Advanced Materials Institute
Graduate and undergraduate student workers are employed by AMI to perform analyses under the direction of AMI staff. Students are trained on the use of advanced instrumentation, making them more competitive after graduation for commercial employment or admission to graduate schools. Support for students comes from the center budget and from funds generated from fees charged to external clients.
Applied Physics Institute (API)
With the fast development of nanoscience, nanoscale devices will completely replace microelectronics in the next few years. The transformation of nanoscience into nanotechnology will generate a great need of highly qualified industrial personnel specifically educated in this new area of technology. To be a scientist or engineer requires they have the practical ability to apply what they have learned in their lectures to real-world research problems. At API we train our students to think critically for themselves and to know what references, methods, and tools to use for real-world problem-solving. Besides learning important laboratory skills, they learn to work within an interdisciplinary team. Our senior students-researchers are all engaged as mentors to the juniors, involved in the laboratory work. This creates a win-win situation for everyone as they learn to be more effective communicators of science and engineering through collegial contact and interaction. Today, the API is more than just a WKU research center doing cutting edge research. It is a center for professional preparation and training of a new class of scientist and engineers, capable of working at the industrial facilities of a new generation. For our students, work at the API is also an interesting hobby. Applied sciences, robotics and prototyping are perfectly suitable for a predominantly undergraduate institution, like WKU, where many students are hobbyists, playing with robotic platforms in their spare time. Currently, the process is organized in such a way that the knowledge and experience of the previous generations of API students is transferred to the next generations, which helps to make learning and training faster from year to year. This way we were able to create some amazing devices with participation of several generations of undergraduate students, which can easily compete with the Ph.D. projects from research one universities. Our main goal is to educate our undergraduate students in the fast-evolving field of nanomaterials and to provide them with valuable skills that will prepare them for careers in industry and for graduate school. We put a lot of effort into creating a pipeline between WKU and the industrial sector for successful employment of our graduates. Today, we are proud to say that this pipeline is working. Our students start working with companies as a part of API grants and contracts. They have a chance to actively communicate with the industrial engineers during the field tests, build their professional network, and later get a job much easier than the students with a purely academic background. For WKU students, the perspective to be employed by a respected company immediately after the graduation is a strong driving force improving recruitment and retention.
Engineering Manufacturing Commercialization Center (EMCC)
We hire students to assist on the wide variety of projects in our center. These projects include prototype development (proof of concept) for inventors, industry projects, and commercialization projects.
Folk Studies and Anthropology/Kentucky Folklife Program
Opportunities exist for grant funded and volunteer work in archaeology, historic preservation, and public folklore.
Kentucky Climate Center
The KCC provides diverse opportunities for students from a variety of disciplines, including geography, meteorology, geographic information science, computer science, engineering, marketing, and business. The range of opportunities is expected to expand further as new and creative ways are developed to extract and communicate information from weather and climate data.
National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) program
What are the benefits of participating? The primary benefit of participating will be gaining hands-on research experience, thereby further developing your skills as a psychological researcher. Other tangible benefits include: A $5,000 stipend (i.e., compensation for 10 40-hour work weeks) Free on-campus housing Reimbursement for travel to/from WKU Financial support for travel to a national or international conference.
Students have opportunity to learn how to operate SEM and to learn specifics of usage of large chamber SEM. LC-SEM can be used in various scientific projects in, for example, non-destructive testing, in-situ analysis, failure analysis. Students are encouraged to become involved in all of these projects.
Ogden College Electron Microscopy Facility
Several courses in Ogden College include introductory tours of the EM Facility. Students in BIOL212 “Genome Discovery and Exploration” go further with each student using the facility to view the bacteriophage (viruses of bacteria) that they individually isolate and characterize in this course.
If students are involved in a research project that requires electron microscopy, they can learn just what they need to know to complete their project.
If students wish to become fully proficient in using both the SEM and TEM, they can enroll in BIOL 404 “Electron Microscopy”.
The Biotechnology Center
Students are involved in our center when they work with a faculty member who is a member of our center. Depending on the research they are involved with, they have the opportunity to be trained in laboratory techniques and to use our equipment. This makes a big difference in their future applications for graduate or professional schools and on their resumes for future jobs.
Thermal Analysis Laboratory
Revenue brought into the laboratory by service work is used for students’ salaries. The Thermal Lab has provided part-time employment to thirty undergraduate students and forty-five M.S. and Ph.D. students. The transition from an academic laboratory setting to an industrial research setting can be difficult. A large number of students enter industry after obtaining degrees and working in the Thermal Analysis Lab, and the project-based curricula of the Lab involving partnerships with universities and industry eases the transition and increases the probability of our young professionals’ success. By partnering with local industries, we are able to participate in challenging research projects that are associated with cutting edge technology.
WKU Small Business Accelerator
The WKU Student Business Accelerator is a program designed specifically for student entrepreneurs. Students from all WKU major and minor programs of study with an idea for a new product or service are encouraged to join the Student Accelerator. Upon joining the Accelerator, students are provided with the same business development capabilities and services offered via the WKU Small Business Accelerator, as well as a shared workspace, at no cost. Contact us at (270) 901-3490 to learn more about the WKU Student Business Accelerator and how you may join our growing professional network.