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Incorporating Social and Ethical Implications of Nanotechnology in the Engineering and Technology Curricula

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session


Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.850.1 - 22.850.11



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Paper Authors


Ahmed S. Khan DeVry University,Addison, Illinois Orcid 16x16

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Dr. AHMED S. KHAN is a senior Professor in the College of Engineering and Information Sciences, DeVry University, Addison, Illinois. He received his M.Sc (applied physics) from University of Karachi, an MSEE from Michigan Technological University, an MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management., and his Ph.D. from Colorado State University. His research interests are in the areas of Fiber Optic Communications, Faculty Development, Nanotechnology, Application of Telecommunications Technologies in Distance Education, and impact of Technology on Society. He teaches Wireless Engineering, Network Engineering, Fiber Optic Communications, Technology and Society, and Project Management. He also advises students on their senior design projects. He is the author of “The Telecommunications Fact Book, 2E” and co-author of “Technology and Society: Crossroads to the 21st Century,” “Technology and Society: A Bridge to the 21st Century,” and “Technology and Society: Issues for the 21st Century and Beyond.” He is a member of ASEE, and a senior member of IEEE.

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Aram Agajanian DeVry University, Chicago

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Dr. Aram Agajanian is a senior professor at DeVry University in Chicago. He holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from University of Rochester, a M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Syracuse University, a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Colorado State University. He teaches electronics and computer technology courses including LAN and WAN. He has 10 years of industrial experience in electrical engineering; his research interests include understanding the issues that affect enrollment and retention of female students in science, math, engineering and technology (SMET) and help increase the female student population in SMET fields. He is also interested in teaching methods such as brain-based teaching, constructivism, team teaching and active learning that might improve the quality of engineering education.

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Social and Ethical Implications of NanotechnologyThe projected impact of Nanotechnology has been touted as a second industrial revolution -- notthe third, fourth, or fifth, because despite similar predictions for technologies such as computersand robotics, nothing has yet eclipsed the first .Society is at the threshold of a revolution that will transform the ways in which materials andproducts are created. How will this revolution develop? The opportunities that will develop inthe future will depend significantly upon the ways in which a number of challenges are met. Aswe design systems on a nanoscale, we develop the capability to redesign the structure of allmaterials -- natural and synthetic along with rethinking the new possibilities of the reconstructionof any and all materials. Such a change in our design power represents tremendous social andethical questions. In order to enable our future leadership to make decisions for sustainableethical, economic nanotechnological development, it is imperative that we educate allNanotechnology stakeholders about the short-term and long-term benefits, limitations and risksof Nanotechnology. The social implications of Nanotechnology encompass so many fundamentalareas such as ethics, privacy, environment, and security.This paper presents an overview of new and emerging nanotechnologies and their societal andethical implications to address 21st Century challenges and issues. The discussion includes arange of different types of nanotechnologies and their potential effects and social implications onsociety.

Khan, A. S., & Agajanian, A. (2011, June), Incorporating Social and Ethical Implications of Nanotechnology in the Engineering and Technology Curricula Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18131

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