Student has enlightening summer in REU

October 25, 2022

Myles Cline, a senior at Trine University, joined professors Allan Guymon, Ed Gillan and Amanda Haes, specialists in biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, and chemistry, for a nanoscience and nanotechnology REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) at the University of Iowa. 

The focus was on ultraviolet (UV) to terahertz (THz) photonics research. The REU sought to design photonic devices that can detect, generate, or even manipulate light. Myles was tasked with creating an optic to improve surgical lighting for the eye. 

Myles spent most of his days working on a ray tracing program. It modeled the passage of light through an eye, and he had to determine a way to improve it. 

“In the end, I was able to help produce an optic that was able to enhance the surgical lighting for the eye,” he said. He designed the optic using COMSOL, the same FEA software he used for the ray tracing simulations. The parabola-shaped optic was the first, as there was no pre-existing optic. He was able to test the prototype optic on a cadaver eye. 

Myles saw the opportunity on the National Science Foundation (NSF) website and decided to apply because nanotechnology sounded like an interesting topic. The experience was exciting. 

“Being able to see the process of research directly, and how fast my project in particular was going, was wonderful,” he said. 

Myles enjoyed his experience in the REU program, and he sees it as greatly beneficial toward his future. 

“Having experience in a graduate level setting will be useful, as I aim to obtain a Ph.D.,” he explained. 

He encourages others to consider applying for the REU program. 

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