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Impacting Undergraduate Nanoscience and Nanoengineering Education at North Carolina A&T State University

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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

25.721.1 - 25.721.12



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Paper Authors


Dhananjay Kumar North Carolina A&T State University

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Dhananjay Kumar is an Associate Professor of mechanical engineering at North Carolina A&T State University. His areas of research are thin films and nanomaterials. He teaches classes in materials science, advanced materials, and nanotechnology.

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Devdas M. Pai North Carolina A&T State University

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Kwadwo Mensah-Darkwa

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Robin Guill Liles North Carolina A&T State University

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Mainul Kader Faruque North Carolina A&T State University


Courtney Lambeth North Carolina A&T State University

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Courtney Lambeth, North Carolina A&T State University, is the Educational Assessment and Administrative Coordinator for the NSF Engineering Research Center for Revolutionizing Metallic Biomaterials.

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IMPACTING UNDERGRADUATE NANOSCIENCE AND NANOENGINEERING EDUCATION AT NORTH CAROLINA A & T STATE UNIVERSITY In this paper, we report our three-pronged efforts toward enhancing undergraduatenanoscience and engineering education with an emphasis on devices and systems. We are usingthe practical approach of direct engagement of the students in ongoing research in our advancedmaterials laboratories. These efforts have been primarily supported by two successive NSF NanoUndergraduate Education (NUE) projects at North Carolina A & T State University. Our firstactivity for enhancing nanoscience and nanoengineering education was to introduce simpleconcepts of nanoscience and technology into existing required undergraduate engineeringcourses. These modules covered the core concepts of nanomaterials and unique phenomena atthe nanoscale. Introducing the concepts of nanoscience and engineering at this early stage ofundergraduate education was found to positively impact student interest in registering for atechnical elective nanotechnology course that we developed as our second initiative.An interdisciplinary 3-credit nanotechnology course (Nanotechnology I) with a significanthands-on laboratory component was developed as a tech elective course for seniorundergraduates and has attracted enrollments of 20-30, primarily from our graduating class sizeof approximately 50 mechanical engineers per year. The course offers a fundamental perspectiverelated to the structure, stability and functional characteristics of nanoscale materials andsystems, and also trains students in the application of available theoretical models in theinterpretation of results. Under our third initiative, a limited number of undergraduates well-imbued with this foundational perspective were recruited and financially supported to engage ina semester-long research project related to nanotechnology. The course (Nanotechnology- II)was classified as “Independent Study” course under the department’s existing curriculum.Students were assigned to work for the entire semester with individual faculty members drawnfrom the Senior Personnel for the NUE project. The students of this class (Nanotechnology -II)were required to submit a final written report and make one mid-semester and one end-of-semester power point presentation. The students’ performance was evaluated by a panel ofexaminers consisting of all the NUE PIs. In brief, our three-pronged approach appears to haveenabled and empowered the students more effectively with the knowledge of the fundamentalsof nanoscience and engineering and proficiency to conduct research and developeconomically-viable nano-devices with innovative applications.

Kumar, D., & Pai, D. M., & Mensah-Darkwa, K., & Liles, R. G., & Faruque, M. K., & Lambeth, C. (2012, June), Impacting Undergraduate Nanoscience and Nanoengineering Education at North Carolina A&T State University Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21478

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