Undergraduate Research

As one of the premier research universities in the nation, UW-Madison offers an important way to enhance your undergraduate education: by working for credit or for an hourly wage on engineering research projects. These experiences will expose you to state-of-the-art information and technology and will help prepare you for advanced studies in engineering and other fields, or to contribute specialized knowledge in the workplace. Research opportunities exist in several forms.

Faculty Research Projects

An undergraduate student performs research in the Modified Asphalt Research Center.

Many engineering professors hire undergraduates to work part-time on their research projects. Engineering instructors or the engineering department offices can refer you to faculty members who hire undergraduates. Depending on their current projects, engineering research centers also hire undergraduates. To access directories of faculty and staff by department and to search for faculty research of interest to you, go to You can also use the Wisconsin Discovery Portal to locate the right UW-Madison researcher for your collaboration and research needs.


Independent Study Projects

Depending upon the project topic and scope, undergraduates can receive credit for proposing and developing an independent research project. If you’re interested in conducting independent research, talk directly with your engineering instructors or stop by an engineering department office.

Emilie and Ramon present a poster at the Lightfoot Symposium
Emilie and Ramon present their poster at the Lightfoot Symposium. Reed Laboratories in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering utilizes both computational and experimental methods to study microbial metabolism. Its missions are to construct models of metabolic networks in bacteria such as E. coli and to expand our knowledge of microbial processes. The ultimate goal is to use these models to engineer the bacteria in order to produce biofuels such as ethanol and isobutanol. This work represents a major step in moving towards energy sustainability.


Engineering Honors in Research Programs

Individual engineering departments offer honors programs for high-ability undergraduates enrolled in their majors. Students in these programs plan and conduct engineering research projects under the guidance of faculty members.

UW-Madison Undergraduate Research Scholars (URS) Program

Students may apply to work on research projects with faculty members across campus through the URS program