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Dean's Column

Training tomorrow's nanoengineering leaders

Jeanne Ferrante, Acting Dean
Jeanne Ferrante, Acting Dean

Apple may have defined cool in the minds of many consumers with the iPod, but the nano version, isn't nano. It's just a pint-sized iPod.

Nanoengineering is more than a trendy-sounding name of the sixth department in the Jacobs School. The curriculum of the Department of NanoEngineering, home of our chemical engineering program, will address fundamental chemical and physical issues that arise when engineers work at the nanoscale. The country needs engineers rigorously trained in this area to address the challenges of assembling all kinds of new high performance inorganic, organic, and composite materials into higher order materials and devices.

Our industry partners have strongly supported this new department and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the bulk of employment growth for chemical engineers will be in specialty areas such as nanotechnology.

While a dozen or so U.S. universities offer baccalaureate or graduate programs and courses in nanoscale science and engineering, ours is the first department that will address research and undergraduate and graduate education in a comprehensive way. As a result, the graduates from our Department of NanoEngineering will become leaders in the evolving nanotechnology industry and benefit new and existing enterprises in the region and the nation.

The five faculty members on the NanoEngineering Department leadership team and other faculty members who will join them have been exploring the properties and behaviors of a wide range of nanoscale engineering problems. From biomedical nanotechnology to nanotechnologies for energy conversion and from computational nanotechnology to novel nanomaterials, the NanoEngineering faculty will foster the kind of stimulating multidisciplinary environment where cutting-edge discoveries are made.

This innovative approach goes to the heart of the Jacobs School 's style of research and education. The newest department, like the other five, fulfills the Jacobs School 's mission to educate tomorrow's technology leaders and to conduct leading edge research that benefits society. We're confident that our graduates will solve many problems that we can not even foresee today.

Jeanne Ferrante, Acting Dean

Jeanne Ferrante
Acting Dean

Jacobs School Dean Frieder Seible in September started a three-month sabbatical at Bauhaus University Weimar as part of the Alexander von Humboldt Prize.

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