Independent Study Projects

Independent Studies projects can be service or research type. To meet the requirement for the minor, a project must:

  • Be pre-approved by the Humanitarian Engineering and Computing Steering Committee (See FAQ for approval process)
  • Have a service or humanitarian focus
  • Be supervised by an instructor
  • Earn a minimum of two credit hours as an approved Independent Study course.

Service or Humanitarian Focused Project

The service or humanitarian focused project must meet all the same requirements listed above including being pre-approved by the HE&C steering committee. Some opportunities for projects include (but are not limited to): a service or humanitarian focused project with the Center for Social Entrepreneurship; a Grand Challenge Scholars project with a service or humanitarian focus; a project with the Over-the-Rhine DsignBuild Studio.

Students may also fill the requirement by participating in an Engineers Without Borders (EWB) club sponsored project. EWB's recent project included building a reservoir for water in Rwanda, Africa for the Munini Primary School. EWB also helps promote sustainability within the local community. Check out the EWB website for more information.

Research Projects

The following activities are examples of current research projects. Students are encourage to contact faculty members leading the research.

Research Project through Miami University Center for Assistive Technology (MUCAT)

The Miami University Center for Assistive Technology is an interdisciplinary center working with Scripps Gerontology Center as well as the Center for Social Entrepreneurship in the Farmer School of Business. Research projects within the center are focused on socially relevant problems and development of engineering solutions. For more information about how to get involved, visit the MUCAT website.

Some examples of current projects are:

  • Detecting risk of falls in elderly (a collaboration between MME and Scripps)
  • (Re) Design of a cane for walking (an undergraduate research project)
  • Design of a controller for surgical tools (a collaboration with industry)
  • Augmented reality tools for people with color blindness (a computing and engineering project)
  • Energy harvesting for cardiac pacemakers (a collaboration with Technical University of Eindhoven, The Netherlands)
  • Advanced material design for bio-implants (a collaboration with industry)
  • Tissue engineering for wounded soldiers (a biomedical engineering application)

Research Project with a Faculty Member

Students can work on a project that has a humanitarian or service focus with a faculty member. There are various projects throughout the departments of the College of Engineering and Computing that could be approved by the HE&C committee.


  • 3D Scaffolds for Bone and Cartilage Engineering
  • Development of a Water Purification System Prepared from Renewable Keratin Sources
  • 3D Printing of Hydrogel Materials with Bio-mimetic Properties
  • Quantum Dots and Phenylboronic Acid for Glucose Sensor


  • Color vision research (assistive devices for colorblind people)
  • Forecasting the spread of epidemics, like the Zika epidemic.
  • Miami-Illinois Language: User Extensible Dictionary
  • Wound-care training project ( augmented reality is used to improve the realism of the simulation)


  • Solar light simulator for photovoltaic based power electronics test fixture
  • Wide bandgap based power electronics for electrified transportation
  • High voltage DC power distribution system for fusion energy reactor
  • Benign human behavior and its impact on energy consumption and energy policy


  • Design and implementation of cycle for developmental disabilities
  • Redesign of pediatric sippy cup
  • Design of a game system to support cerebral palsy research
  • Design of a virtual reality game system for haptics research