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UNH's Third Annual Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Symposium to Showcase Undergraduate Research
By David Sims
Science Writer
Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space
(603) 862-5369

April 21, 2006

DURHAM, N.H.-- On Wednesday, April 26 from 2 to 5 p.m., more than 100 undergraduate students at the University of New Hampshire will present results of their research on a broad spectrum of projects in science and engineering.

The Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Symposium (ISE), hosted by the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space, is part of the university's seventh annual Undergraduate Research Conference (URC), which runs April 21- 29. ISE offers a unique opportunity to visit the world of cutting-edge research at UNH, to discover interdisciplinary connections between issues, and learn about research opportunities for students.

"ISE is intended to provide a forum that crosscuts traditional science and engineering disciplines and expose students to research outside their own department or their advisors' particular field of expertise," says assistant professor George Hurtt, chair of the ISE event. "Students may see how their research connects with someone else's, which might propel them to ask new questions, take their research in new directions, or form a new collaborations with other students," Hurtt adds.

Students at UNH work with faculty mentors to conduct scholarly inquiry into topics that intrigue them and engage in a process that teaches creative thinking and problem solving within their chosen disciplines. Student presentations will include everything from a fire fighting robot and a "personal guitar isolation system" to projects in biodiesel engineering and carbon cycle science. Some 60 project posters involving 106 students from 20 departments and four colleges will be presented at the event. Poster presentations will be judged by a panel of 10 experts and five $500 awards will be given to students for excellence.

"We'll have more than 100 presenters and over 600 people in the building viewing posters, asking questions, and listening to the presenters," says Hurtt. "A lot of those people coming are students who aren't presenting, and hopefully they'll get inspired by their peers to get engaged in research."

The event is an opportunity for students to present their research projects in a professional forum and for all attendees to gain information on the related research activities and opportunities at UNH. Attendees will include UNH faculty, staff, students, university leaders, and members of the public. In addition to student presentations, several UNH research and graduate programs will present information to prospective students.

Participating in this year's ISE event will be several students and administrators from Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina, a historically black university that has partnered with UNH on projects in an effort to recruit students from minority populations into the scientific and technical workforce of the future.

For the full schedule for this year's Undergraduate Research Conference, directions and parking information, visit

The ISE event will be held in Morse Hall at 39 College Road. The public is welcome. Refreshments will be served.