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A New Undergraduate Major in Microsystems and Nanotechnology Engineering

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Energy, the Environment, and Nano Technology

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.80.1 - 25.80.18

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Paper Authors


Harold T. Evensen University of Wisconsin, Platteville

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Hal Evensen is a professor and Program Coordinator of engineering physics at the University of Wisconsin, Platteville, where he has taught since 1999. He received his B.S. in applied physics from Michigan Technological University, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in engineering physics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He has research interests in nanoscale properties of photovoltaic materials, and has played a lead role in developing a new major in microsystems and nanotechnology engineering at UW, Platteville. He was awarded the National Academic Advising Association Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award in 2010.

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Osama M. Jadaan University of Mount Union


Tsunghsueh Wu University of Wisconsin, Platteville

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Tsunghsueh Wu has been an Assistant Professor since 2008. His research is focused on using electrochemistry to generate nanostructures, which can be applied in sensors, solar cells, and nanoelectronics.

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Yan Wu University of Wisconsin, Platteville

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Yan Wu graduated from Tsinghua University, Bejing, China, in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in precision instruments and a minor in electronics and computer yechnology. She received her M.S. degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Alabama in 1998. She received her Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in 2005. Her Ph.D. thesis work was in the area of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) with a focus on effect of space charges on micro- to nano-scale electrostatic actuation. Upon receiving her Ph.D., she worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering in the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where she collaborated with Prof. William P. King and Prof. Mark A. Shannon in multiple projects using scanning probe microscopy to study material properties. In 2009, Yan Wu joined the faculty of the Department of Chemistry and Engineering Physics at the University of Wisconsin, Platteville.

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Esther N. Ofulue

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A New Undergraduate Major in Microsystems and Nanotechnology EngineeringOur institution was approved for a new major in Microsystems andNanotechnology Engineering in April 2011. The first students began in Fall 2011,with the first new course offered in Spring 2012. The Major builds upon asuccessful multidisciplinary minor of the same name, and follows therecommendations of our industrial advisors. Its goal is to prepare engineerscapable of working in a variety of fields, who will contribute to newly identifiedneeds in public and private companies – including research and developmentwithin new and existing industries – government initiatives, and public service.The Major was developed with the efforts of faculty from several departments,plus feedback from external industrial advisors, over the course of several years.The Major has two tracks: a Bachelor of Science that aims for ABETaccreditation; and a Bachelor of Arts that offers more flexibility in technicalelectives, including courses in Chemistry and Biology, that readily accommodatesdouble-majors. This paper details the process by which the major was developed,and describes challenges such as faculty development and competition for scarceresources. In addition, we describe the program’s curriculum, budget, educationaloutcomes and objectives, and plans for the future. It is hoped that this report willaid others aiming to develop similar, multidisciplinary programs.

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