Nanotechnology may be defined as (1) research or technology development at the atomic, molecular or macromolecular levels, in the length scale of approximately 1-100 nanometers; (2) creating and using structures that have novel properties or functions because of their small size; or (3) controlling or manipulating matter on the atomic scale. Like biotechnology and information technology, it is a growth industry with the potential to greatly change the world in which we live. Nanosystems engineering can be considered the branch of engineering that deals with the development of materials, devices, or systems that have features smaller than 100 nanometers (1 nanometer is a billionth of a meter), especially with the manipulation of individual molecules. The purpose of the undergraduate program at Louisiana Tech University is to prepare graduates with the knowledge and skills in integrating basic nanoscale science with engineering fundamentals to design and develop useful technology. The program combines the fundamentals of the basic sciences (chemistry, physics, and biology), engineering principles, and the practical aspects of current technological tools of nanoscience to produce engineers capable of solving special kinds of problems. In order to provide depth and focus in possible applications of nanotechnology, students select an engineering concentration area as part of their curriculum from one of the following: biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, or microsystems engineering.
Graduates with a nanosystems engineering degree will have many opportunities at the boundaries of traditional engineering due to the cross-disciplinary nature of their degree. We expect many of the graduates of this program may choose to pursue research-based careers by going on to graduate study or working at government laboratories and/or research centers. Graduates who wish to work in a commercial environment will find ever expanding opportunities in the many new nanotechnology companies that are emerging. The National Science Foundation projects "the market for nanotechnology" to be over $1 trillion annually within the next 10-15 years and has estimated that two million workers will be needed to support nanotechnology industries by 2015. Whatever the environment, commercial or research, these employment opportunities will be very exciting and at the cutting edge of technology.
The Nanosystems Engineering Program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org. Graduates of this program are encouraged to become registered professional engineers.
Nanosystems Engineering Program Educational Objectives
Graduates of the Nanosystems Engineering program are expected within a few years of graduation to have
- Established themselves as practicing professionals and/or engaged in advanced study in an engineering or related field.
- Received positive recognition and reward for the productive application of their skills and knowledge.
- Engaged in life-long learning in order to remain technically current in their chosen field.
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