Student Recruiting Policies
Potential candidates should demonstrate that they have read my work, and thought about why they are a good fit for my lab. The available openings change frequently, depending on a variety of factors like time, available funding, etc. I am always happy to talk about what opportunities may be available for PhD, Masters (MS and ME), Undergraduate, and Postdoctoral Researchers. Please see below for special instructions that may be applicable.
Applicants to UMD, BS
If you are reading this as an undergradute applicant then I am impressed, please email me. Also, take a look at the list of opportunities available to current UMD undergrads that appears below.
Applicants to UMD - PhD and MS
Please contact me directly, and please do this prior to submitting your application to UMD. If you have already received an offer of research assistantship from another professor in the UMD Dept. Aerospace Engineering then I will not consider your application. To avoid this problem just let us know that you are interested in working with multiple people before you are accepted (get an email response from all professors involved - simply writing names down on the application does not count). If we know this, then it is possible for us to submit simultaneous offers from multiple professors when (if) you are accepted to UMD. This ensures that everybody has the same expectations. Please note UMD's admission requirements include minimum allowable values for English Language Proficiency Requirements, Grade Point Average, and GRE Test Scores.
Current UMD Students - BS
I work with undergraduates in a variety of ways: ENAE100 projects, honors research projects, independent study, paid summer internship, paid semester internship, etc. I prefer that people seeking paid internships first build up momentum on a project by doing an independent study, ENAE100 project, honors research project, etc. Doing an independent study or other project does not guarantee that I will eventually hire you as a paid intern. However, if your research goes well then I will often want to. If you are an Aerospace or Computer Science student then you can sign up to take an independent study with me for Aerospace or Computer Science elective credit. If you are an Aerospace Engineering Student and would like to do a paid summer internship in my lab then we can look into the AEROS program, even if you have not worked with me before.
Current UMD Students - PhD and MS
If this applies to you, then you are either enrolled in another department or working with one of my colleagues in the Dept. Aerospace Engineering. I known that there are rare cases in which a student may wish to switch departments or advisors. Given that my lab is young, I am very focused on research that supports my own agenda. I do not currently have the resources to advise on unrelated topics. You can always contact me to chat, but you should expect that I will be reluctant to work with you.
Current UMD Students - ME (Master of Engineering)
Your best option for working with me is to set up an independent study through OAEE. I (very very rarely) have research funding for paid ME internships. However, I prefer that people seeking paid internships first build up momentum on a project by doing an independent study. Doing an independent study does not guarantee that I will eventually hire you as a paid intern. However, if your research goes well then I will often want to. I am reluctant to let ME students work in my lab outside of independent study or a paid internship.
Visiting Students, Interns, Researchers - BS, MS, ME, PhD, etc.
If you currently attend another institution and are interested in visiting my lab for research intern... That's Great! But you will need to apply for your own funding. There are two reasons for this. First, I prefer to support UMD students with my own funds. Second, I selfishly guard my own time. Many universities and governments have opportunities that facilitate visiting scholarship or research internships. I encourage you to learn about these opportunities and apply for them. My invitation for your visit will be contingent on your ability to win such an award. To receive an invitation, undergraduate and graduate students outside of UMD must obtain such a scholarship/award - even if the student can afford to pay all expenses out of pocket. The act of advising a student or intern requires a significant time investment from me; time with which I could be doing other research, preparing lectures, advising other students, writing grants, or working on service tasks. Whether or not another institution is willing to support a visiting student is a heuristic (nonadmissable, imperfect, yet simple) that I use to determine if my time is likely to be well spent on the task of training and advising that student. Receiving an award does not guarantee an invitation, please contact me prior to applying for an award to verify that I have space in my lab.
High School Students
I have previously worked with a handful of High School students through a variety of internship programs. Many schools in the DC area and beyond have opportunities that enable qualified high school students to work in a university setting. If you have access to such a program and would like to work with me, then feel free to reach out. At this time I will only consider people that are part of an existing program. For example, the T.J. mentorship program, Pinhead internship program, etc.
Postdoctoral Research Positions
Please contact me directly and we can talk about opportunities. Note that opportunities for postdocs tend to be available less frequently than for PhD and MS students.
Copyright 2008-2019, Michael W. Otte