Itﾒs the Little Things: Building a Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Program for Engineering Undergraduate Students
Recent advances in nanoscience and nanotechnology (NSNT) have resulted in the development of new civil and military applications and commercial opportunities. These opportunities are leading to a wide array of products and industries that hold the potential for significant economic and societal benefits. According to Lux Research, an emerging technologies consulting firm, the estimated total (public and private) global nanotechnology funding for 2012 was approximately $18.5 billion.
Therefore, an urgent need raised for training a workforce in NSNT. Since 2000, countries over have invested billions of dollars in Research/Development and education to advance nanoscale science, engineering, and Technology. Despite all these efforts, nanotechnology and nanoscience programs exist in a handful universities in USA as well as in the world.
In the University of North Dakota (UND), a mid-size research institution in the Midwest and one of two research universities located in the state of North Dakota, until 2014 there were no regularly designated courses to educate undergraduate students in nanoscience and nanotechnology.
The specific objectives of the project are to:
ﾕ Develop new courses that expose junior and senior engineering students to nanoscience and nanotechnology;
ﾕ Develop hands-on activities to train the future workforce and its expertise in nanoscience and nanotechnology;
ﾕ Help students realize the impact of NSNT and its importance on future societal and economic development.
To achieve our project goal 3 main objectives have been pursued. These objectives are:
-Development of two new courses that expose STEM engineering students to nanoscience and nanotechnology. The first course is currently being taught and the second course will be taught in spring 2015. The two courses cover basic nanoscience and nanotechnology concepts and the impact of NSNT and its importance on future societal and economic development.
-Development of several hands-on activities to train the future workforce and its expertise in nanoscience and nanotechnology.
-Development of outreach activities for minority and underrepresented groups. These activities aim to expose students from tribal colleges in the State of North Dakota to NSNT.
The outcomes of this project are:
-two nanoscience and nanotechnology courses for engineering students and STEM students in general
-Lab activities that expose students to real world problems in nanoscience and nanotechnology-activities
-Nanoscience and nanotechnology activities for minority and underrepresented groups
-Impact on UND Education Goals
UND is a Ph.D. granting research university. It is the oldest university, and one of the two largest universities in the state of North Dakota, with a total enrollment of over 16,000 in fall 2013. UND offers a variety of pr
No major challenge was encountered
N. Kaabouch, B. Tande, M. Cavalli, J. Zhao, D. Pierce, G. Marasinghe, 'NUE: Exposing Engineering Students to Nanoscience and Nanotechnology at the University of North Dakota,' Materials Education Symposium, March 26-27, 2015