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Introducing Nanoengineering and Nanotechnology to the First Year Students Through an Interactive Seminar Course

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We report a first year seminar course on nanoengineering, which provides a unique opportunity to get exposed to the bottom-up approach and novel nanotechnology applications in an informal small class setting early in the undergraduate engineering education. Our objective is not only to introduce the fundamentals and applications of nanoengineering but also the issues related to ethics, environmental and societal impact of nanotechnology used in engineering. To make the course more interactive, laboratory tours for microfabrication facility, microscopy facility, and nanoscale laboratory at the University of Iowa are included, which inculcate the practical feel of the technology. The course also involves active student participation through weekly student presentations, highlighting topics of interest to this field, with the incentive of “nano is everywhere!” Final term papers submitted by the students involve a rigorous technology analysis through various perspectives. Furthermore, a student based peer review process is developed which helps them to improve technical writing skills, as well as address the ethical issues of academic honesty while reviewing and getting introduced to a new aspect of the area presented by their colleagues. Based on the chosen paper topics and student ratings, the student seemed motivated to learn about the novel area introduced to them through theoretical, computational and experimental aspects of the bottom-up approach.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2013

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  • The Journal of Nano Education (JNE) is a peer-reviewed international journal that aims to provide the most complete and reliable source of information on current developments in nanoscale science, technology, engineering, and medical education.
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