June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
24.925.1 - 24.925.12
Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Minor Program in Nano- Science and Technology at the NSF NERC for Advanced Self- Powered Systems of Integrated Sensors and Technologies (ASSIST)The NSF Nanosystems Engineering Research Center (NERC) for Advanced Self-PoweredSystems of Integrated Sensors and Technologies (ASSIST) has developed a multidisciplinaryacademic minor in Nano-Science and Technology. ASSIST is a nano-systems center developingbody-powered, wearable, physiological and environmental monitoring systems. The center’seducation goal is to graduate students who are creative, adaptive, and innovative. Theundergraduate minor is one of the programs through which we reach that goal by increasing theeducational pipeline of talented students into nanotechnology graduate degrees and careers.The Nano-Science and Technology minor is an 18 hour program with five unique components.First is the multidisciplinary component. The minor is open to all engineering students. Therequired introductory course is a newly-developed course listed under the College ofEngineering. It introduces the fundamentals of Nano-Science and Technology to students fromall engineering backgrounds. Students must also choose at least one technical elective fromoutside of their home department. The 14 technical electives include 3- Chemical andBiomolecular Engineering, 4- Biomedical or Textiles Engineering, 1- Mechanical Engineering,3- Materials Science and Engineering, and 3-Electrical and Computer Engineering.The second unique aspect is the required course in Diversity and Global Issues in Science andTechnology. This is essential for our students from traditional engineering disciplines with lowpercentages of underrepresented minorities. As nano-scientists and engineers, our graduates willbe working closely with professionals in the medical field (where minorities are much betterrepresented) and diversity awareness will be an essential skill for them. Even within the minorprogram, diversity training is essential as students from traditionally male-dominatedengineering disciplines will be collaborating with biomedical and textiles engineers with higherminority student populations.The program also requires training in Engineering Ethics, which is essential for the rapidlyexpanding field of nano-technology. The potential societal, ethical, and safety implications ofthese technologies are not fully understood. In fact there is some argument regarding the need fora new discipline: nanoethics. Our students’ strong foundation in engineering ethics will preparethem to manage developing issues in nanoethics.The ASSIST Center’s focus on innovation and close relationships with industrial andinternational academic partners creates opportunities for undergraduates to interact within anecosystem that promotes entrepreneurship. Many of the technical electives within the minor aredeveloped by ASSIST faculty, and are therefore informed by current research within thecenter. As such, students are in close contact with ASSIST research, and will have opportunitiesto engage in undergraduate research within the center.The program’s primary outcome is impacting the dispositions and attitudes of undergraduateengineering students towards degrees and careers in nano-fields. In addition, the program willbe a recruiting tool for attracting talented students to engineering departments, thus strengtheningthe pipeline of students towards careers in nano-technology.Evaluation consists of individual course evaluations, periodic assessment of students’ attitudesand dispositions towards specific courses as well as the overall program, quantitative measuresof enrollment and retention within the program, and longitudinal studies of career choices madeby graduated students.
Veety, E. N., & Ozturk, M. C., & Escuti, M., & Muth, J., & Misra, V. (2014, June), Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Minor Program in Nano-Science and Technology at North Carolina State University Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--22858
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