Aerospace REU

NSF REU Site: AERO-U: Aerospace Engineering Research Opportunities for Undergraduates

Plasma turbulence studies of importance in hypersonic flight research for NASA and the U. S. Air Force.Photos courtesy of and

Plasma turbulence studies of importance in the Space Shuttle exhaust, electric propulsion systems exhaust and aircraft engine exhaust (from conventional to scramjets). Photo courtesy of


  • To emphasize aero-propulsion fluids research through computational and experimental activities.
  • For students interested in research in fluid physics to build the related needed skills.

Field Trips

  • GE Energy, Houston, TX
  • Ad Astra Rocket Co ( near NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC), Houston
  • Texas A&M Flight Simulator
  • Texas A&M Immersive Visualization Center (IVC)
  • Texas A&M Astronomical Observatory
  • Texas A&M Cyclotron


  • Experience with cutting-edge research in hypersonic and plasma flow modeling and testing
  • Develop computational and experimental skills with state-of-the-art equipment

Program Basics

The summer program in the Aerospace Engineering Department at Texas A&M University is called the REU Program (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) with funding provided by the National Science Foundation. The program is coordinated with the Texas A&M Dwight Look College of Engineering’s Student Services and Academic Programs (ESSAP) Undergraduate Summer Research Grant (USRG) and the Texas A&M Office of Undergraduate Research.

During the summer research experience, participants will work closely with faculty members, graduate students and undergraduate mentors on current research projects, make short progress presentations to their peers during program meetings, attend presentation skills workshops, make a formal poster presentation of their research experience at the end of the program, and submit a written, final report describing the results of their research. Students should not enroll in additional academic courses during the summer sessions. It is hoped that the students participating in the REU program will make significant contributions to ongoing faculty research and, more importantly, will gain an appreciation for and an interest in graduate school and a future research career.

Program Details

The program spans 10 weeks and involves undergraduate students from Texas A&M as well as students from other colleges and universities. This year's program will involve at least 8 students. A typical (but flexible) program schedule is available.

Program Dates & Application Process

The program will be held on campus at Texas A&M University in College Station. Applications can be obtained by clicking here. The application from the Texas A&M Dwight Look College of Engineering’s Student Services and Academic Programs (ESSAP) Undergraduate Summer Research Grants (USRG) may also be used since it covers a broad range of undergraduate research programs in the college ( The application includes statements describing the applicant's research interests and technical skills (e.g., C++ programming, lab, etc.), transcripts, and letters of recommendations (to be submitted on-line as well), so applicants are encouraged to start the application process well in advance of the deadline. Applicants are strongly urged to check the web or library on the research interests of the fluids group of the department to write a more meaningful & well-directed statement of research interests (e.g., The applications may be scanned or electronically signed and emailed to


To participate in the program, students who

  • have an interest in and a desire to participate in ongoing research in aerospace engineering;
  • have completed their sophomore year in a almost any curriculum of engineering and the physical and mathematical sciences;
  • have a cumulative minimum GPA of 3.25 (exceptions may be made based on review of the applicant's last 60 hours of coursework, research interests, experience & recommendation letters);
  • plan to graduate no earlier than December 2013; and
  • are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

are eligible to participate in the program. Furthermore they must specifically meet the following criteria:

Student Requirements

  1. Students selected for grant support may not be enrolled in additional courses, other than the required independent study/research course, during either summer school session.
  2. Research hours to be worked are determined by individual faculty members (40 hours / week).
  3. Each student will be required to give two brief presentations on his/her respective project during the course of the ten-week grant period.
  4. Each student will be required to prepare an abstract, final paper and a poster presentation describing the results of his/her research program.
  5. Applicant must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.


  • Each participant will receive a stipend of $5,000 for the 10-week research experience.
  • Will pay tuition and fees for one credit hour of a required independent study/research
  • Will provide housing or a housing allowance, subject to limitations
  • Will provide up to $400 for travel expenses for out-of-state participants.

For More Information

If you have questions or need more information about the REU Program, please contact: Dr. Jacques Richard

Sample of On-going Related Research

The research consists of modeling and testing of rarefied plasma turbulence. Some models use the meso-scale Lattice-Boltzmann Method (LBM) in multi-species plasma and magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) codes written in Fortran or C++. Testing involves visualizing plasmas using techniques such as Planar Laser-Induced Fluorescence (PLIF).

Additional Summer Research Opportunities:
A list of National Science Foundation Funded REU sites can be found at

Click here for application!


Previous Research and Participants

2012 Research and Participants

H.R. Bright Building 7th Floor | Ph: (979) 845-7541 | Fax: (979) 845-6051