NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REM)


Laser Image by Dennis Wise, University of Washington

New Frontiers of Sound: Acoustic waves research for next generation information processing

Be at the cutting edge of unraveling how researching sound waves will lead to future innovations in ultrasonic therapies and telecommunication!

FOS Objectives

This four-year study focuses on manipulating how sound waves behave. Ultimately the work on phononics - the science of sound - could result in a vast array of products with peculiar features that could improve noise abatement, ultrasonic imaging, and information processing technologies. The goal of the project's REM program is to invite undergraduate students to learn more about this emerging field by participating in meaningful research projects tied to the behavior of sound waves. The research and education team is committed to creating a REM experience that is inclusive and values all students thus nurturing successful researchers at the UA and UCSD. Read more about NewFOS.

Research Topics

  1. Development of a finite element (COMSOL) spatiotemporal material property modulation capability and comparison with discrete element model analysis techniques
  2. Simulation of non-reciprocal transverse wave propagation in a macroscopic granular chain leveraging spatiotemporal modulation via a nonlinear longitudinal pilot wave.
  3. Development of a macroscopic granular chain experimental testbed to characterize non-reciprocal acoustics via spatiotemporal modulation.


  • June 10-August 9 -- 8 weeks summer REU (full-time)
  • June 10-21 in Tucson; July 1-Aug 9 in San Diego (subject to change)
  • Sept 2019-May 2020: 5 hours/week Sound Hub and mentoring at UA
  • June 2019: International Phononics Conference at the UA


  • 8-week summer research experience (2 weeks in Tucson, 6 weeks in San Diego)
  • Debriefs with education team June- May (UA campus location)
  • Weekly mentoring sessions during summer
  • Weekly mentoring sessions via 1 unit seminar course (Aug-May)
  • Sound Hub workshop development and outreach
  • Spring semester conference–Wash. DC
  • Sound Hub workshops and outreach activities (Sept-May)
  • Attend International Phononics Conference–June 2019

Student Perks

  • $6,000.00 stipend for summer REU
  • Transportation and apartment expenses paid.
  • $1000 stipend – Fall 2018
  • $1000 stipend – Spring 2019
  • Trip to Washington D.C.
  • Grad school/internship prep sessions


  • 1st generation UA students
  • Rising juniors and seniors
  • Preferred: Material Science Engineering and Chemical Engineering majors

Application Process

Awardees will be notified by April 23, 2019





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