NanoProfessor, a division of NanoInk, Inc. focused on nanotechnology education, launched its NanoProfessor Nanoscience Education Program at Dakota County Technical College (DCTC), in Rosemount, Minn. Once training is completed, students in the DCTC program will possess the knowledge and hands-on experience needed to pursue a career in nanotechnology. DCTC offers a two-year AAS Degree in Nanoscience and was the first two-year technical college to offer a multi-disciplinary nanoscience AAS degree. The NanoProfessor program will provide in-depth experimental opportunities for students in the first semester of the program. Comparable hands-on nanotechnology education programs have traditionally only been available at 4-year universities with graduate programs.
“Nanotechnology is a growing aspect of virtually every industry in Minnesota, the U.S. and the world, and it will require a workforce that has a fundamental knowledge of nanotechnology and the hands-on skills to complete the nanotech-oriented jobs of today and the future. Exclusivity to an education in nanotechnology is not the answer,” said Deb Newberry, director of the Nanoscience Technology Program at DCTC. “Together with NanoProfessor, Dakota County Technical College is helping meet this demand by creating opportunities for our students that previously they could only dream about.”
The NanoProfessor program is divided into units alternating between classroom lectures and hands-on lab work. Topics covered include Nanotechnology Basics, NanoPhysics, NanoChemistry, NanoBiology, EHS issues, and the evolution of nanotechnology. During the hands-on lab-work, DCTC students are learning the fundamentals for making custom-engineered, nanoscale structures that are used for applications in the areas of consumer packaging, forensics, medicine, and biotechnology. Students are using nanotechnology fabrication techniques such as Dip Pen Nanolithography and working with NanoInk’s NLP2000 Desktop NanoFabrication System, an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM), an advanced Light Emitting Diode (LED) Fluorescence Microscope, and various nanoscale materials used today by nanotechnology experts.
“I am excited to be part of the NanoProfessor Program at Dakota County Technical College, because the curriculum and lab-work are providing me with a great foundation to pursue a career in nanotechnology,” said Kelley McDonald, a student enrolled in DCTC’s AAS Degree program and participating in the NanoProfessor Nanoscience Education Pilot Program. “I’m also gaining valuable hands-on experience using the same equipment that many professionals are currently using, which will help make me more attractive to prospective employers.”
“In order for the United States to remain competitive in the global economy, we need to focus on innovations such as nanotechnology that will help create jobs,” said Dean Hart, executive vice president of NanoInk. “Just as importantly, we need a workforce that will be able to fill these nanotech-focused jobs. Deb Newberry and DCTC are true pioneers in educating and preparing the masses to help secure our Nation’s leadership and competitiveness in the promising field of nanotechnology and NanoProfessor is honored to be a part of their exciting program.”
By 2015, the National Science Foundation has projected that the world will require a skilled workforce of more than two million nanotechnologists. The field of nanotechnology is already pioneering breakthroughs and innovations in the areas of energy, medicine and electronics, which will have a profound impact on lives in the 21st century.
Date: February 23, 2010