Summer research program offers experiential learning for undergrads

Second year software engineering student Catriona Chan presenting her research to Kamran Siddiqui, Associate Dean, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies 

Western Engineering News | September 16, 2021

This past summer, 81 students participated in Western Engineering’s Undergraduate Summer Research Awards (USRA) program, with representation from all departments.

With financial support, each student had the opportunity to work with faculty members on novel research topics, where they gained exposure to research activities that are often experienced in graduate programs.

“The faculty is quite proud to be offering and growing experiential learning opportunities for our undergraduate students through summer research,” said Dean Ken Coley. “And we look forward to growing this program in the coming years.”

On Friday, September 10th, the Western Engineering community gathered to witness the amazing work conducted by its students over the past few months. The showcase featured competitions comprised of poster presentations and 3-minute oral presentations.

Second year software engineering student Catriona Chan received first place for her poster presentation, displaying her research on real-time edge-enabled video surveillance.

When asked about her decision to take part in the Undergraduate Summer Research program, Chan was curious as to what exactly research at Western Engineering entailed.

“Entering university, I talked with many upper years about their experience in research, and I quickly became interested,” said Chan. “I wanted to explore and learn more about the Internet of Things and wireless communication, and I was also curious about post-graduate studies and areas of research that I could potentially pursue in the future.”

Chan worked with Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Xianbing Wang, who she said fostered a sense of excitement throughout the project.

“My experience this summer can be described with two words: curiosity and excitement. Throughout the Undergraduate Summer Research program, I had a strong support system that offered encouragement and guidance. The overall experience was enriching and provided deep insight into both research and industry practices.” 

The faculty plans to continue the growth of its Undergraduate Summer Research program and encourages all undergraduate students to explore the research opportunities available to them.

Interested in summer research? Visit our Undergraduate Summer Research page to learn more