Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)

Brittany Oetter REU07
Brittany Oetter from University of Colorado testing resistance of E.Coli KO11 to acetic acid

EXPLORE IT! BUILDING THE NEXT GENERATION OF SUSTAINABLE FOREST BIOPRODUCT RESEARCHERS – Summer Opportunity for 2022

REU 2022 Application Form June 6 – August 12

NOTE: Application deadline is February 18, 2022

“Explore it! Building the Next Generation of Sustainable Forest Bioproduct Researchers” at the University of Maine Forest Bioproducts Research Institute (FBRI) aims for participants to develop and utilize new knowledge in an ethical manner to address forest bioproduct issues impacting society.

This program provides 10 undergraduates with a ten-week summer research experience, leveraging the focus areas of the University of Maine’s Forest Bioproducts Research Institute (FBRI). The focus on sustainable forest bioproducts is highly topical and of great global importance in the context of sustainable energy and material alternatives. In collaboration with faculty mentors, students conduct research advancing their general knowledge of the field and one of several thematic elements, including: i) sustainability and life cycle assessment, ii) feedstock extraction/modification, iii), process control and sensing, iv) nanomaterial production and utilization, v) new product development and vi) nanotechnology risk assessment.

The REU program concludes with a forest products industry field trip to Chile (subject to possible COVID-19 travel restrictions) and a research conference where participants present their work to faculty and students at the University of Concepcion-UDT. A unique set of evaluation and assessment tools are employed that allow tracking of student performance, thus offering feedback to students and the program.

Funding for this program is provided by the National Science Foundation. Women, minorities, and students with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.

Eligibility

  • Current undergraduate in sophomore or junior year with a minimum GPA of 3.0
  • US Citizen or permanent resident
  • Must have a valid passport
  • Must have proof of full COVID-19 Vaccination to participate

Applications should be submitted via the Application Form link above. You must also submit a current academic transcript and two letters of reference. Letters of reference must be emailed directly by the letter’s author to Christina VonTorne at christina.vontorne@maine.edu. Once your application packet (application, transcript, two letters of reference) is complete, it will be submitted to the selection committee for review.

2022 REU in Sustainable Forest Bioproducts Flyer

Frequently Asked REU 2022 Questions

Potential Research Projects for 2022

REU 2012 in Masisa Plant, Chile
UMaine Professors David Neivandt and Douglas Gardner with REU 2012 Participants in Masisa Plant, Chile

Award Includes:

  • $5000 Stipend + On Campus Housing Provided
  • 2 of the 10 Students to Perform their Research in Chile
  • Week Long Research Experience & Exchange in Chile for all Students
  • Opportunity to Perform Research on Pressing Global Issues Relating to Sustainable Product Development and Biofuel Generation from Woody Biomass

Why University of Maine?

Maine is the most heavily forested state in the nation, where forest stakeholders, large landowners, industry, small business, educational institutions, and government have a history of working together to enhance forest productivity and subsequent business. Being a historically “green” state with solid governmental support behind ongoing development of forest bioproducts capabilities and sustainability, Maine has a highly integrated wood products industry (energy, pulp & paper, sawmills, OSB, etc.) that is of primary importance to the state. The UMaine is home to internationally established engineered wood composites and nanocellulose research programs, as well as a large-scale forest-based bio-refineries and pilot plants that serve as technology validation and demonstration facilities.

 Research Opportunities

  • Sustainability and Life Cycle
  • Analysis
  • Feedstock Extraction/ Modification
  • Process Control and Sensing
  • Nanomaterials Production and Utilization
  • New Product Development
  • Nanotechnology Risk Assessment

Disciplines

Forest Operations • Resource Economics • Bioproducts • Bioenergy • Biology • Chemistry • Chemical Engineering • Bioengineering •Material Science • Nanotechnology

Activities

  • Fundamental and Applied Forest Bioproducts Research
  • Access to State-of-the-Art Research Equipment and Facilities
  • Technical Writing and Oral Presentation Opportunities
  • Ethics Workshop
  • A Series of Evening and Recreational Activities
  • Field Trips!

 Contact Information

For questions regarding the application process or other administrative issues:

Christina VonTorne
Financial and Administrative Manager
Forest Bioproducts Research Institute
5737 Jenness Hall, Room 149
Orono, ME 04469-5737
christina.vontorne@maine.edu

For questions regarding research-related program issues:

Dr. Douglas Gardner
Professor of Sustainable Materials Technology
School of Forest Resources and
Advanced Structures and Composites Center
5755 Nutting Hall
Orono, ME 04469
douglasg@maine.edu

Photos of 2018 REU Participants

Past Projects

Ryan Lena reu07
Ryan Lena, from Tufts University preparing nanofibrillated cellulose samples for morphological testing