP 468 students to provide guidance and promote community amongst students in the major.


Examples of past thesis topics completed by EP students


Kevin Gotrik:
Surface Studies of Random Block Copolymer PS-r-P2VP on Silicon Substrates by Near Edge X-Ray Adsorption Fine Structure (NEXAFS) Spectroscopy
Adam Jandl:
Development of Flexible Ferroelectric Thin Films for Use in Memory Applications
Eric Newton:
Asymptotic Analysis of Crack Tip Fields in Ductile Single Crystals with Cubic Symmetry
Andrew Scholbrock:
Attribute Management in ACIS Based Geometry Files
John P Sheehan:
Isolating Pseudowaves for Use in Determining Relative Ion Concentrations in a Multi-Ion Species Plasma
Shauheen Soofi:
The Elastic Modulus of Matrigel as Determined by Atomic Force Microscopy
Stephen Throson:
Use of a Non-Ambipolar Electron Source To Produce a Plasma in a Multi-Dipole Chamber