Undergraduate Summer Research Awards (USRA)

USRAs provide opportunities for undergraduate student to obtain research experience during summer (May-August) and stimulate research interests in the natural sciences and engineering fields. They also motivate and encourage students to pursue graduate studies in these fields. These summer research awards provide financial support for students to gain research experience by conducting research work at the university under the supervision of a faculty member.

Award's duration: 16 consecutive weeks (May-August) on a full-time basis.

Western Engineering offers different types of undergraduate summer research awards (see below for details).

Interested applicants must apply through the NSERC USRA Application system to be considered for USRA (One application for all of these awards). Please note: do not submit until you have your academic record valid until December 31, 2020; a document the applicant requests by completing an "Access to Academic Records Form of Consent" and email to weresgrd@uwo.ca

Application Deadline: January 25, 2021 
Recipients of these awards are expected to be selected and notified by end of February or early March, 2021.

Undergraduate Student Research Awards

NSERC USRA

To be eligible to apply for an award, you must:

  • be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada as of the deadline date for applications at the institution;
  • be registered, as of the deadline date for applications at the institution, in a bachelor's degree program at an eligible institution;
  • have obtained, over the previous years of study, a cumulative average of a B- (70%).

In addition...

  • If you already hold a bachelor's degree and are studying toward a second bachelor's degree, you may still apply for this award.
  • You may hold only one USRA per fiscal year.
  • You may hold a maximum of three USRAs throughout your undergraduate university career.

To hold an award, you must:

  • have completed all the course requirements of at least the first year of university study (or two academic terms) of your bachelor's degree;
  • have been registered in at least one of the two terms immediately before holding the award in a bachelor's degree program at an eligible institution;
  • not have started a program of graduate studies in the natural sciences or engineering at any time;
  • be engaged on a full-time basis in research and development activities in the natural sciences or engineering during the tenure of the award;
  • Your faculty supervisor must hold a NSERC grant as a Principal or Co-Investigator (discovery, strategic, or research partnerships) either at the time of application or when the students holds the award;

Value: The min. value of the award is $7,125 (NSERC Award $6,000 + Supervisor's contribution (min. $1,125)). Students often receive more than the min. award. 

Part-time hours and vacation leave will not be approved.

Dean's Award

Same requirements and value as NSERC USRA, but

  • Open to both Domestic and International Students. If you are an international student and wish to apply, please contact the Graduate Office by emailing we-researchandgrad@uwo.ca.

Value: The min. value of the award is $5,625 (Faculty Award $2,813 + Supervisor's contribution (min. $2,812)). Students often receive more than the min. award.

Student Research Awards (SRA)

Same requirements and value as NSERC USRA, but

  • Open to both Domestic and International Students. If you are an international student and wish to apply, please contact the Graduate Office by emailing we-researchandgrad@uwo.ca.
  • No minimum average

Value: The min. value of the award is $5,625, which is contributed by the supervisor. Students often receive more than the min. award.

Bill & Barbara Etherington Undergraduate Research Fellowship

Awarded to the top 3 Summer research applicants in ECE with a minimum average of 80% in their last academic year.

Value: $10,000.

How to Apply:

  • Figure out an area in which you wish to conduct research and find a Professor who has related research (some potential summer research projects offered by faculty members are listed below) 
  • Meet with the Professor, find a project that interests you, and agree to work together
  • Form 202 Part I completed online on NSERC's website by Student (must verify on the website)
  • Once the form is completed and verified, a reference number is generated
  • Student then provide this reference number to the Faculty Supervisor
  • Form 202 Part II completed online on NSERC website by Faculty Supervisor
  • E-submission via NSERC website by January 25, 2021 (both Parts I and II must be submitted by the deadline)
  • NSERC website: https://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Students-Etudiants/UG-PC/USRA-BRPC_eng.asp 

Resources:


Notes:

  • An external applicant (from another University) can apply for an USRA at Western University. The applicant applies through Western, needs to meet the USRA criteria, as well as any Engineering specific criteria. The applicant must upload an "official" transcript and university legend with their application. Also, take note that NSERC discontinued any travel allowances they used to provide.

