Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program-2 (MSEIP-2)

The MSEIP-2 program offers a hands-on summer research experience for CSUB STEM majors. Selected participants will take part in a four week research project over the summer (dates vary by project) and can earn a stipend!


MSEIP-2 is open to:

  • Declared STEM major freshman, sophomore, or transfer student
  • Minimum GPA of 2.75
  • Must be finished with 1st year of majors courses by June 2016


Engineering Sciences – Dr. Saini

Program dates: June 13-July 7

Interfacial tension (IFT) between oil and water is one of the critical parameters that have considerable effect on the flow behavior of these phases (oil and water) in the tight space (pores) of hydrocarbon reservoirs. In the proposed research, a simple microfluidic Y-junction device will be used for observing and studying the IFT phenomenon between the moving oil and water phases that are of petroleum engineering interest. A microfluidic Y-junction device facilitates the formation of oil droplets in the continuous and moving water phase that can be captured and analyzed for determining the IFT between the two phases. The method uses the capillary number based IFT measurement approach thus eliminating the need of direct density measurements for both oil and water phases that are often required in conventional IFT measurement methods such as the capillary rise method or the pendant drop method. In the proposed research, a commercially available microfluidic Y-junction device will be used for building a custom oil-water IFT experimental setup. Both decane and dodecane will be used for representing the oil phase while deionized water and standard sodium chloride solutions will be used as the water phase in the IFT experiments. The collected experimental data will be compared with the published IFT values for above mentioned standard oil-water system. The calibrated system will then be used for studying the IFT behavior of more complex (crude oil + reservoir water) systems at standard laboratory conditions.

Physics – Dr. Gasparyan

Program dates: June 22- July 15

In 1865, Maxwell was the first to theorize that there are electromagnetic waves that travel at the speed of light, therefore light would be considered a wave. Planck also described the relationship between the energy of a electron and the frequency of its related electromagnetic wave through E=nhf. And through Heinrich Hertz’s research in 1887, it was proven that light shared wave-like characteristics as Hertz was able to create a charge that would oscillate between a gap to emit electromagnetic radiation similar in wavelength to its original conductors. Hertz also discovered that electrons are emitted from matter when they are exposed to photons and the velocities of the electrons depend on the wavelength of the light source and not the intensity. This is known as the photoelectric effect. These projected electrons are able to create current, but in order to create this current the voltage of the apparatus must surpass a certain force that is constricting the electron, the work function (Φ), so as to give the electrons enough energy to jump from the metal. And in order to stop these free electrons from creating a current, a reverse voltage is applied the stopping potential, which is enough to stop all photoelectrons no matter the light intensity. In 1905, Einstein finally proclaimed that photons contain both wave and particle characteristics in order to explain the photoemission of electrons as light particles strike metallic bodies disrupting the flow of electrons within the metal. In order to relieve these discoveries ourselves, we used the photoelectric effect in two different experiments both testing Planck’s constant and the dual personality of light. During the MSEIP Summer Student Research Program we will focus on experiments that investigate the quantum nature of matter. We plan to study the wave-particle duality of light and investigate the photoelectric effect. We will make quantitative measurements of such fundamental constants as the speed of light, the electron charge using the Millikan oil drop experiment, and Planck's constant h. We will measure Faraday’s Rotation angle of plane polarized light through a transparent materials, demonstrating the relationship between light and electromagnetism

Geological Sciences – Dr. Miller

Program dates: July 12-August 12

Derangement, beheading, and piracy in Cenozoic drainages of the southern Sierra Nevada and the provenance of oil reservoirs in the San Joaquin Valley 

Previous studies of the provenance of San Joaquin Valley oil and groundwater reservoirs emphasized the importance of granitic plutoniclastic sediment derived from rivers in the Sierra Nevada to the east. New composition data from Cenozoic fluvial conglomerates along the southeastern side of the San Joaquin Valley indicate that the bedload of Miocene and older rivers typically contained  >70% volcanic and metamorphic lithic clasts derived from rocks in the Tehachapi Mountains and Mojave Desert. Paleocurrent, provenance, and geomorphic evidence suggests that three large river systems with headwaters in eastern California formed in Eocene, Oligocene, and late Miocene time: the Tejon, Tecuya, and Caliente Rivers, respectively, each draining into what is now the southern San Joaquin Valley, forming deltaic deposits in the Tejon, Tecuya, and Kern River Formations, respectively. Large scale fluvial and deltaic sedimentation was interrupted by three periods of drainage derangement, beheading, and piracy in the late Eocene, mid-Miocene, and late Pliocene-Quaternary, which changed sediment dispersal in the San Joaquin and brought lacustrine sedimentation to the Tehachapis and Mojave. Along the southeast margin of the San Joaquin, major river outlets, sediment sources, and deltaic deposition migrated north from Eocene to Quaternary time. To test hypotheses of paleodrainage evolution, sediment dispersal, and uplift of the Sierra Nevada, students will collect new, detailed pebble count and paleocurrent data from Tertiary fluvial conglomerates in the southeastern San Joaquin Basin, Sierra Nevada, and northern Mojave desert. We have opportunities for field work in the mountains of Kern County and eastern California and for lab work counting pebbles and making maps.

Engineering Sciences – Dr. Ampatzidis

Program dates: July 18-August 12

Would you like to have a smarter (wireless-sensor driven) and automatic watering system? Supplies of good-quality water for agriculture are expected to decrease in several regions, including San Joaquin Valley, due to climate change. Hence, there is a need for a smart irrigation system that can save a lot of the water. This system would have the ability to apply water directly where it is needed, therefore saving water and preventing excessive water runoff and leaching. In this research project, students will learn how an irrigation system works and how to:  Use and program mechatronics: micro-sensors (e.g. soil moisture, solar radiation, air temperature and humidity) and micro-electronics  Develop a wireless sensor network  Develop and build a smart irrigation system: hardware (pump, valves etc.) and software  Develop an automatic (Fuzzy logic) controller (the controller will automatically start the pump and predict the irrigation duration, based on sensor readings)

How to apply

The completed application consists of:

  • Application form
  • Personal Statement of Interest
  • 1 unofficial Transcript
  • Rank Sheet (see application form)


Deadline for applications is
April 22, 2016

Submit completed applications to:

NSME Student Center (SCI I, 116)
Attention: MSEIP-2
9001 Stockdale Highway
Bakersfield, CA 93311-1022