Part-Time Materials Science Students Can Focus on
Nanomaterials or Biotechnology
To address the increasing need for professionals who can apply nanotechnology to their work in a wide range of industries, The Johns Hopkins University is launching a nanotechnology program for part-time graduate students.
The 10-course option is part of the Engineering and Applied Science Programs for Professionals (EPP) master's degree program in Materials Science and Engineering. It draws on the expertise of Johns Hopkins' Whiting School of Engineering faculty members, scientists at the university's Applied Physics Laboratory and industry specialists.
"Our knowledge of how materials behave at the nanoscale has increased exponentially over time, particularly in the last decade," says Robert Cammarata, chair of the Whiting School's Department of Materials Science and Engineering and chair of the EPP Materials Science and Engineering program. "At the atomic level, materials can exhibit novel behavior, so it's all about understanding and controlling that behavior."
In 1959, physicist and Nobel laureate Richard Feynman first hinted at nanotechnology with his discussion of the potential to manipulate individual atoms and molecules. Today, nanotechnology encompasses any technological development on the nanometer scale, usually in the range of 0.1 to 100 nanometers. A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter, or approximately 10 atoms, in length.
The potential uses for nanomaterials are limited only by imagination. The development of alternative fuels, improvements in computer technology through miniaturization and mass storage, and innovations in manufacturing are only three examples. Engineers and scientists are particularly intrigued by the use of nanotechnology in the medical field, including new cancer treatments and novel methods of drug delivery.
"Nanotechnology is relevant to almost every engineering and science discipline," Cammarata says. "For instance, an important new area in nanotechnology is in biological and chemical sensing, with one possible application being the improved detection of the improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, that are prevalent in Iraq."
EPP's nanotechnology study option is being launched in the fall 2006 term. Students who pursue this option can select one of two concentrations: nanomaterials and biotechnology.
The concentration in nanomaterials allows students to take relevant courses in materials science and engineering, applied physics, mechanical engineering, chemical and biomolecular engineering, and geography and environmental engineering. Some of the courses in this concentration are Introduction to Nanomaterials, Micro- and Nano-Structured Materials and Devices, Nanoelectronics: Physics and Devices, and Polymer Nanocomposites.
The biotechnology concentration emphasizes course work in applied biomedical engineering, as well as chemical and biomolecular engineering, and materials science and engineering. Courses in this concentration include Chemical and Biological Properties of Materials, Applications of Physics and Technology to Biomedicine, and Cellular and Tissue Engineering.
"Students in this option can also engage in work- related research that can be counted as an independent study course," Cammarata says.
For more information about the nanotechnology option, go to http://www.epp.jhu.edu/ or call 800-548-3647.
Part of the Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering, the Engineering and Applied Science Programs for Professionals offer masters degrees in 15 distinct disciplines. There are currently more than 2,200 students enrolled in EPP programs at seven education centers throughout the Baltimore/Washington area. For more information on EPP programs and functions, contact Associate Dean Allan Bjerkaas at 410-540-2960, visit the Web site at www.epp.jhu.edu.
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