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Departmental Resources: Careers

UROP Postings

The Department routinely receives notices of UROP opportunities and lists them here as a service to members of the MIT community. The positions have not been screened, nor verified to be available. Nor are they endorsed by the Department.

For more information, visit MIT's Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP).

UROP Position
Faculty Advisor: Clark Colton, Department of Chemical Engineering

Description: A new size measurement method for use with nanoparticles has recently been developed.  A MATLAB script has been written to perform several key functions of data analysis and presentation.  While workable, this script requires some additional development to improve, for example, the input protocols and the quality of its output plots, and to add some features to the analysis. This project will require gaining familiarity with the measurement system and its data processing requirements and improving parts of the script and writing new parts. Skill in writing MATLAB programs is essential, and familiarity with alternate software for data presentation is desirable.

This position is for pay or credit.

Contact: Prof. Clark K. Colton ( Room 66-448, x3-4585

Posted: September 30, 2015

Project Title: Probing Impedance Behavior at Lithium-Separator Interfaces during Battery Cycling
Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Fikile Brushett, Department of Chemical Engineering

Lithium metal anode has been the ‘Holy Grail’ of electrochemical engineering due to its tremendous potential in developing electrochemical storage devices with high power density and high energy density. However, further advances in the science and engineering of lithium metal anode are needed to fully realize this potential. This project aims to develop novel charged battery separators to stabilize the lithium metal anode during plating/stripping processes. Accelerating these processes will enable higher power, greater efficiency, and lower cost. We are seeking a dedicated, creative, and highly-motivated undergraduate student to join our research team. In this project, the student will collaborate closely with a postdoctoral mentor to prepare charged separators/membranes for impedance measurement. In the process, the student will gain hands-on experience in electrochemical engineering and material science.

Prerequisites: Though not required, prior experience in a research laboratory is preferred. Applicants should be prepared to investigate at least 8-10 hrs a week.

Start date: Fall semester with a possibility to extend beyond.

Contact: Miao Wang ( and cc Prof. Brushett ( Applicants should include a current resume/CV.

Posted: September 14, 2015

"Stem Cell Growth and Oxygen-Dependent Differentiation on Protein-Coated Surfaces"
Faculty Advisor: Clark Colton
Mentor(s): Amanda DiIenno
Contact e-mail:

Pluripotent stem cells have the potential to differentiate into any cell type in the body.  These cells have promise in drug screening applications, therapeutic treatment of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and neurological diseases, and in vitro modeling of genetic disorders.  Many research laboratories are developing protocols that mimic the developmental pathway of a desired cell type.  These protocols add growth factors to the cell media at specific times and for specific duration, but they ignore one potential key component, the partial pressure of oxygen (pO2) to which the cells are exposed. During embryonic development, cells differentiate at pO2 values that vary from roughly 7 to 70 mmHg, but current in vitro protocols differentiate in an incubator with pO2 of 142 mmHg in the gas and an unknown pO2 in the liquid at the cell surface.  Our lab has developed a system for accurate control of pO2 at the cell surface. Cells are cultured on an oxygen-permeable membrane to which xeno-free human proteins are covalently bound for cell attachment. Covalent binding is thought to provide better long term stability than conventional adsorbed proteins.  The goal of this project is to study the effect of modulating oxygen to improve differentiation of pluripotent stem cells to insulin-secreting beta cells for curing diabetes.  Preliminary work shows that varying pO2 from low to high as the protocol progresses markedly improves the percentage of cells that express beta cell markers at the end of the protocol.  Additional work is needed to determine how long absorbed protein-bound surfaces allow for cell attachment compared to the surfaces with covalently bound attachment proteins.

Desired skills: Previous work with mammalian culture techniques

Posted: September 3, 2015

UROP for fall semester
Faculty Supervisor: Robert Langer, Department of Chemical Engineering

Project Title: Medical Device Design and Testing

Project Description: Our lab is focused on developing novel devices for healthcare and drug delivery. This particular project is based on the use of ultrasound for drug delivery. The goal of the project is to model and develop new ultrasound emission spectra for incorporation into a new device. Work will start with modeling and will involve fabrication and testing. Join a team that was a finalist in this year s MIT 100k Competition! 

What you will get out of it: 
-Work in an innovative, highly multi-disciplinary lab with state-of-the-art facilities and equipment. 
-Work closely with post-docs and advisors directly. 
-Potential for generation of intellectual property, exposure to patent process and business development 
-Team has a fast-paced startup feel

Prerequisites: A driven, enthusiastic, and collaborative student with modeling (COMSOL or other) experience. Someone who enjoys autonomy and tackling challenging, interdisciplinary work!

 Carl Schoellhammer (

Posted: July 24, 2015

UROP for fall semester
Prof. Karen Gleason Group, Department of Chemical Engineering

The goal for this research project is to develop thin film functional polymers using chemical vapor deposition technique for applications in energy and water systems. The synthesized films will be characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and ellipsometry among others. The UROP is expected to work closely with postdocs and graduate students and under direct supervision of the PI for the research group. A self-motivated individual with prior research experience who is likely pursue graduate studies is preferred. There will be lots of hands on experiments. Trainings will be provided as needed.

Contact: Hossein Sojoudi (hsojoudi@MIT.EDU)

Posted: July 21, 2015

UROP opportunities beginning August, 2015
Stephanopoulos Lab, Department of Chemical Engineering

1) Engineering Thiobacillus denitrificans for production of bio-based chemicals. T. denitrificans is a sulfur-oxidizing chemolithoautroph in which we are interested for the potential to fix carbon dioxide into value-added chemicals. T. denitrificans is a biosafety level 1 bacteria which the student will learn to cultivate using standard microbiology techniques. Most of the day to day will involve media preparation, culturing, sampling, chromatography, and data analysis. There is potential for some cloning work in E. coli if the student is interested. T. denitrificans has a doubling time of 7 hours, so the student will likely be involved in the setup or workup, rather than the monitoring. We prefer the student is available for at least 2 hour blocks on consecutive days for this work.

2) Engineering E. coli for biofuel production from cellulosic sugars. This is a long-standing project in our lab, and we are always interested in UROP student involvement. There will be a lot more cloning in this project, so the student should be available for at least 3 - 5 hour blocks from Monday - Friday.

Contact: Jason King (

Posted: June 12, 2015