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Courses Which course should I take? (For a job in nanotechnology)

  1. Jun 4, 2009 #1
    I would love to take have a job in nanotechnology (mainly because it’s an interdisciplinary field).
    I was considering doing dual degrees, either;
    - science/ biomedicine
    - biotechnology/ engineering

    Which would be the better course? Or is there courses better suited for nanotech?
    Also, is a career in nanotech a viable option or is it unrealistic?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 4, 2009 #2
    it depends on what exactly interests you in nanotech.

    what field do you want to develop/research for? medicine, computer, general material?

    the main advances in nanotech are carbon related, at the moment.

    you may want to consider a materials degree with bio or biomed
    or more specifically polymer with bio or biomed
    if you want are interested in a med field

    the materials/ polymer degrees more directly relate to nanotech due to the nature of developing nano materials at the current time.

    A personal note, I was looking at nano and was advised to go into polymer. These fields are heavily influenced by chemistry, which was my downfall. I couldn't hack inor-chem and subsequently switched majors to CS-AI/Design
  4. Jun 5, 2009 #3
    i was mainly interested in the physics side of nanotech and biological applications etc.
    and when you say get a material degree, are you referring to materials engineering?
  5. Jul 1, 2009 #4
    yes, a materials engineering.
  6. Jul 1, 2009 #5
    well there are a few schools in the world that actually have nanotech engineering degrees but if you're not going to one of them material sciences (or material engineering it's sometimes called) is probably your best bet.
  7. Jul 1, 2009 #6
    Most chemical engineering programs I think will let you follow into a discipline related to nanotechonology nowadays I think, even though it might not say so explicitly. From what Ive seen, if you head toward a route in polymer reaction engineering or some biological related chemical engineering discipline, you're most likely going to end up with skills suited toward the nanotech industry. But its so broad. People in organic synthesis are able to end up in nanotech nowadays.

    I guess the only thing I might suggest is that if you can put some kind of 'engineering' bent on a materials or biological type area, you're going to be well suited for nanotech as its very design based work and ultimately needs to be, whatever you're working on, viewed as something with industrial/large production implications. People who can take care of both the design end and the production end, more often than not engineers, are always going to be valuable I think. Again though, its such a broad area. Keep your mind on materials somehow and I think you'll end up okay.
  8. Jul 2, 2009 #7
    chemical engineering, at Georgia Tech (which should be getting a nanoE degree soon) does not come any where close to nano, materials, etc. ChemE deals with manufacturing chemicals and designing new manufacturing plants, taking what is discovered in lab and adapting it to mass produce it.
  9. Jul 2, 2009 #8
    I found this post odd as I knew quite well a professor at Georgia Tech (he has now taken a position at the University of Maryland) in the chemical engineering department who specialized in the development of hybrid resins for industrial applications. Without going into detail, his method for doing this was by dispersing organic material on the sub micron level in water. His work was about as 'nano' as you could get. His was using several different reactor systems in the attempts to achieve this.
    I say this knowing nothing of georgia tech ChemE but I did know this man quite well and what he did there in the chemical engineering department.

    I guess what one could take from this is that chemical engineers with undergraduate training will of course be used to design plants and mass produce things. However, chemical engineers with graduate level training will likely find themselves doing that as well as the actual product development....i.e. the whole process and I could certainly see this being applied to many things 'nano'.
  10. Jul 2, 2009 #9
    chem123 - i believe you are correct in saying there is a disparity between grad and ungrad level experiences. My sources are current ungrad level students, and I would speculate that grad level students do take different paths.
  11. Jul 2, 2009 #10
    Yeah, it wasnt until my final year of chemical engineering that I was really studying anything that could lead me to something 'nano' based and then it wasnt until grad school where it became clear that I was definitly doing something with applicaiton in the field of nanotechnology. My intial response was a little clouded by that.
    In terms of the undergraduate level, its not very well defined (at least not yet) on how one should proceed to end up in the nanotech area. Im sure it will be though.
  12. Jul 3, 2009 #11
    Well, as I said, some schools actually have nanotech engineering programs (my alma mater, waterloo for example). In which case the segue into work in nanotech is kinda assumed
  13. Jul 11, 2009 #12
    I'm actually starting in NanoE at UWaterloo this September. I'm currently wigging out wondering where on earth this will take me jobwise and wish I knew more about how far my skills will come with four years of education. I've recently heard negative things about the coop options within the nano field, getting very little relevant industry skills. Not to bump this from the grave but anyone with the ability to give me some perspective is a cool cat in my books
  14. Jul 12, 2009 #13
    Lucky you! I wanted to go to UWaterloo for NanoE, but I already finished 2 years at UCalgary.

    Well, all the way over here in Alberta, there has been a lot of funding given to the nano sector. Since nanotechnology is quite new, I believe it needs to pick up some steam before it goes full board. That is why the Albertan government is throwing money at us. I'm in my third year at UCalgary taking microbiology and minor in nanoscience (no major:cry:). My classmate said that if you do research or anything "nano", *remember there is a criteria as to what is nano*, money just trickles down into your pockets...
    Its just a matter of time. Everybody likes everything smaller.
  15. Jul 12, 2009 #14
    Chemical Engineering seems to come in two different flavours, from what I've seen; Chemical and Process Engineering and Chemical and Materials Engineering.

    As a disclaimer, I'm a first year, but I think Nanotech has roots in so many things that you're better off studying a more traditional field undergrad, then specialising in a nanotech field postgrad. I mean, there's nanoelectronics, nanomachines, nanomaterials...focus on the suffix for now;)

    If you're into physics, study physics, or better yet find a lecturer/professor whatever in your physics department who lists nanotech stuff in his research interests. Chances are he'll give you some sound advice and probably talk your ear off:P
  16. Jul 12, 2009 #15
    Well I think the problem in Waterloo is the quantity. Waterloo has the biggest coop program in the world and something like 80% of engineers are in it so although there may be a few prime jobs for nanotech around southern ontario (and there are usually a few jobs abroad) it is unlikely that all nanotech engineering coops will find good jobs related to their study (this is in general true for all programs, the people with the best marks and the strongest resume's get the best jobs and those with weaker marks are often forced to get jobs that are more unrelated, if they get a job at all)
  17. Jul 12, 2009 #16
    The other factor is that there may not be any jobs for a nanotech engineer in training. It's quite possible that there aren't a lot of projects that could actually benefit from a student with only 1 or 2 years of classes under their belt.
  18. Jul 13, 2009 #17
    would a dual degree of engineering and science (majoring in material or chemical engineering and biophysics) be a better than just a bachelor of biotechnology majoring in nanotechnology?
    i've heard its not so good to get a specialized degree, is this true?
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