Partnership for Research and Education in Materials (PREM)




PREM:  A Partnership Between CSULA and the Center for Nanoscale Science at Penn State, an NSF Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC)


Welcome to CSULA PREM! 

Here you will find information on California State University's partnership with Penn State Univeristy in order to establish a state-of-the-art master-of-science degree program in materials science at CSULA, while providing a bridge structure for students to either continue on to Ph.D. studies at Penn State, or other leading institutions, or to establish a solid career after college graduation. 

This partnership also manages a summer research experience for academically talented students from four high schools where enrollment of Hispanic-heritage students is more than 95 percent. Students in this program will explore applying discoveries in materials science to everyday applications.

PREM Group Photo

PREM faculty, students, and external advisory board. 


Mission Statement

The mission of the CSULA and PSU Partnership is:

To enhance the materials science and engineering research and educational program at CSULA by initiating a long-lasting collaboration with Penn State and its Center for Nanoscale Science (an NSF MRSEC) leading to the creation of a Master of Science Degree in Materials Science and Engineering at CSULA.

To recruit, retain and provide a means for minority students to pursue graduate degrees in materials research.

To develop highly trained undergraduate and MS graduate students for careers in materials research via a comprehensive program involving scientific research, workshops, and faculty mentoring.

To involve talented high school students from local minority schools to conduct summer research experiences at CSULA.

To expose students to the collaborative nature of the scientific enterprise by bringing together a core group of faculty from two institutions whose scientific pursuits complement each other and which are interdisciplinary in nature.

To strengthen the core faculty conducting research in materials science and engineering with a long-term goal of broadening the materials science and engineering capabilities of the institution across multiple disciplines.

To address scientific problems necessary to solve critical societal needs of the 21st century.


Natalie presenting at PREM Retreat

Student Natalie Majaryan presenting her data to the PREM faculty from CSULA and PSU.

The CSULA-PSU PREM is a synergistic and interdisciplinary approach to carrying out materials science and engineering research and education activities.  Oscar Bernal (CSULA) and Vincent Crespi (PSU), along with 10 CSULA and 7 PSU scientists and engineers with backgrounds in chemistry, physics, mechanical engineering, and materials science and engineering are work collaboratively focusing on fundamental research projects in materials science and engineering.

A main focus of the partnership is the establishment of a Master’s of Science Degree in Materials Science and Engineering at CSULA, which will remain an asset to the university well beyond PREM funding. A rigorous student-centered educational program consisting of mentoring, advising, a yearly PREM retreat, and a high school program, will increase the pool of well-prepared students for careers in materials science and engineering. Fundamentally, this partnership will enable the development, discovery, and application of new materials and materials properties that are important to solving current societal problems.

Students at CSULA and PSU who join PREM research along side some of the best professors at both CSULA and PSU engaging in the discovery, development and application of new materials. Our students are given the opportunity to  publish their research and receive training that will help them move seamlessly on to graduate programs, Ph.D. programs, and into the work force. 

Dr. Covino speaking to PREM group at retreat

President Conivo opening up the PREM Retreat. 




Opportunities for Students

Graduate Students


Undergraduate Students


Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at Penn State, June 13 - Aug. 5, 2016 (dates are for CSULA students)

High School Students

Summer internships at CSULA open to: 

Roosevelt High SchoolGarfield High SchoolLincoln High SchoolWilson High SchoolMarc & Eva Stern Math and Science High School

Opportunities for Faculty

SEED Grant Program