DETROIT - According to the National Nano Initiative - a U.S. Government research and development initiative involving nanotechnology-related activities of 27 department and agency units - the demand for technicians and research scientists in nanotechnology-related industries is anticipated to grow significantly as nanotechnology-enabled products and processes mature.
To aid in this initiative, researchers at Wayne State University are developing an undergraduate certificate program geared toward training the next generation of nanoengineers.
The $200,000 Nanotechnology Undergraduate Education (NUE) grant, "NUE: Development of an undergraduate certificate program in nanoengineering for training the workforce of tomorrow," funded by the National Science Foundation, will prepare students for flexible employment opportunities and provide them with the necessary experience in cutting-edge technologies, said Guangzhao Mao, Ph.D., professor of chemical engineering in Wayne State's College of Engineering.
"This new certificate program will help prepare students to gain experience in the field of nanoengineering, ultimately training them on emerging technologies," said Mao. "The program will aid in meeting the growing demands of Michigan's manufacturing economy and also other high-tech industries that are settling in the state. Students in the program will gain hands-on knowledge of the field through laboratory and research components, enabling them to move from familiar subjects to less familiar research-oriented subjects."
Mao's collaborators in developing the program include Mark Ming-Cheng Cheng, Ph.D., assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering; Sandro da Rocha, Ph.D., associate professor of chemical engineering; Erand Nikolla, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemical engineering; and Yong Xu, Ph.D., professor of electrical and computer engineering.
"Nanotechnology has great potential to change our economy and improve our standard of living, just as advances in information technology have revolutionized our lives and the economy over the past two decades," said Hilary Ratner, vice president for research at Wayne State University. "This grant will provide our students with the opportunity to play an important role in another revolutionary technology by expanding their knowledge and skills beyond their traditional disciplinary training. In particular, degreed engineers can take advantage of the program for additional training, enabling them to advance their career in this growing field in Michigan and elsewhere."
The award number for this National Science Foundation grant is EEC-1343703.