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Grad schools associated with national labs

  1. Aug 4, 2012 #1
    Hey all, I'm starting my search for mechanical engineering grad schools and I could use a few suggestions. Just, so you know a bit about me, my current niche is in energy and I have experience in combustion research, but I've also always been interested in space-related work. Maybe I could even combine the two somehow. Ideally, I'd like to end up as a researcher for a national lab or NASA or something to that effect.

    So my question is, what are some universities that have research based grad programs and have strong partnerships with national labs or other research organizations? Geographically, I'm looking at the mountain west/southwest regions. It appears that the Idaho National Lab, the National Renewable Energy Lab, and possibly Sandia do energy research, so those might be good places to start from but I'm certainly open to suggestions.

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 4, 2012 #2
    Your university doesn't necessarily need to have a relationship with a national lab as a whole. Often, the individual professors are the ones with the connections. So, pick an advisor who worked at a national lab at some point; he or she will know people who can give you an internship or help you with a collaborative project.
  4. Aug 4, 2012 #3
    Hmmm, I see what you're saying. I feel like I need to start deciding on some schools to research before I start looking for advisors though. How would I go about finding an advisor with connections to a particular lab? I'll be doing some asking around after I get back to school, but I'd like to take a more, well, systematic approach I suppose. I am an engineer after all :smile: At this point, I'd like to find some way to begin narrowing down my scope of potential schools.

    As a corollary, I haven't really looked into how to actually find a graduate research advisor yet, so any advice on that topic would also be welcome. I have a feeling it will come back to trying to find connections with my current professors though.
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