The VIPER Research Experience

Penn has a strong commitment to undergraduate research. Each VIPER class will take a common first-year seminar (VIPR120, spring semester of first year, and VIPR121, fall semester of sophomore year). This course introduces students to current energy research topics, the challenges and techniques involved with conducting research, and strategies for reading and writing technical papers and research proposals. Students will also be paired with research mentors in this course.

During their years at Penn in the VIPER program, students will embark on research early in their academic career, and spend summers on campus working with faculty with expertise in physics, chemistry, biology, math, and across the fields of chemical, mechanical, systems, and electrical engineering and materials science. VIPER students are able to take advantage of the interdisciplinary research labs in energy science and engineering at the University of Pennsylvania.

Ideally, students work continuously in a Penn science or engineering lab for 2-3 years, and by graduation have brought a research project to fruition, resulting in the student as a co-author on a research paper in a peer-reviewed journal. Students also do a senior design project in their engineering major.