Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) at the University of Oklahoma

This REU program in Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs) is hosted by the School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Oklahoma (OU) and sponsored by the National Science Foundation.


  • $600/week stipend for the 10-week period per student
  • Campus Housing provided for the 10-week period
  • Stipend for meals for 5 days/week for the 10-week period
  • Travel subsidy to and from Norman, up to $500 per student

  • Applications Open: November 21st , 2022
  • Application Deadline: March 25th, 2023
  • Arrival in Norman Oklahoma, May 26, 2023
  • First day of the program: May 29, 2023
  • Last day of the program: August 4, 2023

    Through this REU program students have the opportunity to work on research projects related to Unmanned Aerial Systems with real world applications. In addition to their research, students will participate in various weekly activities for professional growth and development.

    Research Areas Include:

  • Vision-based Navigation & Control for Swarm Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAVs)
  • Drone-Enabled Study of Anthropogenic Pollutants
  • Computational Tools for UAVs’ Structure & Evaluation
  • UAVs for Remote Sensing & Environmental Monitoring
  • Nanocomposites: from Design to Applications for Smart UAVs
  • Nanocomposites: from Design to Applications for Smart UAVs
  • Battery Performance of Drones Operating in Cold Temperatures
  • Participants of this Program will:

  • Conduct hands-on experimental and computational research
  • Use natural open labs and state-of-the-art indoor facilities for UAV research
  • Work closely with Faculty mentors
  • Participate in Cohort Building Activities to build teamwork skills
  • Program Overview

    Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) are becoming a fast-growing field with a wide range of applications in industry, military, meteorology, business, and recreational use, to name just a few. This REU Site aims to advance knowledge of UAS through a series of research topics that focus on design and application of UAS. We aim to develop a new generation of researchers and engineers who will become leaders in this rapidly growing field. This REU site provides mentoring and training to student participants in a positive, engaging, and challenging learning environment where they will be able to develop the technical and soft skills needed to become successful engineers and researchers. Students will actively participate in research with real world applications that focuses on sensors for navigation and controls to accurately assess vehicle position, employ UAS to fight climate change by gas leak hunting and detection of particulate matter, developing deployable structures based on novel materials for UAS, testing drone battery performance in harsh conditions, and developing computational tools to identify the most vulnerable failure spots. This REU site will take advantage of unique existing natural open labs including the nearby Kessler Atmospheric and Ecological Field-Testing Station, the Choctaw Nation Unmanned Aircraft System Integration Pilot Program (UASIPP) test site, and the Full-size Test Loop Station for methane detection.

    The REU site will provide a 10-week summer research experience for a diverse group of ten students. Students will work in groups (2 students per group) and each group is associated with a specific research project and work closely with a Research Mentor.

    In addition to their research project, students will also participate in several designed Cohort Building Activities and Team Building Experiences. Cohort Building Activities are tailored to enhancing professional development. The Team Building Experience is interactive and outside the laboratory setting and is composed of tours and field trips related to drone applications.

    Download our program flyer here

    Covid-19 Related Issues:

  • We will closely follow the University of Oklahoma COVID protocols for having students on campus, social distances, masking, etc.
  • If the COVID-19 Pandemic becomes an issue, the Program will be held virtually, and the students will not be required to live on campus.​
  • How to contact us:

    If you have questions about the REU-Site “Unmanned Aerial Systems with Real-World Applications in Oklahoma” Summer Program or the application process, please email us at (Dr. Merchan-Merchan) and (Dr. Wei Sun).