I believe that undergraduate students who take part in the SPUR program should perform relevant, achievable, and interesting research. The mentor plays a big role in making this possible. Relevant research requires that the mentor provides worthwhile research to the students, rather than simple toy problems that have no actual bearing to the research community. Achievable research requires that the mentor understands the background abilities of the student, plans the project out accordingly, and provides adequate support to the student so they can learn the necessary skills and topics to succeed. Interesting research requires that the mentor presents the topic in a way that appeals to the student by considering their background and interests.
It is my philosophy that for students to excel at research, there needs to be a combination of time spent self-studying and learning from the mentor. For this reason, I will meet with the student weekly to assess their progress and provide important input and lessons. The student will be guided on which topics they should learn and be provided with the relevant sources for this knowledge but are always encouraged to communicate with the mentor if they are struggling. This can occur through additional meetings or email depending on the preferences of the student.
One of the most important qualities in a successful engineer is the ability to clearly present technical results. Students will be offered opportunities to hone their skills both in meetings with the mentor, as well as in monthly meetings with the entire research group. I believe providing constructive feedback to students regarding their presentations allows them to better develop their skills.