Penn State | Online
Become Part of an Emerging Field
The field of nanotechnology involves the manipulation or restructuring of matter measured in nanometers. We are now engineering at the nanoscale, which benefits society in an ever-expanding number of ways, and the potential for creating new properties and functions with structures that are 100 nanometers or less holds enormous promise.
The scientific disciplines encompassing nanotechnology include:
- materials science
- agriculture and food science
In the medical field alone, advances in nanotechnology have led to the delivery of cancer drugs directly to the site of a tumor, along with sunscreens, protective clothing, and anti-microbials.
Nanotechnology is still considered a relatively young science and engineering endeavor — having been in mainstream existence for only about twenty years — but it is growing into a field with limitless potential. In fact, some say that the prevalence of nanotechnology today is already such that you would be hard-pressed to find a product or industry that doesn't use nanotechnology on some level.
Why Nanotechnology at Penn State?
Penn State has renowned expertise in nanotechnology research and education. The University was an early leader in the fields of nanotechnology education and nanofabrication. The Penn State Nanofabrication Facility opened in 1993 as one of 14 National Nanofabrication Infrastructure Network sites. Penn State later added the Center for Nanotechnology Education and Utilization (CNEU) where it offers one of the nation's leading nanotechnology workforce development programs.
The online Undergraduate Certificate in Nanotechnology was created to help meet the ever-growing demand for nanotechnology-trained workers in a variety of industries and professions. The courses were designed with industry guidance to provide a solid background in nanotechnology synthesis, fabrication, characterization, and applications.
Who Should Apply?
The courses in the certificate in nanotechnology program are intended for people working in industry, military personnel, and students at institutions lacking nanotechnology programs, who are interested in understanding the practice and applications of nanotechnology.
Careers in Nanotechnology
The need for a skilled and talented workforce has increased rapidly due to the increasing demand for nanotechnology-based products such as flash drives, LED displays, pregnancy tests, and nano-scale–based cancer drugs.
Career opportunities exist in such areas as:
- electronics/semiconductor industry
- materials science, including textiles, polymers, and packaging
- auto and aerospace industries
- medical fields
- environmental monitoring, control, and remediation
- food science, including quality control and packaging
- military and national security
- energy capture and storage