ASPIRE REU: University of Pittsburgh Human Engineering Research Lab (HERL)

Opportunity Description:

The mission of HERL is to continuously improve the mobility and function of people with disabilities through advanced engineering in clinical research and medical rehabilitation. The ASPIRE REU program is designed to promote greater involvement and understanding of Rehabilitation Engineering and assistive technology – while fostering an understanding of the problems faced by individuals with disabilities.  This results in a greater ability to apply engineering principles to improve the quality of life, which promotes a higher degree of inclusiveness and greater functionality for people with disabilities.

Rehabilitation engineering employs a systematic approach to the design, modification, customization and/or fabrication of assistive technology for persons with disabilities. ASPIRE research efforts in rehabilitation engineering are focused on identifying and addressing problems critical to achieving and maintaining the highest possible level of function in areas related to mobility, communications, sensory (e.g., hearing, tactile, vision), and cognition and in activities associated with employment, independent living, and education. Each ASPIRE participant will work directly with HERL faculty and graduate students to help transform the lives of individuals with disabilities. The ASPIRE program provides an exemplary mentoring and resourceful environment that enables undergraduate students to transition from dependent to independent thinkers, develop a sense of excitement about entering an engineering or technical field, and be well prepared for their future careers.

Minimum Qualifications and/or Eligibility Requirements: 

  • Undergraduate students majoring in science, engineering, math, and computer science
  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Minorities, women, and veterans are strongly encouraged to apply

Application Process: 

After reviewing the FAQ section, please visit the National Science Foundation's Research Experiences for Undergraduates website. Select "How to Apply" in the top menu, then click on the link "Engineering common application." Be sure to then select "ASPIRE" and follow the instructions.

Application deadline: Expected March 2020

For more information on this opportunity, please contact: