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Nanotechnology Courses for General Education

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

NSF Grantees’ Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1182.1 - 26.1182.18



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Paper Authors


James E Morris Portland State University

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Jim is a Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering at Portland State University, Oregon, USA, with B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Physics from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. He has served as Department Chair at both SUNY-Binghamton and PSU, and was the founding Director of Binghamton’s Institute for Research in Electronics Packaging. Jim has held multiple visiting faculty positions around the world, notably as a Royal Academy of Engineering Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Loughborough University (UK), as a Nokia-Fulbright Fellow at the Helsinki University of Technology, and as an Erskine Fellow at the University of Canterbury (NZ). Other positions have included periods at Delphi Engineering (NZ) and IBM-Endicott (NY), industrial consulting, and as a Senior Technician at the U of S.
Jim is an IEEE Life Fellow and an IEEE Components, Packaging, & Manufacturing (CPMT) Society Distinguished Lecturer. He has served as CPMT Treasurer (1991-1997) and Vice-President for Conferences (1998-2003), and currently sits on the CPMT Board of Governors (1996-1998, 2011-2016) and the Oregon joint CPMT/CAS Chapter Exec and chairs the CPMT Nanotechnology technical committee. He was awarded the IEEE Millennium Medal and won the 2005 CPMT David Feldman Outstanding Contribution Award. He is an Associate-Editor of the IEEE CPMT Transactions and has been General Chair of three IEEE conferences, Treasurer or Program Chair of others, and serves on several CPMT conference committees. As the CPMT Society representative on the IEEE Nanotechnology Council (NTC), he instituted a regular Nanopackaging series of articles in the IEEE Nanotechnology Magazine, established the NTC Nanopackaging technical committee, was the 2010-2013 NTC Awards Chair, chaired the IEEE NANO 2011 conference, serves as NTC Vice-President for Conferences (2013-2014) and has been elected as NTC VP for Finance (2015-2016). He also co-founded the Oregon Chapter of the IEEE Education Society in 2005 and sits on its executive committee, and was Program Chair for the 1st and 2nd IEEE Conferences on Technology for Sustainability.
His research activities are focused on electrically conductive adhesives, the electrical conduction mechanisms in discontinuous nanoparticle thin metal films, with applications to nanopackaging and single-electron transistor nanoelectronics, and on an NSF-funded project in undergraduate nanotechnology education. He has edited or co-authored five books on electronics packaging and two on nanodevices, (two of which have just been published in Chinese,) and lectures internationally on nanopackaging and electrically conductive adhesives.

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Jack C. Straton Portland State University

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Jack C. Straton, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at Portland State University, holding a joint appointment in Physics and in PSU's interdisciplinary University Studies Program, where his teaching focuses on diversity, science, and social responsibility. His research ranges from Nanometrology to Quantum Scattering Theory to Antiracist Pedagogy.

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Lisa H Weasel Portland State University

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Lisa Weasel is an Associate Professor of Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies at Portland State University. She has a PhD in molecular biology from Cambridge University (UK) and an undergraduate degree in biology from Harvard. She is the co-editor of the anthology Feminist Science Studies: A New Generation (Routledge 2001) and author of the book Food Fray: Inside the Controversy over Genetically Modified Food (Amacom 2009). She is currently Co-PI on a Nanotechnology Undergraduate Education (NUE) grant from the National Science Foundation.

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Nanotechnology Courses for General EducationThe goals of the program to be presented are to:  Address the need for greater technical awareness in the general student population  Extend the breadth of nanotechnology education for science and engineering majors, and  Expose both student groups to the social, economic, and ethical issues of nanotechnologies.This has been accomplished by a junior-level sequence of three courses that will bring togethertechnical and non-technical majors to jointly deal with a curriculum that includes both technicaland social aspects of this rapidly developing field. This sequence will also form the basis of ananotechnology minor with the addition of selected senior courses in different disciplines.Interdisciplinary faculty from Electrical and Computer Engineering, Biology and Physics havecreated a sequence of three 300-level general education lecture courses in nanotechnology withone supporting laboratory course. Ideally the new course sequence starts with PH382 “Introductionto Nanoscience and Nanotechnology”, followed by BI372 “Nanotechnology, Society andSustainability”, ECE383 “Nanotechnology: Modeling & Simulation” and the ECE449/549“Nanotechnology Laboratory” lab course, but each course can stand alone. These three lecturecourses (and the lab) will eventually form the foundation of an interdisciplinary nanotechnologyminor, and can be taken by non-majors as science courses for General Education credit. Thesecourses are tailored to support interaction between STEM (science, technology, engineering andmathematics) and non-STEM students, who will take them together. Two of the lecture coursesare “writing intensive.”General Education at this institution includes thematic “clusters” of junior courses. Students mustchoose three courses from one of these clusters which must be outside the student’s major. Thenew courses PH 382/382U, BI 372/372U and ECE 383/383U are all taught by active learningprinciples and are included in the junior Science & Liberal Arts “cluster” as SCI382, SCI 372 andSCI 383. Furthermore, the introduction of these junior level courses will establish a Nano- Scienceand Engineering base for an interdisciplinary minor for the technical students who choosedesignated advanced level courses. The minor will include advanced senior courses inparticipating departments, including especially a re-developed senior inter-departmentallaboratory course in the fabrication and characterization of nanomaterials and nanostructures.The paper reports on the student and external evaluations of the two courses that have run twiceand on the detailed syllabus and results of the laboratory course.

Morris, J. E., & Straton, J. C., & Weasel, L. H. (2015, June), Nanotechnology Courses for General Education Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24519

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