Nanotechnology advances the utilization of materials and devices with extremely small dimensions. Nanotechnology is a visionary field, as micro- and nano-structured devices impact all fields of engineering, including microelectronics (smaller, faster computer chips), mechanical engineering (micromotors and actuators), civil engineering (“smart”, self-healing nanocomposite materials for buildings and bridges), and biomedical engineering (biosensors and tissue engineering).
Materials science is central to nanotechnology because the properties of materials can change dramatically when things are made extremely small. This observation is not simply that we need to measure such properties or develop new processing tools to fabricate nanodevices. Rather, our vision is that the wide (and sometimes unexpected) variety of phenomena associated with nanostructured materials allow us to envision radically new devices and applications that can only be made with nanostructured materials. The nanotechnology track encompasses a curriculum designed to train students in the fundamental interdisciplinary principles of materials science, including physics and chemistry, and also to expose students to the forefront of nanomaterials research through elective classes and research laboratories. In recognition of completion of the Nanotechnology Track, a student may elect to have his or her academic transcript annotated to indicate a specialty in nanotechnology.
To receive commendation for completion of the Nanotechnology Track, the student must complete two electives, whose subject matter is some aspect of Nanotechnology, and complete a nanotechnology-related senior design project. Approval of electives must be made by a student’s academic advisor prior to taking the courses, and approval of the senior design project must be pre-approved by the senior design instructor.