The University of Alabama (UA) REU in Innovative Engineering Using Renewable Resources is housed in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. This multidisciplinary program runs from May through July and offers research opportunities for 10 students from UA and other institutions across the nation. Students in all areas of engineering or related fields are encouraged to apply.

Available research projects share the theme of innovative uses of renewable resources in multiple engineering disciplines.

This REU Site at The University of Alabama involves research projects that exploit renewable resources, especially applications that involve bamboo. Pending funding, we have added an international component that will allow students to travel to Ecuador and participate in a program in 10-day program with the Regeneration Field Institute (AFI) prior to their research at UA. AFI is a agroecology and social enterprise development.

Students will fly through Atlanta, GA to travel together as a group to Ecuador. This will provide an opportunity for the participants to meet the faculty chaperone, meet each other, participate in ice-breaker activities, be introduced to the REU summer schedule, and discuss the next steps in their international travel. From Atlanta, the group will fly to Manta, Ecuador after which we will travel by bus to Bahia. Once in Bahia, the group stay at the RFI organized housing accommodations. While the official language of Ecuador is Spanish, the RFI organizers coordinate all necessary activities in English and provide translation services where necessary for their workshops. Workshops focus on social and environmental enterprise models, ethical entrepreneurship, viability of large scale bamboo production, sustainable international development, and political/social/cultural/economic analysis of post disaster zones.

After the 10-day program in Ecuador, students will travel to UA to conduct research with a faculty mentor for the remainder of the summer. The international program is not mandatory. If a student opts out of the program in Ecuador, they will travel directly to UA to conduct faculty-supervised research.

A wide spectrum of project topics will allow undergraduate students from multiple engineering disciplines to work together on problems with broad societal impact. While the project topics will engage students in multiple disciplines, the theme is focused and allows students to work collectively on exciting and relevant problems.

Important Dates

  • Review Begins: February 1, 2019
  • Final Application Deadline: March 4, 2019
  • Notification Date: April 5, 2019
  • Tentative Program Dates: 
    • If attending program in Ecuador and then UA: May 10 to July 24, 2019
    • If only attending program at UA: May 22 to July 24, 2019


For more information about this program, contact the following program managers:


We encourage applications from students who are also members of a group underrepresented in STEM fields (women, African Americans, Hispanics, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, persons with disabilities, first generation higher education, low income) or who are enrolled in a minority, women’s or non-doctoral institution.

Complete the online application by the deadline for full consideration. We reserve the right to make offers to promising applicants before the deadline. Recommendation letters and transcripts are not required in the initial application. However, they will be requested during the final selection process.

Apply to this Program

Eligibility Criteria

Applicant must:

  • Be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States or its possessions
  • Be unemployed or in an inactive status in any position held during the ten-week program
  • Be and remain an undergraduate student in good standing
  • Plan to complete a degree program


Participant will:

  • Contribute to an ongoing research project through collaboration with faculty members, graduate students and other undergraduate students
  • Take part in a professional development program designed to foster research and technical communication skills through training and to encourage pursuit of graduate studies.
  • Interact with students, academics and practitioners in a number of settings, ranging from informal meetings to a professional conference.

Financial Support

Participant will receive:

  • Competitive Stipend
  • Travel / accommodation / meal support for Ecuador program
  • Housing on the UA campus
  • Relocation allowance


Participant must:

  • Commit at least 40 hours per week to REU activities
  • Attend professional development workshops or research seminars
  • Attend social events