Posted: September 7, 2010

Carnegie Mellon to create new program of study in environmental impact of nanotechnology

(Nanowerk News) Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and Howard University in Washington, D.C. have received $3.15 million over the next five years from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to launch a new interdisciplinary program in the environmental effects and policy implications of nanotechnology.
Funding comes from a new NSF program called the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT), which enables creation of interdisciplinary programs educating U.S. Ph.D. scientists and engineers.
"The IGERT program at Carnegie Mellon and Howard will operate at the interface of science and environmental policy to produce an environmentally and policy literate generation of nanoscience professionals with the skills needed to create novel nanotechnologies and to assess and manage environmental risks associated with nanomaterials," said Jeanne M. VanBriesen, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Carnegie Mellon who will lead the program.
Graduate students from multiple disciplines will participate in a two-year-training program to learn the fundamentals of their core disciplines and gain proficiency in the analysis of environmental issues pertaining to nanotechnology, decision science, and policy-analysis in new nanotechnology-themed courses. Following this foundation, students will conduct research at the interface of policy and nanotechnology. Students also will participate in international laboratory exchange projects as well as internships at corporations active in nanotechnology.
VanBriesen will be joined in the program development and implementation by a cadre of professors including: Gregory Lowry, a professor in civil and environmental engineering at Carnegie Mellon and associate director of the Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology CEINT; Elizabeth Casman, associate research professor for the department of engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon; and Kimberly L. Jones and Lorraine Fleming, both professors in civil and environmental engineering from Howard University.
Additional Carnegie Mellon faculty participants in this NSF-funded project include: Allen Robinson, a professor in the department of mechanical engineering; Kelvin Gregory, an assistant professor in civil and environmental engineering, Kris Dahl, assistant professor in the department of biomedical engineering and chemical engineering; Michael Bockstaller, an associate professor in the department of materials science, Mohammad Islam, an assistant professor in the departments of materials science and chemical engineering and Paul Fischbeck, a professor in the departments of social and decision sciences and engineering and public policy. Additional Howard University faculty participants include Gary Harris, a professor of electrical and computer engineering.
Source: Carnegie Mellon