Students who join RISE will select two primary areas within the three “areas” of Research, Instruction, or Service in Engineering. In their junior year they will concentrate on one area (Research, for example) and in their senior year they will concentrate on another (Instruction, for example). The choice of concentration areas is entirely up to the student, and RISE program faculty will help to pair students with appropriate faculty mentors. Students are encouraged to interact with their department's RISE representative to identify their activities and to be matched with possible R, I, or SE activities. There is a nominal commitment of 10 hours per week for each semester of RISE activity. RISE students are strongly recommended to consider Service in Engineering as one of their concentrations, or even to focus on this for their entire two years in the program. This could include working on STEM projects in elementary schools or participating in Engineers without Borders. It is quite acceptable for RISE students to engage in Service in Engineering for their entire two years with a commensurate reduction in the time that they spend on Research and Instruction activities. The time spent on each activity will be negotiated with the faculty mentor.

Selection will occur in the sophomore year based upon academic performance (GPA), leadership qualities demonstrated during the first three semesters of academic study, and faculty recommendations. Students who wish to enter the RISE program must have at least four semesters remaining before they plan to graduate. Students can be nominated by faculty and staff, and can also apply to be considered for membership in the program. Students who apply should have a GPA of at least 3.3 and need to supply two brief recommendations from faculty. These recommendations can just take the form of e-mails to the program director, Professor Kenneth Kiger (

RISE students are required to take a 1-credit leadership seminar in each of their two years in the RISE Program. These seminars are ENES 304 (first year) and ENES 305 (second year). In the Fall 2018 semester there will be leadership seminars every two or three weeks on Tuesdays between 5 and 6. Attendance at these seminars is mandatory. Students who have a scheduling conflict or will be studying abroad should not request admission to the RISE Program. Upon graduation RISE students will receive a medallion to wear across the stage at Commencement with their name and their year of graduation on the back and RISE Leadership Academy on the front.

Students may be able to earn independent study credits, but will not routinely be paid a stipend for their RISE activities. Those students who focus on Instruction can apply either through the Keystone Program or through their own Department to become UGTFs, in which case they can receive a stipend. RISE students who select Instruction as one of their leadership areas can be involved in running a tutoring center to assist students in their 3rd and 4th years in much the same way as the Keystone TAs and UGTFs run the Keystone center for the 1st and 2nd years at present. Students doing Research are encouraged to ask if their selected research mentors can pay them for their research participation. Former students have been paid from REU grants or granted independent study research credit. Students who opt to receive independent study credit for their Research activities cannot also receive a stipend during a semester in which they earn academic credit. Service in Engineering, such as working with the public schools, serving as an Ambassador, advisor, or mentor should be purely voluntary in nature, and usually there will be no stipend for it.


Past research has focused on a range of topics, from miniature engine testing to emulated burning rates and beam wander simulation models. Students will work with their selected mentor to determine research participation. 


Students may participate in the Keystone Teaching Fellow Program  to assist with ENES courses or in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Teaching Fellow Program to assist with ENEE courses. These positions are dedicated to ensuring students receive the best learning experiences. 

Service in Engineering

RISE participants are strongly recommended to consider Service as one or both of their concentrations. Clark School Ambassadors encourage prospective students to enroll in STEM subjects. Participants in Engineers without Borders collaborate to design and implement engineering projects. Tutors at Northwestern High School Mathematics Tutoring Program help low-income students with math in weekly sessions. Tutors with Academic Success and Tutorial Services provide a collaborative learning environment for UMD undergraduates.      

Program Address

Keystone Program
2108 J.M. Patterson Building #083
College Park, MD 20742-3011

Contact Us

Nelpe Wachsman
2108 J.M. Patterson Bldg.
Phone: 301-405-6845


From Capital Beltway (I-95/495)

Take exit 25B (Route 1, College Park exit) from the Beltway. (If coming from Baltimore on I-95, take exit 27, Route 1, College Park exit). Stay in the right lane on the exit ramp. Go 2 miles and turn RIGHT on Campus Drive (the Main University Entrance). You will see a "YIELD" sign immediately. Turn right at the yield sign onto Paint Branch Drive. Go about 1 block and turn left onto Paint Branch Drive. Take the first left onto Stadium Drive. Continue through the "STOP" sign. Take the first left after the stop sign into the parking garage. Metered spaces are on the bottom two floors only.

The J.M. Patterson Building is diagonally across from the Regents Drive/Stadium Drive intersection.

Please refer to the campus map for a better sense of location.