Making the Most of Your Summer Research Experience

By Janelle P Wharry

Nuclear Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

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The objective of this interactive workshop is to demonstrate how students can make their summer research experience memorable, meaningful, and valuable to both themselves and their mentors. Students will first work in small groups and will consider an invention that has impacted their lives. They will trace back to the genesis of these inventions as a means of self-realizing the scientific method. Students will learn about the importance of incorporating the scientific method in their project and understanding the context of their research. Finally, students will anonymously list concerns and hesitations about their summer research experience. Concerns will be grouped into common themes, and advice will be shared on how to overcome these concerns to have a successful summer research experience.


Janelle Wharry

Dr. Janelle Wharry is an assistant professor in the School of Nuclear Engineering at Purdue University. Previously, she held an appointment as assistant professor of Materials Science & Engineering at Boise State University (2013-2016). Dr. Wharry is an expert on microstructure, materials characterization, and micromechanics of irradiated metals and alloys. She has pioneered the use of transmission electron microscopy in situ mechanical testing for irradiated alloys. In addition, Dr. Wharry received the DOE contract to code-qualify structural alloys produced by powder metallurgy and hot isostatic pressing for irradiation-facing components in nuclear power plants. She has mentored 9 graduate and 24 undergraduate researchers. She has published 35 peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers, and delivered more than 50 conference presentations and 20 invited seminars. Dr. Wharry is an affiliate faculty of the Center for Advanced Energy Studies in Idaho Falls, Idaho. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 2012.


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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Janelle P Wharry (2017), "Making the Most of Your Summer Research Experience,"

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