Mason Chow adjusts custom-designed circuitry to produce ultrasonic waves that levitate small objects.

Research is an important part of the curriculum in both engineering and physics, and you have opportunities both in and beyond the classroom to develop your skills. As faculty mentors, our goal is to help you prepare for work in research lab settings. The projects we support are tailored to be appropriate for undergraduate learning, rather than being designed for our own professional achievement.

Capstone projects

The One Course At A Time curriculum allows you to spend an entire block researching a single topic of your choosing in your capstone course. You will work in small teams or individually to complete a project of your choice, with guidance and support in selecting a reasonable project and acquiring necessary resources. 

Recent students have developed a wide range of projects, including scanning electron microscopes, a variety of lasers, a cosmic muon ray detector, a graphene super capacitor, and a wireless power transmission system using magnetic resonance.

Summer research

On-campus summer research

Cornell faculty and students regularly engage in collaborative summer research projects. These projects allow you to develop important research skills while working both independently and alongside faculty mentors. Current research projects include:

  • Remotely controlling an array of Android phones to produce variable acoustic waves and large-scale video.
  • Exploring advanced topics in astrophysics.

Off-campus research experiences (REUs)

Our students have had great success in their acceptance to major summer research programs at places like Cornell University, Indiana University, the CERN particle accelerator lab in Switzerland, and the Space Telescope Science Institute. Many of these students previously spent a summer working with the Cornell physics and engineering faculty to develop their research skills. Because we're a small, hands-on department, we know our students and their lab skills well, and we're able to write strong, detailed letters of recommendation.

Learn more