Undergraduate research

Students: Elizabeth McTighe (top), Avery Dempsey (middle), and Vyas Alwar (bottom)

Why you should do it!

Our group actively engages undergraduates in state-of-the-art computational research. Students are given challenging research projects to:

I. Accelerate/enhance their learning throughout the year
II. Recognize connections between coursework and research
III. Gain familiarity with graduate study

What will you get out of it?

In addition to the previous objectives, participation in research may lead to
  • Discussion points for your application to graduate programs or job interviews
  • Authorship on published articles and/or conference presentations
  • Satisfy course elective requirements (up to two units of credit)
  • Fulfillment of honors program requirements
  • Nomination for department awards
  • Mentorship

How can you participate?

Step I. Find a project that interests you from the RESEARCH page. We do not expect you to fully understand the topic, but you should become familiar with projects we have to offer.

Step II. Contact Professor Patankar via Email:

n-patankar (at) northwestern dot edu.

Indicate your interest in a project, and request to speak with him in person to discuss any potential opportunities. A sample email may look like:

Dear Professor Patankar,
I am a freshman student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and would like to participate in research within your lab. Upon reading about your work in aquatic locomotion, I became facinated with the idea of learning computational fluid dynamics. Would it be possible to discuss any potential opportunities with you on Monday, Wednesday, or Thursday of this or next week?

Student's Name

Step III. Choose whether you want to enroll in ME 399 for a course credit (receive a grade), or whether you want to participate without a grade. You must let Prof. Patankar know your decision before you begin research. To obtain approval to enroll in ME 399, see Pat Dyess in the ME office.

Step IV. Begin research! You will be assigned to a graduate student mentor. Be sure to ask questions, and remain dedicated to fulfilling your work.

What past students have achieved

Current and past students

Undergraduate students
  • Avery Dempsey (Northwestern University) [Current]
  • Jessica Amaya (Northwestern University) [Current]
  • Elizabeth McTighe (Northwestern University) [Current]
  • Vyas Alwar (Northwestern University) [Current]
  • Shaan Savarirayan (Northwestern University) [Current]
  • Yosef Maynie (Purdue University - Northwest) [Current]
  • Austin Han (Northwestern University) [Current]
  • Elaine Lokken (Northwestern University)
  • Juan Takase (Northwestern University)
  • Savon Clark (University of Illinois at Chicago)
  • Michael Aleman (Northwestern University)
  • Hayley Shelton (Syracuse University)
  • Bridget Popovic (Northwestern University)
  • Kevin Rosenthal (Northwestern University)
  • Ashley Elliot (Northwestern University)
  • Dennis Rich (Illinois Math and Science Academy)
  • Kashyap Saxena (Northwestern University)
  • Nelson Chen (Northwestern University)
  • Yohanna Hanna (Northwestern University)
  • David Ma (Northwestern University)
  • Noah Mosberg (Northwestern University)
  • Fabian Wittmer (ETH Zurich)
  • Ryan Sochol (U. C. Berkeley)
  • Skander Spies (Northwestern University)
  • Ibrahim AlAli (Northwestern University)
  • Scott Aikin (Northwestern University)
  • Max Hao (Northwestern University)

High School Students
  • James Wei (Illinois Math and Science Academy) [Current]
  • Dennis Rich (Illinois Math and Science Academy)
  • Martina Pillay (Illinois Math and Science Academy)