ME student selected for 2013 NIST Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program

A mechanical engineering sophomore has received early acceptance notice to take part in the 2013 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Md.

The highly competitive SURF program is substantially supported by the National Science Foundation. It exposes outstanding undergraduates to cutting-edge research and state-of- the-art equipment and promotes the pursuit of graduate degrees in science and engineering.


Theodore Malik Russell is one of approximately 190 students selected from more than 600 applications from 136 schools.

Russell will have the opportunity to work one-on-one with internationally known scientists in NIST’s Engineering Laboratory. Students will work with NIST advisers, but during the 11-week period they also will be expected to perform independent research.

Russell, a Washington, D.C. native, also is pursuing two minors: Chinese language and culture and engineering management. He is secretary of the Vanderbilt chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers, and a member of Vanderbilt Spoken Word, a performance poetry group committed to cultivating a diversity of thoughts, ideas and perspectives through the spoken word art form. Russell is a resident adviser for the Office of Housing and Residential Education and he will be a head resident in the fall.

NIST is one of the nation’s premiere research institutions for the physical and engineering sciences and as the lead Federal agency for technology transfer it provides an interface between government, industry and academia. NIST is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.