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Integrating Micro And Nanoscale Manufacturing In Engineering Education

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Materials and Manufacturing Processes

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.763.1 - 9.763.16

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Paper Authors

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Hari Janardanan Nair

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Frank Liou

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session: 1463


Abstract MEMS or Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems are miniaturized mechanical, electrical, and biological devices and systems with a dimensional range within a few micrometers. They represent a novel multidisciplinary technology field with unlimited potential for a wide variety of markets including automobiles, health care, telecommunication, information technology, medicine, defense and space. The current level of development of MEMS is comparable to what the Integrated Circuit or the IC industry achieved three decades ago. Future innovations and advancement are critically dependent on the integration of knowledge from different engineering and science disciplines. Creating and sustaining a work force having requisite interdisciplinary knowledge and skills in engineering, science and micro-fabrication is a major challenge faced by the academic community. The objective of this paper is to summarize the emerging need for incorporating a MEMS based micro-nano level interdisciplinary manufacturing engineering curriculum. The current level of MEMS based education available within various U.S. universities is also analyzed.

I. Introduction to MEMS/Micro-Electro-Mechanical-Systems

MEMS or Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems are devices that have a characteristic length of less than 1mm but more that 1µm, and combine mechanical and electrical components. They are fabricated using integrated circuit (IC) batch processing techniques and/or novel techniques extended from IC processing. These ‘smart’ devices including micro-sensors and micro-actuators have the ability to sense, control and actuate on the micro scale, and generate effects on the macro scale1-4. The acronym MEMS, for Micro-Electromechanical Systems, was coined in the United States to describe novel, sophisticated mechanical systems on a silicon substrate, such as micro electric motors, resonators and gears. These miniaturized machines or systems are popularly known as Micro-machines in Japan and MST or Microsystem Technology in Europe. The worldwide market for MEMS based micro-system technologies is already a multi-billion dollar business annually and various market analysis studies show that it will grow rapidly and become one of the major industries of the 21st century reaching more than $50 billion by 2005 5-6.

“Procs of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2004, American Society for Engineering Education”

Janardanan Nair, H., & Liou, F. (2004, June), Integrating Micro And Nanoscale Manufacturing In Engineering Education Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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