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NSF Grant to Establish a Nanotechnology Education Program for Engineering Undergraduates

October 06, 2010

The College of Engineering and Computing of the University of South Carolina has been awarded a $200,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to establish a nanotechnology education program for engineering undergraduates.  The PI Dr. Navid Saleh had designed the proposal to offer an opportunity to teach the principles and application of nanotechnology through a real-world problem of global significance: water decontamination.  The proposal involves an in-class theoretical course along with a field-trip to Bangladesh.  The proposed in class course will address five focus areas under the common water contamination theme, namely, (i) arsenic, (ii) pathogens, and (iii) organics/metal contamination and remediation, (iv) contaminant sensors, and (v) alternative power supply for treatment systems.  Nanotechnology principles drawn from different engineering disciplines will be necessary to address the aforementioned foci.  The course has three principle goals to establish: (1) introduce nanotechnology to engineering students who otherwise have no formal exposure to this important emerging technology; (2) integrate the approaches to nanotechnology offered by different engineering disciplines; and (3) incorporate discussions about the practical ethical implications of implementing nano in a real, developing world context.  The theoretical in-class elective course will be offered over Spring of 2011 and 2012 followed by the field trip in Bangladesh over the summer.