SURF 2018

Engineering Solutions for Resilient and Sustainable Communities

Presented by the Schools of Civil and Construction Engineering and Chemical, Biological, and Environmental Engineering. 

June 18 to August 24, 2018

The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program will award approximately 15 to 20 fellowships of $4,500 to undergraduate students to support hands-on research in the areas of community resilience, clean water engineering, safety, and infrastructure renewal. During the 10-week program, students will work with a faculty mentor and graduate student on a specific project and will develop research skills to increase graduate school opportunities. Current research topics, eligibility, expectations, application information, and example projects from 2016 and 2017 are listed below.

Learn more about clean water engineering at Oregon State and view videos on research in resilience and infrastructure renewal


  • Stipend: $4,500
  • Research project with a faculty mentor
  • Field trips for site-specific field work
  • Weekly seminars from noted speakers 
  • Informal lunch meetings to discuss graduate school
  • Final symposium August 24, 2018 to highlight student work

2018 Research Topics (details)

Clean Water

  • Antibiotic Resistance from Wastewater to Agricultural Soils and Food Crops | Tala Navab-Daneshmand
  • Enabling the use of Cellulosic Nanomaterials as a Biopolymer to Remove Turbidity from Water Prior to Treatment | Stacey Harper
  • Encapsulation of Bacteria for the Bioremediation of Groundwater Contaminated with the Emerging Contaminant 1,4-Dioxane | Lewis Semprini
  • Evaluating Commercial Sorbents for Stormwater Treatment | Mentors: Tyler Radniecki and Meghna Babbar-Sebens
  • Evaluation of the Ability of Nitrifying Bacteria to Transform Methane to Methanol using Anaerobic Digester Supernatant as an Ammonia Source | Mark Dolan
  • Examining the Role of Natural Organic Matter in Controlling the Environmental Fate and Behavior of Metals and Engineered Nanoparticles in Aquatic Systems | Jeffrey Nason
  • Generation of a Contaminant “Heat Map” in a Stormwater Rain Garden | Mentors: Meghna Babbar-Sebens and Tyler Radniecki

Infrastructure Renewal

  • Applied Video Gaming: Infrastructure Asset Management with Mobile Lidar | Mentors: Michael Olsen and Ben Leshchinsky
  • Utilizing Embedded Sensors to Predict the Service Life of the Concrete Infrastructure | Mentor: Jason Weiss


  • Agent-based Tsunami Evacuation Modeling (ABTEM): Agents’ Probabilistic Decision-Making and Interactive Behaviors | Mentor: Haizhong Wang
  • Evaluating the Impact of Post Disaster Public Behavior on Emergency Management | Mentors: Erica Fischer and Sal Hernandez
  • Evaluation of Beam-Column Plasticity Models for the Seismic Response of Buildings | Michael Scott
  • Improving the Understanding of the Mechanical Response of Transitional Soils | Mentors: T. Matt Evans and Armin Stuedlein
  • Post-Earthquake and Tsunami Recovery Modeling for a Coastal Community | Dan Cox and Andre Barbosa
  • Probabilistic Seismic and Tsunami Hazard and Damage Assessment: Focusing on Lifeline Infrastructure on the Oregon Coast | Dan Cox
  • Resilient Seismic Design of Cross-Laminated Timber Buildings | Andre Barbosa 
  • Splish Splash, Slide: Quantifying Ocean Wave Impacts on Coastal Bluffs Using Geophones | Mentors: Michael Olsen and Ben Leshchinsky


The application period is closed.


  • OSU engineering students and non-OSU students are welcome to apply
  • Minimum GPA 3.3 out of 4.0
  • Students entering junior or senior year in Fall 2018 are preferred. Some exceptions will be made for students entering their sophomore year and graduating seniors.
  • Students enrolled in summer courses are not eligible


  • Conduct work in Corvallis for program dates June 18 to August 24, 2018
  • Participate up to 40 hours per week
  • Possess strong analytical skills, curiousity, and independent thinking
  • Possess ability to work in small teams (professor/mentor and other graduate and undergraduate students)
  • Attend group activities, field trips, guest lectures, and research meetings
  • Present final research project on August 24, 2018


  • Gain research experience
  • Obtain better understanding of graduate school
  • Learn engineering solutions for resilience, safety, and infrastructure renewal 
  • Receive $4,500 stipend (50% paid July 2018, 50% paid August 2018)

More information: