Undergraduate Research @ UMKC

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Undergraduate Research Ambassadors


Chelsea Pfaffly

Senior Undergraduate Research Ambassador

Year in School:  Junior
:  Civil Engineering
Faculty Mentor
:  Dr. Megan Hart, Civil Engineering, School of Computing & Engineering
Ask Chelsea a question.

Why is undergraduate research important to you?

Undergraduate research is important to me because it's exposing me to different career paths and post graduate opportunities. Not only am I discovering what I want to do after graduation, but I am learning valuable knowledge and skills that I could not learn in a classroom setting. At UMKC the civil engineering degree is packed and there is not much room for exploration into a specialty until your junior or senior year. With undergrad research I get to take things I learned in class and apply it to something, thus growing my understanding of civil engineering more and finding a specialty I'm interested in.

How did you find your mentor?
One of my classmates suggested that I change my academic advisor to Dr. Hart because her research within geotech engineering was similar to the things I was interested in. We both are passionate about the environment and discovering ways to preserve it with civil engineering.

How did you determine what your particular research project would be?
Dr. Hart had some research that needed to be done that was similar to things I was interested in. After talking with her about my interests and what I wanted to do with my career, she came to me with an idea for research. It focuses on trying to collect the heavy metals collected from mining spills, like Flint Michigan. Research from another colleague here at UMKC shows that pervious concrete is excellent for removing these metals. In order to remove the metals from the concrete sections I will break the concrete up into smaller pieces and leave in buckets of acid until everything else dissolves besides the concrete. This experiment interested me because proving metals can be extracted makes using pervious concrete an economical answer to cleaning mining spills.


Dr. Jane Greer, Director
106 Cockefair Hall

Department Contacts

Undergraduate Research Advisory Board

Important Dates and Deadlines:

March 1, 2021 at 5:00 pm
Deadline for Undergraduate Research Fellow Transcript Designation Applications


March 5, 2021 at 5:00 pm
Deadline for SUROP Grant Applications


April 12, 2021 at 8:00 am
Deadline for Undergraduate Research Symposium Registrations


April 12–16, 2021
Virtual Undergraduate Research Week at the State Capitol


April 22-23, 2021
Symposium of Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship


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