Since the summer of 2006, the department of Mechanical Engineering at Oakland University (OU) has been organizing a research experience for undergraduates (REU) program that has been successful at recruiting underrepresented undergraduates in engineering — women in particular. Funded in 2006–2009 and in 2010–2013 through the National Science Foundation REU program and the Department of Defense ASSURE program, this summer REU program focuses on automotive and energy-related research projects. The main purpose of this paper is to share our 6-year experience of organizing and running a summer REU program and to report on the outcomes and short/medium-term assessment results of the program. Also included are some recommendations that we would make to further enhance the success of similar REU programs. We believe that this type of information could prove to be of value to other REU program directors and faculty seeking to organize similar programs.

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