Undergraduate Research

Undergraduate Research


Summer 2015
Washington State University
Pullman, WA

The Institute for Shock Physics will provide an unparalleled opportunity for talented undergraduate students who want to participate in a 9-week, multidisciplinary Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) “Materials under Extreme Conditions” in the summer of 2015.  The application period for SURE 2015 will be announced in the near future, please continue to check the website for up-to-date information.

Program Goals
The SURE program goal is to provide undergraduate students in the Physical Sciences and Engineering the opportunity to perform hands-on experiments in a world class research organization.  Students will have the opportunity to undertake experimental investigations of condensed matter phenomena at extreme conditions. 

Using state-of-the-art equipment and diagnostics, material response is examined at different length scales in real time during shock wave and static high-pressure experiments.  Understanding condensed matter response at conditions relevant to dynamic loading (shock wave or shockless compression) and static high pressure has been central to advances in fundamental science and modern technology. 

Dynamic loading experiments (shock wave and shockless compression) subject materials to unique conditions (very large compressions, high temperatures, and large deformations) on very short time scales (picosecond to microsecond) resulting in a rich array of physical and chemical changes.   Materials behave differently depending on pressure and temperature as well as the rates of compression and deformation. To gain insights into detailed material behavior and transformations, ISP researchers take a synergistic approach involving theory and computations, static and dynamic experiments utilizing high pressure-temperature, continuum measurements, laser spectroscopy, and x-ray capabilities at the ISP and unique national facilities, such as third-generation synchrotron x-ray sources.

Projects will be tailored to the students’ area of interest within the fields of Physical Sciences and Engineering.  More information about the possible research areas and faculty members will be forthcoming in the near future.

Who is Eligible
Participants must be currently registered at a four year college and have achieved either sophomore or junior standing in physics, chemistry, mechanical engineering, or materials science.  In addition, students must be U.S. citizens or have U.S. permanent residency status. 

What You Do
Students will undertake state-of-the-art research projects, attend seminars, including seminars presented by senior scientists from DOE national laboratories (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories), give a presentation and create a poster reflecting their work for a presentation/poster session to be held at the end of the program.  

Contact Us
If you have any questions about the undergraduate research programs or the application process, please contact:

Sheila Heyns
Senior Manager for Administration and Operations
(509) 335-5345