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Engineering Nanotechnology Engineering

  1. Jan 26, 2010 #1
    I am a student currently studying nanotechnology engineering and I have started to become concerned as to what I am actually going to do with my degree. As odd as this may sound I would like to become a licensed engineer and based on my past work experience cant really see myself being an academic.

    My dilemma is which field of nanotechnology I should be involved in. I am currently considering between working in nano-materials or in electronics(transistors). I am worried that I will not be able to compete with electrical engineers or those who studied materials science in these fields. I am also worried that these fields will not grow as anticipated and leave me with a totally unrelated job.

    I was hoping maybe somebody here could provide some insight or advice. In terms of my own interest it is about 50 50 which is why I am having trouble deciding. If you want more information on what exactly I'm actually studying you can go to my course web page:

    http://www.nanotech.uwaterloo.ca/Undergraduate_Studies/Program_Timeline/
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 26, 2010 #2
    First off, it depends what you mean when you say "licensed engineer." It may be different in Canada, but down in the States, the only engineers that are "licensed" are the ones that work on public projects. So mostly civil engineering types who actually have to put an official stamp of approval on some sort of blueprint.

    If you want to do some sort of microfabrication, then your program doesn't seem to bad. In fact, you may actually have an upper hand on traditional electrical or materials engineers who maybe only see that kind of stuff in one class, if that. Obviously the semiconductor microelectronics industry is the big arena in this field, but there are many smaller areas (e.g. photovoltaics, MEMS) where microfabrication is used at the industry level. There are also many small companies out there that specialize on very specific growth processes and sell samples to R&D and university labs. I'd say many of these tend to begin as university start-ups.

    My only concern is that some of the more "industry useful" courses seem to be late in your program (e.g. fabrication/thin films labs, lithography, CAD). Ideally, you would have done these course to entice co-op employers to hire you. Maybe you can switch them with the more theoretical classes to take those later on?
     
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