Approach to an interdisciplinary bionanotechnology education program: International network perspective

A. Vaseashta, Joseph Maria Kumar Irudayaraj, S. Vaseashta, I. Stamatin, A. Erdem

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Materials in reduced dimensions demonstrate size dependence and may exhibit properties different from the bulk. Nanomaterials are a fundamentally and entirely new class of materials with remarkable electrical, optical, and mechanical properties, thus offering unique applications. With a 9.7% increase in FY 2004-05 private sector investments and an expected worldwide labor force shortage, education and training has become a key component of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI). The slow response by the academic community to develop nanotechnology curriculum is evidenced by the small number of universities offering fundamental undergraduate level courses in nanoscience and nanotechnology. There is a strong need to develop cohesive undergraduate curriculum to equip the future engineers, scientists, and researchers charged with commercializing nanotechnology applications. We are in the process of developing and implementing some core courses and laboratory modules, which can easily adapt to either a major or minor in nanotechnology, nano-biotechnology, or nanoscience programs. The course modules are being developed by a multi-disciplinary team consisting of faculty in Physics, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Materials Engineering, and Molecular Biology at universities in the U.S., Europe, and the Consortium of South East European Network on Nanoscience and Technology (COSENT). The joint effort specifically addresses an undergraduate curriculum in nanotechnology with courses emphasizing applications in biological systems and agriculture, through hands-on modules and experimental kits. Selected course and laboratory modules are being developed to be affordable, flexible, accessible, and appealing to a diverse student population crossing basic sciences, life sciences, agriculture, and engineering departments. Internet ready, multimedia intensive curriculum and assessment modules will include self-directed individualized learning modules as well as team-based components capitalizing on collaborative learning to address complex problems and tasks. The capital cost and site sensitivity of much of the equipment used within nanoscience courses often limits its distribution to large research centers, despite the need for it in many disperse educational programs. The creation of this seamless integration will promote and encourage an international exchange of students and ideas within interdisciplinary research. We will present our unique approach to delivery of education and training at all levels employing converging technologies to an international audience and receive feedback to enhance the effectiveness of the program to better educate the task force of tomorrow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEducation in Nanoscience and Engineering
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes
Event2006 MRS Spring Meeting - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Apr 20 2006Apr 21 2006

Publication series

NameMaterials Research Society Symposium Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0272-9172


Other2006 MRS Spring Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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