Inclusive Manufacturing Education and Research Scholarship Experience (IMERSE) Program

The Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute (GTMI) has launched an inclusive education and workforce development program called IMERSE that engages diverse undergraduate students with STEM majors at Georgia Tech and other colleges and institutions including historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic serving institutions (HSIs) in the greater Atlanta area.

Prospective IMERSE students must be interested in advanced manufacturing research.

  • Students from diverse backgrounds, including ethnic or gender categories underrepresented in the manufacturing industry, veterans, and first-generation college students, are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • The vision for IMERSE is to become GTMI’s premier education and workforce development program. The program launched Fall 2023.
  • Recruited IMERSE students will be paired with GTMI affiliated faculty to perform advanced
    manufacturing research projects over the Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 semesters with the
    goal of becoming authors or co-authors on conference presentations and/or research publications.
  • The IMERSE experience includes group activities such as teambuilding events, attending manufacturing seminars, advanced manufacturing R&D lab tours, external manufacturing plant tours, site visits, and more.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

  • Open to undergraduate and technical college students with STEM majors and interest in conducting research on materials and a variety of advanced manufacturing areas (e.g. additive, subtractive, hybrid, digital, AI/ML-enhanced, bio-, and industrial IoT manufacturing).
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0. Prior research and industry experience is a plus.


IMERSE Scholars will either be compensated hourly ($15-20/hr. for 10-20 hrs./wk.), or via academic course credit.

• Industry engagement – meetings with research sponsors and potential site visits below: 

      o Tour of Novelis Global Research & Technology Center (NGRTC) in Kennesaw, GA

      o Tour of Freudenburg-NOK, Cleveland, GA

      o Tour of Delta Tech OPS, Atlanta, GA

      o Tour of Lockheed Martin, Marietta, GA

      o Tour of Textron Ground Support Equipment, Cartersville, GA

• Completion Ceremony and Certificates – The IMERSE program will hold a closing reception in May where participating students will give a final research presentation to their IMERSE peers, faculty advisors, and any industry sponsors. Students will receive a Georgia Tech certificate.

Application Process

• Review IMERSE faculty and project descriptions and select a project of interest.

• Submit your resume and cover letter/email highlighting relevant research, industry experience, and academic excellence to Billyde Brown, Ph.D.,  ( Clearly indicate your application is for the IMERSE program.


Please direct any general questions regarding the IMERSE Program to Billyde Brown, Ph.D., at

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IMERSE Faculty and Project Descriptions

Faculty Advisor: Kyriaki Kalaitzidou, Professor and Associate Chair of the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, 
Project: Manufacturing of Oriented Strand Board (OSB) using wood chips and lignin-based binder as building material for thermal management of buildings
Project Description: OSB will be manufactured using 100% bioderived materials including wood chips from recycled wood products and lignin-based binder. Ideal manufacturing methos and processing conditions will be determined including how to homogeneously mix the binder-resin with the wood chips and hot pressing them. The mechanical properties including tensile, flexural and impact, their density and their thermal conductivity of the OSB will be determined.

Faculty Advisor: Sourabh Saha, Assistant Professor, George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, 
Project Title: Fabrication of three-dimensional microfluidic devices
Project Description: Microfluidic devices are widely used in biological and human health applications but current devices are predominantly limited to two-dimensional (2D) designs. The functionality of the devices can be vastly expanded through three-dimensional (3D) designs. However, it is challenging to fabricate 3D microfluidics with existing techniques. The goal of this project is to use a combination of subtractive and additive manufacturing techniques to fabricate 3D microfluidics with features smaller than 10 micrometers in all three dimensions. The manufacturing performance capabilities will be characterized from the geometry of the fabricated devices and the functional performance of the devices will be characterized through particle sorting experiments.

Faculty Advisor: Tequila Harris, Professor, George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, 
Project Title: Functional 3D Composite Film Coating on Roll-to-Roll Manufacturing System
Project Description: The end goal of this project is to integrate Bilayer and Co-Deposition slot die into a single system. The first step for this project will be to conduct tests to assess the feasibility of this new manufacturing method. The polymer properties and the characteristics of the coating film will be tuned to achieve operable coating parameter. The coating process is comprised of multiple different parameters, such as the polymer properties, coating window, web speed, coating gap, and flowrate. The focus of undergraduate research will be on investigating the properties of polymers that are chosen for functional film. Polymer properties indirectly show the feasibility of the film coating process and which procedure, or coating method is required. Measuring multiple polymers properties with different concentrations, conduct coating film process, and observe coating windows will be the primary role of the student. The student will measure various polymer properties with the goniometer and the viscometer, learn the basics of the roll-to-roll coating manufacturing method and measure the performance of the functional film. Through this process the student will learn more about the properties of polymers and how each property affects the coating window of merged system and overall coating process. 

Faculty Advisor: H. Jerry Qi
Active Materials and Additive Manufacturing (AM2) Lab,
Project Title: Grayscale Digital Light Processing 3D Printing of Conductive Polymers
Project Description: Grayscale digital light processing (g-DLP) 3D printing is a method that is based on DLP printing platform and uses spatial light intensity distribution to control local properties of a printed part. The g-DLP method has been demonstrated to achieve large mechanical property contrast without sacrificing printing speed and resolution. Recently, through proper resin design, we also demonstrated the g-DLP printing can print conductive structures with spatially controlled conductivity. In this project, the undergraduate student will work with a PhD student to characterizing mechanical and electrical properties of the printed materials. The mechanical tests include uniaxial tensile tests and dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA). The electrical tests measure the conductivity as a function of light intensity.

Faculty Advisor: Shreyes Melkote, Morris M. Bryan, Jr. Professorship in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering Associate Director, GTMI; Executive Director, Novelis Innovation Hub, 
Project Title: Hybrid Manufacturing of Bi-Metallic 3D Structures
Project Description: This goal of this project is to investigate novel approaches to produce medium-to-large scale three-dimensional multi-metallic structures/parts using a combination of wire arc directed energy deposition (DED) and subtractive processes. Several applications in the aerospace and ship building and construction sectors require an efficient process to manufacture large-scale 3D metallic parts with targeted mechanical properties in specific regions of the part. A fundamental challenge in producing such parts is engineering the mechanical properties of the interface between two metals that provide the spatially varying properties. This project will explore the use of a hybrid manufacturing approach to enable tailoring of the interface properties to produce high strength bi-metallic 3D structures. In this project, the undergraduate student will work with a PhD student to conduct experimental research on a robotic hybrid manufacturing testbed developed for this purpose.

Faculty Advisor:  Billyde Brown, Senior Research Faculty and EWD Director, Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute (GTMI),
Project Ttitle: Nanoscale 3D Printed Microsupercapacitors
Project Description: A novel approach to 3D Microsupercapacitor (MSC) technology is utilizing High-Throughput Two Photon Lithography (HTTPL) for the fabrication of MSC electrodes with predefined ordered pore structures. By using the HTTPL technique to create a polymeric template and depositing subsequent thin and conformal conductive pseudocapacitive coatings of transition metal nitrides via atomic layer deposition (ALD), we can accurately control the geometric specific surface area of the electrodes during the additive manufacturing process. This allows us to create electrodes with 3D pore structures of precise dimensions to ultimately tailor the resulting energy storage performance according to our needs. Our goal for the project is to determine a mathematical model that correlates the processing parameters and selected structural dimensions of HTTPL fabricated electrodes with their measured performance for accurate performance prediction before fabrication.