BIOFLow International Research Experience for Students (IRES)

BIOFLow International Research Experience for Students (IRES)

Team

Project Overview

The International Research Experience for Students (IRES) project is to provide (i) future scientists and engineers with a global, cross-cultural perspective, and (ii) professional growth opportunities through cutting-edge international research training, structured mentoring, and networking opportunities. The BIOFLOW IRES project will support 18 US students in three years to conduct collaborative research in vibrant fields of biomimicry and bio-inspired flow research. The international training and research will occur at a Korean-government-funded National Creative Research Center, Bio-fluid & Biomimic Research Center (BBRC) at Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), South Korea.

IRES students will be integrated into existing learning and research communities, composed of seven faculty mentors across disciplines of engineering, science and art, four postdoc mentors, and peers for ten (10) weeks at Cleveland State University (CSU), Biomimicry Research and Innovation Center (BRIC) of University of Akron (UA) and the international site BBRC. Students will gain significant research training in advanced thermal/flow measurements, critical thinking, and career-building skills benefiting from extraordinary resources at US labs of CSU/UA and the host lab BBRC. Research on bio-flows and biomimicry is focused on two complementary research themes targeting the Grand Challenges to enhance energy efficiency and wind resilience of the built environment. IRES students will, for example, design tree-like flow-control devices to suppress rooftop vortices in high winds, explore how the shapes of plant leaves affect the efficiency of energy exchange, and run numerical models to simulate spider ballooning. In addition to innovative research, the IRES students will participate in social and cultural exchange activities at BBRC and CSU/UA to enhance student-faculty, student-mentor, and student-student connection, building a professional network for future collaboration and career development, a profound impact beyond the IRES program. 

The BIOFLOW IRES provides U.S. students collaborative research opportunities in vibrant fields of biomimicry and bio-inspired flow research. Benefits include a $5000 stipend for 10 weeks; housing at CSU/UA and POSTECH provided at no charge; up to $500 travel funds between Cleveland/Akron and home city; up to $500 conference travel funds for accepted IRES research presentations. 

Key elements of this project include:

  • Research and learning communities at the US labs and the BBRC (international site), that IRES students are mentored by experienced researchers, assisted by peers, and fully supported to learn and grow in the IRES program and beyond;
  • Webinars/seminars that students gain insights from subject experts, present their work, and learn strategies for productive research, graduate school and job applications;
  • Participation in ongoing bio-flow research and biomimicry at CSU, UA, and BBRC, supported by excellent resources in US-based and the international lab sites;
  • Research Dissemination activities, i.e., a poster competition, featured student videos, presentation in professional conferences, and potential journal publications;
  • Social and cultural activities in South Korea to develop a global, cross-cultural perspective;
  • Formative and summative assessment designed to evaluate the impact of each element's on IRES students' learning and research outcomes, which allow to continuously improve the project quality.

Key Dates:
February 1st, 2021: Application open
March 15th, 2021: Application close
April 1st: Selected IRES students receive program and travel information
April 15th - May 15th: Training by webinar series (via Zoom)
Late May (Weeks 1-2): Pre-travel research training at CSU/UA
Early June - July (Weeks 3-9): Abroad research at BBRC POSTECH, South Korea
Late July to early August (Week 10): Post-travel research at CSU/UA

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