Nine exceptional undergraduate students had the opportunity to participate in the prestigious Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) at the KIOS Research and Innovation Center of Excellence (KIOS CoE) at the University of Cyprus, for the summer 2020 session.
This summer internship program, organized by the KIOS CoE for the 12th consecutive year, aims to promote excellence and encourage young talented students to engage in research and innovation projects, which contribute to the advancement of knowledge in the field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
The nine students, Panayiotis Aristodemou, Giannis Charalambous, Katerina Christodoulou, Michalis Kontos, Stavroulla Koumou, Soteris Manoli, Christos Stylianou, Andreas Tsouloupas and Stylianos Yiassemi worked with the KIOS Faculty and researchers on innovative projects related to intelligent transportation systems, smart water networks, next generation telecommunication networks, power systems – smart grids and integration of renewable energy sources, embedded and IoT hardware and software systems, as well as emergency response management, and health care/biomedical systems.
The young students shared their perspectives regarding their motivations for joining UROP, as well as the professional and personal skills gained from this program.
Motivations for joining UROP
The nine students joined the UROP program at KIOS CoE as an opportunity to engage in research and innovation projects and to gain useful research experience that will help them in their future professional career.
Michalis Kontos, an undergraduate student in the School of Engineering at the University of Edinburg, said: “I decided to join this program because I wanted to get involved in research. KIOS CoE is one of the leading research centers in Cyprus and from what the KIOS CoE is working on, based on articles and its website, I found interesting topics that intrigued me. Moreover, the researchers working here are some of the top graduates, either from the University of Cyprus or worldwide, hence that was also another motivation, to learn from them”.
Computer Science undergraduate student at the University of Cyprus, Andreas Tsouloupas said: “The academic and research staff of the KIOS CoE have huge experiences on their respective research fields. Thus, by participating in the UROP program I was sure that I would broaden my knowledge and gain useful experience for my future professional career”.
Stavroulla Koumou, also an undergraduate student in the Computer Science Department at the University of Cyprus added: “Personally, I enjoy research in general; it is quite interesting and never gets boring. After reading about the research projects involved in the UROP program I just knew it was a great opportunity to learn lots of stuff and make some much necessary connections in the research industry”.
Professional and personal development
The KIOS CoE UROP program is modeled on international best practices in order to encourage and develop the professional, technical, and personal skills of young talented students with the ultimate goal to contribute to research and innovation.
Panayiotis Aristodemou, an undergraduate student in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Cyprus commented: “This program has helped my professional and personal development because I learned how to do actual research in some extend. Also, problem solving was another thing I learned. Furthermore, I collaborated with many researches from KIOS which is something really useful, to be able to get feedback about the material you are working on and also learn from them. To summarize, research and communication were the most important things this program has helped me with.
Soteris Manoli, an undergraduate student in Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Surrey, placed emphasis on the interaction with other researchers from other universities/institutions, saying that he was able to exchange and discuss ideas related to specialized research. “This helped me broaden my horizons related to research methodology, presentation and mechanical design skills”, he added.
Finally, Christos Stylianou, also an undergraduate student in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Cyprus, said: “This program has helped me to develop new skills such as how to do proper research, communicate and work with different people. Furthermore, I learned more things about the topics that I’m interested in and it helped me decide how I want to proceed with my career as an engineer”.
The KIOS CoE will continue to promote research and innovation culture by delivering high-level research programs such as UROP and give unique opportunities to students to enhance their research skills.