IDEA Incubator

This REU site at the University of Kansas is called “IDEA Incubator” because it seeks to nurture innovations in porous materials by Integrating Discovery, Engineering, and Art (IDEA). The program empowers undergraduates by giving them research experiences, with projects focused on how to synthesize, characterize, and apply porous materials to chemical and biomedical applications.

The program’s overall goals are to: 

  1. Engage undergraduates in cutting-edge research projects in porous material design, synthesis, and characterization for biomedical and chemical engineering applications.
  2. Help undergraduates develop a solid understanding of size and scale.
  3. Nurture innovative thinking.
  4. Provide an inclusive learning environment that supports and appreciates diversity, aimed at preparing undergraduates for future careers in science and engineering.

The program has the following specific objectives:

1. Engage undergraduates in research projects related to porous material design, synthesis, and characterization.

2. Educate students about levels of scale, from nanoscale particles to macroscale chemical processing of commodity chemicals.

3. Use arts-based learning to help students visualize size and scale concepts, broaden their perspectives, improve communication and cultivate creativity, imagination and innovation.

4. Provide activities that encourage students to pursue advance degrees in science and engineering.