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A New Interdisciplinary Engineering Course on Nanoscale Transport Phenomena

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Micro-Technology and Nanotechnology

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.80.1 - 23.80.24



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Paper Authors

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Zhiyong Gu University of Massachusetts, Lowell


Bridgette Maria Budhlall University of Massachusetts

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I received my B.Sc. degree with Honors in Natural Sciences, double-majoring in Analytical Chemistry and Biochemistry, from the University of the West-Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad in 1992. I spent two years working as an R&D Chemist developing vinyl-acrylic latex for pressure sensitive adhesive applications and styrene-acrylic emulsions for architectural coatings.

My doctoral work was conducted at Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA. with Professor Mohammed El-Aasser in the Emulsion Polymers Institute in the Department of Chemical Engineering as part of the Polymer Science and Engineering program. I received my Ph.D in 2000 for a dissertation entitled: "Grafting Reactions in the Emulsion Polymerization of Vinyl Acetate using Poly(vinyl alcohol) as Emulsifier".

Upon graduation, I was hired into the Ph.D Career Development Program at Air Products & Chemicals, Inc., PA. where I conducted three one-year rotations in each of the three divisions: Polymer Chemicals Technology, Corporate R&D Science & Technology Center (CSTC) and Gases and Electronics Advanced Technology. I gained experience developing photoresist polymers for nanolithography and supported the development of a high-throughput, integrated monolith catalyst reactor system, the Monolith Loop Reactor. I spent the next three years in CSTC as the Project Leader for the High Refractive Index Fluids for 193nm Lithography Program where I was responsible for invention, implementation, and support of advanced immersion fluids for 193nm Immersion Lithography. I also lead and coordinated the Stage Gate of this program, including the development and feasibility efforts between Electronics R&D, Corporate R&D and Electronics Business Development team members.

In 2006, I was awarded an International Network of Emerging Science & Technology (INEST) Fellowship from Phillip Morris USA to spend the year working with Professor Orlin D. Velev in the department of Chemical and Bimolecular Engineering at North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC. There, I synthesized novel polymer microcapsules with core-shell morphology comprising of Au@Polymer that are microwave-, photo- and thermo-responsive.

I began the 2007 academic year as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Plastics Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. I am a member of the Nanomanufacturing Center at UML, where my Polymer Colloids group studies the chemistry and physics of nanocolloidal systems. These colloidal entities are assembled and fabricated into more complex supracolloidal structures. I am interested in the synthesis of nanostructured materials with controlled morphologies specifically designed to trigger and control motility and assembly, the development of methods for self-assembly of colloidal matter, the understanding of the molecular interactions involved between molecular and colloidal building blocks and potential macroscopic substrates. I find it important that my technology be scaled-up and is of use in a variety of industrial applications ranging from biosensors, chemical sensors and nanofluidic devices, smart coatings, electronic inks and adhesives, drug delivery systems, polymers for cellular transport and analysis and for biomedical devices.

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Hongwei Sun University of Massachusetts, Lowell

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Hongwei Sun is an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML). He graduated with a Ph. D. from Institute of Engineering Thermophysics at Chinese Academy of Science in 1998. Prior to joining UML in 2005, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at University of Rhode Island (URI) and later a research scientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His research interests are in the areas of Power Microelectromechanical systems (Power MEMS), MEMS acoustic sensors, and microscale cooling systems. His other interests are in micro/nano fabrication technology, fundamental understanding of micro/nanoscale fluidics and their applications in biological analysis and energy areas.

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Carol Forance Barry University of Massachusetts Lowell

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Carol Barry is a Professor of Plastics Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and an Associate Director of the NSF NSEC - the Center for High-rate Nanomanufacturing. Her research interests include extrusion, injection molding, novel processing techniques and analysis, and nano plastics processing. She received her doctor of engineering degree in plastics engineering from the University of Massachusetts Lowell and her bachelor of science in chemistry from Boston College.

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Alfred A. Donatelli University of Massachusetts, Lowell


Jill Hendrickson Lohmeier University of Massachusetts Lowell

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Dr. Lohmeier is an assistant professor in the Graduate School of Education at The University of Massachusetts Lowell. She specializes in educational program evaluation.

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A New Interdisciplinary Engineering Course on Nanoscale Transport Phenomena A new interdisciplinary engineering course, “Nanoscale Transport Phenomena forManufacturing Nanodevices”, was recently developed. This course focuses on the principles ofnanoscale transport phenomena needed for manufacturing nanodevices and aims to close a largegap between nanoscience and commercial production of nanotechnology products. The coursealso helps to integrate the interdisciplinary knowledge required for designing and manufacturingnanodevices into undergraduate curricula. To meet these unique needs and challenges, fiveinstructors from three engineering departments (Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering,and Plastics Engineering) have created this interdisciplinary course. This course was offered forthe first time as an elective to seniors during the 2011 fall semester and was offered again in the2012 fall semester. The course was presented through lectures, hands-on laboratory exercises,demonstration experiments, and a final design project. In this paper, we discuss the lecture topicsand eight hands-on laboratory experiments that were developed into modules to complementlectures in fluid mechanics, heat transfer, mixing, reaction engineering, electroosmosis,electophoresis, and manufacturing methods for micro and nanoscale devices. We also show thefinal project designs for the nanodevices or nanosystems that were finished by student teams atthe end of the course. Finally, we show the assessment results from the pre-post student surveysas well as faculty interviews. This new interdisciplinary course will better prepare undergraduates for employment focusedon designing and manufacturing nano/microfluidic systems, lab-on-a-chip devices, electronicsdevices, medical devices, and other emerging technologies. The impact of this senior-levelcourse will significantly enhance the “Nanomaterials Engineering Option” in the ChemicalEngineering Department undergraduate curriculum as well as the medical device industry focusin the Plastics Engineering Department, and can be used in the accelerated BS-MS programwhich is popular in the College of Engineering. The course will be available to the chemical,mechanical, and plastics engineering seniors each year. Our lab modules can be exported tofreshman introductory engineering courses in the College of Engineering. In addition, themicroscale fluid mechanics and heat transfer experiments may be incorporated into theundergraduate chemical engineering Unit Operations Laboratory courses.

Gu, Z., & Budhlall, B. M., & Sun, H., & Barry, C. F., & Donatelli, A. A., & Lohmeier, J. H. (2013, June), A New Interdisciplinary Engineering Course on Nanoscale Transport Phenomena Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19094

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