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Old 03-25-2004, 06:18 AM
Wikstead Wikstead is offline
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 31
What education is the best foundation for a career in nanotechnology?

What education is the best foundation for a career in nanotechnology?

What I want to know is basically summed upp by that sentence.
Old 03-25-2004, 06:54 AM
mad_spoon mad_spoon is offline
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 20
Em, id say an electrical or electronic engineer, or chemistry, or maybe physics degrees. Nanotechnology is a big field, it depends on what you want to use it to do.
Happiness is like wetting your pants -Everyone can see it but only you can feel its true warmth.
Old 03-25-2004, 07:37 AM
SentientMeat SentientMeat is offline
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Cardiff, EU
Posts: 6,337
Physics or electronic engineering would be your choice of degree. The more maths you do beforehand (and during), the easier you will find the practical applications of those maths.
Old 03-25-2004, 08:42 AM
JHW JHW is offline
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 42
Chemist checking in here. At my school there is a large and well-funded nanotechnology institute comprised of lots of profs from different departments. Materials Science and Chemical Engineering are the two departments which "supply" the majority of the professors affiliated with the institute. There are some electrical and mechanical engineers as well, in addition to chemists and maybe one or two physicists. Nanotechnology is a very broad field but I would say that a materials science or chemical engineering (as it is broadly defined in many schools these days) education would provide the best background.
Old 03-25-2004, 08:45 AM
Jon the Geek Jon the Geek is offline
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 507
Biochemistry or molecular biology is also a good start, since it's likely that a lot of nanotech will be based on biotech (cells have already figured out how to make molecular motors, there's no need to reinvent the flagellum ).

From the University of Texas's Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology's "Introduction to Molecular Nanotechnology" at
Nanotechnology strives to use biological, physical, chemical, and computational techniques already in existence to build things with atomic precision.
Any of those fields would probably be a good start.

I don't know of any undergraduate nanotech programs, so the best idea would be to get a degree in one of the fields that applies to nanotech, then find someone doing graduate research in nanotech.
Might I recommend the Church of Critical Thinking?
Old 03-25-2004, 09:13 AM
vasyachkin vasyachkin is offline
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Brooklyn, NY, USA
Posts: 657
well i took two courses in Nano, though i didn't do shit in there.

anyway the course name started with PH ( for Physics ), but there was quite a bit of electronics and chemistry in there. and a vomitous amount of math.

nanotechnology mostly deals with silicone and electrons/holes. electronics also deals with this. but then the crystallography aspect of silicone, such as - how can you etch it, thats more of a chemistry issue. and if you make mechanical structures out of it, and study their resonances then its physics ...

start with a lot of math, you can't go wrong there.
Old 03-25-2004, 09:19 AM
kellner kellner is offline
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Germany
Posts: 1,475
Originally Posted by Jon the Geek
I don't know of any undergraduate nanotech programs, [...]
We have one. Actually it is still using the "German" degree system, so it's undergraduate/graduate combined. You can enter right after Highschool, get your "Diplom" (switch to B.Sc./M.Sc. planned), up to your your PhD and more.

It's called Nano- and Microstructural Engineering (list of courses , rest mostly German.)
Old 03-25-2004, 05:11 PM
dal_timgar dal_timgar is offline
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 829
mystery career

Nanotechnology is a big field,

Now that is a funny statement.

I'm not sure I even believe in nanotechnology. It is a nice word people are throwing around. But I suggest:


THE ART OF ELECTRONICS by Horowitz and Hill

How much does an EE degree cost at a "good" school? You can get an oscilloscope from Leasametric, digital multimeter, used computer and have better stuff than EE students had 20 years ago. The transistors still work the same way.
EE and ME are physics. To me the engineering schools spend too much time on math and not enough hands on. These books can keep you from getting bored even if you're going for the degree.

Dal Timgar

Originally Posted by Wikstead
What education is the best foundation for a career in nanotechnology?

What I want to know is basically summed upp by that sentence.


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