Kuttolamadom receives NSF grant to create unique undergraduate research program

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Dr. Mathew Kuttolamadom, assistant professor in the Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution (ETID) and in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University, has been awarded a $360,000, three-year grant from the National Science Foundation to create an interdisciplinary Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) site in metrology and non­destructive inspection (NDI).

MATT KUTTOLAMADOM SPRING 2017

“We’ve got direct feedback from our industry partners and advisory boards that students need to have more translatable knowledge and skills in metrology and non-destructive inspection technologies,” says Kuttolamadom. “That’s where the primary motivation for this particular program comes from.” 

Metrology, the science of measurement and (non-destructive) inspection transcends scales, materials and disciplines; yet, rarely are its salient aspects emphasized. The related knowledge and skills are essential for engineers and researchers today regardless of discipline.

The project, “REU Site: Interdisciplinary Research Experiences in Metrology & Non-Destructive Inspection,” is a collaboration among several college of engineering departments including ETID (Dr. Jyhwen Wang), industrial and systems engineering (Dr. Dinakar Sagapuram), mechanical engineering (Dr. Bruce Tai) and petroleum engineering (Dr. Sam Noynaert).

Each year, 10 students from across the nation will come to Texas A&M over the summer for a 10-week program where they will be a part of five vertically-integrated teams, each comprised of two REU students, a senior Texas A&M undergraduate and graduate student, and a faculty mentor. The vertical structure will allow the undergraduates to learn, grow and participate alongside senior students who are further along in their educational development while simultaneously getting first-hand research experience guided by a Texas A&M faculty researcher. “This chain of students and faculty from different levels will work together on a state-of-the-art research project and advance a solution,” says Kuttolamadom.

The overarching impact of this site will be to create empowered future researchers and a workforce well-rooted in metrology/NDI, and motivate them to pursue advanced degrees and STEM careers.