Participating in an open-ended research project is one of the best ways to develop the skills you need to be a successful engineer or scientist. Through research, you learn to think more independently and make your own decisions about what questions to ask and how to figure out the answers.
Luther offers many research projects that you can get involved in during the summer or during the school year. Many of these projects can help you develop important technical skills for engineering. Profesor Erin Flater's lab gives you a glimpse into engineering research.
Flater's research focuses on developing a better understanding of what happens when surfaces interact. What causes friction? Why do materials wear when rubbed together? What can engineers do to reduce wear in their designs?
Flater studies friction and wear at the nanoscale. If we can understand surface interactions at a small scale, where surface interactions are somewhat simpler than at larger sizes, we can eventually scale up that understanding to apply our discoveries to more complex systems.