Stevens Institute of Technology Wins NSF Nanotechnology Undergraduate Education Grant

NUE-NEXUS program to give undergraduates early-curriculum classroom instruction and research opportunities in nanotechnology field.

Hoboken, NJ, September 29, 2011 --( Nanotechnology is poised to impact industries much as the microscale revolution transformed manufacturing in the 1970s, and college students are eager to gain the upper hand in this emerging field. With National Science Foundation (NSF) support, Stevens Institute of Technology is providing undergraduates with forward-looking experience on nanotechnology research and applications. A multi-disciplinary faculty team, led by Dr. Eui-Hyeok (E.H.) Yang, has won an NSF Nanotechnology Undergraduate Education (NUE) grant that will open up the nanoscale to a new generation of students.

"Nanotechnology is applying science and engineering approaches at the molecular and atomic scales to develop new materials and devices of technological value, often exploiting phenomena that can be unique at these size scales," says Dr. Keith Sheppard, a Co-PI on the NSF grant and Associate Dean of the Schaefer School of Engineering and Science. "This award allows us to bring awareness of nanotechnology to a wide range of students."

The Stevens program, dubbed NUE-NEXUS, standing for NUE: Nanotechnology EXposure for Undergraduate Students, seeks to create a nexus between nanotechnology and undergraduate engineering education to expand understanding of nanotechnology and its applications to a broad undergraduate engineering student population.

At the heart of NUE-NEXUS are two new nanotechnology courses, NANO 300: Introduction to Nanoscale Science and Engineering and NANO 325: Introduction to Nanofabrication and Characterization. By appearing early in the curriculum, these courses will serve a dual purpose, not only educating a broad student population in nanoscience and nanotechnology, but also serving as a foundation for students choosing to pursue an undergraduate nanotechnology research track.

The inclusion of a research track is based on studies indicating that undergraduate research opportunities help clarify students' interest in research and thus can encourage students to pursue nanotechnology as a career. The research track will serve to increase the pipeline of students aiming for graduate programs, and enhance their opportunities with a strong background in hands-on nanoscale experience.

This NSF NUE grant leverages Stevens Nanotechnology Graduate Program, which provides an infrastructure for interdisciplinary learning, and ongoing K-12 educational programs for developing engaging curricula incorporating nanotechnology for younger students. In addition to Dr. Yang and Dr. Sheppard, the other Co-PIs at Stevens are highly experienced in both nanotechnology research and engineering curriculum development. They are Dr. Ronald Besser, Professor of Chemical Engineering; Dr. Chang-Hwan Choi, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering; and Dr. Frank Fisher, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Co-Director of the Nanotechnology Graduate Program.

NUE is an aggressive initiative of the NSF to support nanoscale science, engineering, and technology in America through interdisciplinary approaches in undergraduate engineering education. The focus of the current round of funding awards is towards nanoscale engineering education with relevance to devices and systems, as well as the ethical, economical, and environmental issues relevant to nanotechnology.

About Stevens Institute of Technology
Founded in 1870, Stevens Institute of Technology, The Innovation University (TM), lives at the intersection of industry, academics and research. The University's students, faculty and partners leverage their collective real-world experience and culture of innovation, research and entrepreneurship to confront global challenges in engineering, science, systems and technology management.

Based in Hoboken, N.J. and with a location in Washington, D.C., Stevens offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering, the sciences, management, and liberal arts. Stevens has been recognized by both the US Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security as a National Center of Excellence in the areas of systems engineering and port security research. The University has a total enrollment of more than 2,350 undergraduate and 3,600 graduate students with almost 450 faculty. Stevens graduate programs have attracted international participation from China, India, Southeast Asia, Europe and Latin America as well as strategic partnerships with industry leaders, governments and other universities around the world. Additional information may be obtained at

Stevens Institute of Technology
Christine del Rosario