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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."
For more information about the nanoengineering program, visit www.egr.uh.edu/nemo/curriculum.html.
About University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas’ premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 36,000 students.
About the Cullen College of Engineering
UH Cullen College of Engineering has produced five U.S. astronauts, 10 members of the National Academy of Engineering and degree programs that have ranked in the top 10 nationally. With more than 2,600 students, the college offers accredited undergraduate and graduate degrees in biomedical, chemical, civil and environmental, electrical and computer, industrial and mechanical engineering. It also offers specialized programs in aerospace, materials, petroleum engineering and telecommunications.
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