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Posted: June 30, 2009
University of Houston to offer a new hands-on nanoengineering program this fall
(Nanowerk News) The University of Houston is expanding its nanoscience and nanotechnology offerings this fall with the launch of a unique program intended to give undergraduates in-depth training and access to state-of-the-art equipment.
“At this point, the field of nanotechnology has matured so much that this kind of coursework is needed at earlier stages of education,” explained professor of electrical and computer engineering Dmitri Litvinov, who is heading up the program. “Our minor has a special emphasis on commercialization and will give undergraduates knowledge and training usually reserved for graduate students.”
With financial support from the National Science Foundation, the Cullen College of Engineering will provide two-year scholarships worth $3,000 this fall to 15 juniors who choose a nanoengineering minor to complement the degrees they’re pursuing in electrical and computer engineering, chemical and biomolecular engineering, and mechanical engineering.
The four courses in the nanoengineering minor will be taught by Cullen College of Engineering faculty members, Litvinov said, and students will get hands-on experience with nanotech instrumentation and fabrication techniques.
“The program will allow us to cross the defined borders of our particular engineering disciplines to solve new problems using nano-objects. I believe that in order to do big things in the future of engineering, we must first master working with the very small things,” said student Marlon Belleth, an electrical and computer engineering major. “Nanotechnology may provide answers to life’s greatest problems. This technology will be a major tool for engineers in the future, and I plan on getting into it sooner than later.”
The college’s dean, Joseph Tedesco, said the program will equip students for both graduate studies and careers.
“The Cullen College of Engineering has a robust, interdisciplinary group of faculty pursuing nanotechnology research,” he said. “Students participating in this program will be prepared to pursue advanced degrees in nanotechnology-related fields, as well as enter the semiconductor and hard-drive industries or the rapidly developing biomedical industry.”