Current Projects

Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Dr. Kibret Mequanint
Email: kmequani@uwo.ca
Research Areas:
  • Luminescent Biomaterials for Simultaneous Drug Delivery and Target Tracking

Dr. Dominic Pjontek
Email: dpjontek@uwo.ca
Research Areas:
  • Carbon dioxide conversion to liquid fuels in a gas-liquid-solid reactor

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Dr. Jason Gerhard
Email: jgerhard@uwo.ca
Research Areas:
  • Development and testing of new remediation technologies for soil polluted by industrial chemicals and emerging contaminant

Dr. Greg Kopp
Email: gakopp@uwo.ca
Research Areas:
  • Estimating the wind speed of tornadic events through the remote sensing of damage to vegetation

Dr. Mohammad Reza Najafi
Email: mnajafi7@uwo.ca
Research Areas:
  • Analyzing compound events (such as the co-occurrence of pluvial riverine and coastal flooding, hot-dry events, floods and droughts) under climate change
  • Evaluation and bias correction of high spatiotemporal resolution radar and satellite precipitation products for large scale hydrological modeling.
  • Development of multi-hazard risk analysis frameworks for critical infrastructure

Dr. Tim Newson
Email: tnewson@eng.uwo.ca
Research Areas:
  • Turbidity of well water due to resuspension of sediment during pumping

Dr. Ayan Sadhu
Email: asadhu@uwo.ca
Research Areas:
  • Bridge health monitoring using moving sensors
  • Railway track monitoring using train-induced vibration
  • Virtual reality-based engineering inspection at the construction site

Dr. David Sills
Email: david.sills@uwo.ca
Research Areas:
  • Tornado Data Analysis

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Dr. Firouz Badrkhani Ajaei
Email: fajaei@uwo.ca
Research Areas:
  • Machine learning and signal processing techniques in power system protection

Dr. R. Klassen
Email: rjklasse@uwo.ca
Research Areas:
  • Development of database structure-properties of die cast Mg alloys

Mechanical and Materials Engineering

Dr. Hamid Abdolvand
Email: Hamid.Abdolvand@uwo.ca
Research Areas:
  • Formation of hydrides in CANDU pressure tubes

Dr. S.F. Asokanthan
Email: sasokant@uwo.ca
Research Areas:
  • Design and analysis of macro-scale hemispherical resonator gyroscope (HRG)

Dr. J. Johnson
Email: jajojnso@uwo.ca
Research Areas:
  • The effect of shoulder implant design on stresses in bone

Dr. R. Klassen
Email: rjklasse@uwo.ca
Research Areas:
  • Development of database structure-properties of die cast Mg alloys

Dr. H. Mao
Email: haojie.mao@uwo.ca
Research Areas:
  • Concussion and helmet research
  • Automotive safety involving active and passive safety techniques
  • Advanced computational modeling for biomechanical and structural analysis
  • Neural engineering with brain electrode and electromagnetic stimulation
  • Working with industry partners for sports safety, such as improving head & neck protection during hockey and football games and reducing commotio cordis risks during baseball and lacrosse games
  • Brain biomechanical and biomedical signal collection and data mining
  • Drone to human impact safety and supporting federal regulation development

Dr. K. Ogden
Email: kogden3@uwo.ca
Research Areas:
  • The effect of rotation and topography on mixing in internal hydraulic jumps

Dr. K. Siddiqui
Email: ksiddiq@uwo.ca
Research Areas:
  • Investigation of temperature-controlled chamber for transportation of bio-species (e.g. organs, vaccines)
  • Improvement of color-based technique to measure flow velocities
  • Design improvement of anti-splash pad

Dr. O.R. Tutunea-Fatan
Email: otutune2@uwo.ca
Research Areas:
  • Fabrication of microstructures for enhanced surface functionality: hydrophilic/hydrophobic, aero/hydro-dynamic, iceophylic/iceophobic, antifouling, diffractive gratings, etc.
  • The use of machine learning and artificial intelligence towards the automatic control of micromanufacturing processes such as diamond cutting and laser polishing

Dr. R. Willing
Email: rwilling@uwo.ca
Research Areas:
  • Studying natural knee and implant mechanics using experimental and computational models