REALIZE-2050 Research Experiences for Undergraduates

You can make a difference this summer by working towards the U.S.'s goal of reducing carbon emissions to zero by 2050. 

REALIZE-2050 at the University of Cincinnati (UC) is a 10-week interdisciplinary research training program funded by NSF, aiming to accelerate technology innovations for achieving the U.S. net-zero carbon emissions target by 2050.

REALIZE-2050 (Research Experiences for American Leadership of Industry with Zero Emissions by 2050) is led by 12 faculty mentors from five departments and two colleges. Ten undergraduate students each summer will engage in cutting-edge research on:

  • Energy efficiency
  • Industrial electrification
  • Energy storage
  • Low-carbon fuels
  • Renewable energy
  • Carbon capture/utilization

Through hands-on experience in UC's advanced research facilities, participants will address fundamental challenges in decarbonizing energy generation, manufacturing, infrastructure, and transportation, gaining a comprehensive understanding of global climate change mitigation.

Emphasizing convergent research approaches, students will explore multiple aspects of decarbonization technologies, evaluate their feasibility and impacts, and share their findings through podcasts to increase public awareness of scientific contributions to decarbonization efforts. Leveraging UC's proximity to U.S. manufacturing hubs, the program aims to deepen students' understanding of industrial decarbonization through innovative manufacturing initiatives.

2024 Program Features

  • You will receive a stipend of $700 per week.
  • Housing is provided (up to $3000 value).
  • You will receive travel reimbursement up to $500.
  • Summer experiences will include trips to museums, seminars on professional development, and research training.
  • You will learn how to make a podcast to report your results.

Important Dates

  • Application deadline: April 26, 2024
  • Notification of acceptance: May 8, 2024 
  • Program date: May 29 - August 2, 2024

Eligibility Requirements

To apply for this REU site, an applicant must meet the following criteria 

  • U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident;
  • An undergraduate student at the time of the REU participation;
  • Major in Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Chemical Engineering, Architectural Engineering, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, or related fields;
  • a GPA of 3.3 or higher.

Applications are open to all who meet the criteria above. Students who are from underrepresented groups in engineering (including women, African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, and persons with disabilities) and students who are from academic institutions with limited research opportunities in STEM are strongly encouraged to apply.


Headshot of Ying Sun

Ying Sun

Herman Schneider Professor, Department Head


Headshot of Eric Payton

Eric Payton

Associate Professor


The REALIZE-2050 NSF REU site-team
Name Position/Discipline Theme
Ying Sun Prof./Mechanical Eng. (ME) Energy storage
Eric Payton Assoc. Prof./Materials Sci. & Eng. (MSE) Low-carbon fuels
David Reeping Assi. Prof./Engineering Education Program evaluation
Kishan Bellur Assi. Prof./Mechanical Eng. (ME) Low-carbon fuels
Junhang Dong Prof./Chemical Eng. (ChE) Low-carbon fuels
Jianbing Jiang Assoc. Prof./Chemistry Energy storage
Milind Jog Prof./Mechanical Eng. (ME) Energy efficiency
Raj Manglik Prof./Mechanical Eng. (ME) Energy storage
Annette Rowe Assi. Prof./Biology Low-carbon fuels
Matt Steiner Assi. Prof./Materials Sci & Eng. (MSE) Electrification
Sarah Watzman Assi. Prof./Mechanical Eng. (ME) Renewable Energy
Amanda Webb Assi. Prof./Architectural Eng. (AE) Energy efficiency
Jingjie Wu Assoc. Prof./Chemical Eng. (ChE) Carbon utilization