Thanks to those of you who have supported and lifted up the MNT-EC site and this news section, for sharing on social media and telling your peers about us. Lots of you are spending more time on our MNT-EC LinkedIn page and that’s, well, incredibly awesome. See a couple of images from the page just below.
We’d like to tell you about our favorite email newsletters and celebrate two of our partners this month:
Greentown Labs in Massachusetts is the nation’s leading incubator/accelerator for startups solving the climate crisis through entrepreneurship and collaboration. Their newsletter is a powerful curation of what’s happening in climate tech, materials, nanotechnology, and way more. The most recent newsletter profiles that the Prince and Princess of Wales paid them a visit.
Kavli Nanoscience Institute knows how to put together a nano-packed newsletter each quarter. You definitely want to subscribe to this one. It is their cool image just below that also served as a LinkedIn post with links to a photo gallery here on Think Small. You should check out the 2022 news roundup from Kavli here.
Based at Arizona State University, NCI Southwest serves as the Southwest hub of the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI) and encompasses six collaborative research facilities. Their newsletter is loaded with info from the ASU NanoFab, the Eyring Materials Center, Advanced Electronics and Photonics (AEP) Core Facility, the Center for the Life Cycle of Nanomaterials (LCNano), the ¡MIRA! Center at NAU, and the User Facility for the Social and Ethical Implications of Nanotechnology.
This image from Kavli Nanoscience Institute (1,200+ views and 31 visits) and below that, one from a Hong Kong 3D printing startup captivated your attention (1,700+ views and 36 visits — glad to know we have some ocean lovers in our midst).
And here’s the Hong Kong 3D Printed Coral Reef startup image on CBS News.
Thanks for reading our monthly email update, if that’s how you found this post. If you found us by digging into our website and the Think Small news and blog section, we are so glad you found us. “Random Small” is a monthly catch-all post for the latest happenings here at the Micro Nano Technology Education Center and in our wider, bigger community of scientists of all types.
You probably noticed two distinct images — one of an astronaut (just above), and another of a website logo for Skype a Scientist.
First, in the monthly MNT Update, I mentioned how NASA technology often gets transferred outside of NASA into commercial enterprises that license it for new products. This article, Feeling Hot, Staying Cool, is a powerful example of how that works. It highlights the work of a new company, London-based Fifty One Ltd, which is “using a temperature-controlling material developed in part under an SBIR from Johnson Space Center for spacesuit gloves, Fifty One of London is making clothes to alleviate the symptoms of menopause.”
Since women make up half the world’s population, there is a lot of need and opportunity (as in billions of people) for materials scientists to work on these phase change materials to find solutions.
In fact, NASA has an entire microsite dedicated to technology transfer calledSpinoff and it includes an annual report, of sorts, that highlights the many advances that power our world.
By the way, if you are not yet subscribed to our email community, please visit this signup page. We would love to have you join us, contribute to our efforts, and connect.
Let’s jump to Skype A Scientist because it is so fun and energetic and something you can use in your classrooms or perhaps sign up to help out. From their website: “The mission of Skype a Scientist is simple, yet impactful: to make science accessible and fun through personal connections with scientists. We are an educational entity with a focus on connecting the general public with scientific disciplines in fun and meaningful ways, making science education available and engaging for everyone…”
The Skype A Scientist Instagram page is worth a follow, too. Here’s a sample YouTube videos of a wonderful talk with a brain scientist at the University of Washington. Love Sydney’s enthusiasm. Plus, we’re hoping to interview Dr. Sarah McAnulty, Squid Biologist, and Executive Director of Skype A Scientist.
There are two new scholarship opportunities for STEM-oriented students. These will be added to our Micro Nano Scholarship page later this week, but to give you the absolute latest, cutting edge, head start information we’re putting them here and on our MNT LinkedIn Page (which you seriously might want to follow, but no pressure, of course. Not much pressure…).
The DOD Historically Black Colleges and Universities & Minority-Serving Institutions (HBCU/MI) Summer Research Internship Program is an annual summer research program offered to current students and recent graduates who studied STEM disciplines at HBCU/MI.
Heading into the weekend which for some is going to turn into vacation for the holiday week — here is a great podcast for you in those quiet days pre-post holiday meals. Our MNT Center Director, Dr. Jared Ashcroft, was rather quiet/humble about being interviewed by the well-known Temple Grandin for the first season of a new podcast out of the STEM Action Center in Utah.
Temple and Jared discussed the role community colleges can play in supplying a steady STEM workforce, where the education system falls short, and how it can improve outcomes for students. Definitely worth a listen! Way to go, Dr. Ashcroft.
In early August, MNT-EC was a proud sponsor and supporter of the Experience STEAM event at the Mall of America. It is a powerful testimony of what happens when NSF Centers collaborate, partner, and lift up the work of national centers across the USA.
Organized by the National Center for Autonomous Technology (NCAT) and the individual contributions of over 40 organizations. The STEAM Carnival provided broad public engagement in addition to the 18 educator workshops, 14 STEAM camps and it fostered enormous potential for future collaborations.
The Goldwater Scholarship Program, one of the oldest and most prestigious national scholarships in the natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics in the United States, seeks to identify and support college sophomores and juniors who show exceptional promise of becoming this Nation’s next generation of research leaders in these fields.
According to the 2022 Scholars Press Release, from an estimated pool of over 5,000 college sophomores and juniors, 1,242 natural science, engineering and mathematics students were nominated by 433 academic institutions to compete for the 2022 Goldwater scholarships. Of students who reported, 175 of the Scholars are men, 234 are women, and virtually all intend to obtain a Ph.D. as their highest degree objective. Forty-five Scholars are mathematics and computer science majors, 308 are majoring in the natural sciences, and 64 are majoring in engineering. Many of the Scholars have published their research in leading professional journals and have presented their work at professional society conferences.
2022 Goldwater Scholars Announced
Janet Teng, Pasadena City College Student, is one of 417 college students from across the United States to be selected for this highly respected scholarship.
“My research project is based on work performed at the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). The project specifically probes surface chemical reactivity between iron metal and oxygen gas using the novel Operando Atom Probe Tomography analytical technique. This new approach to correlating the spatial signal with reaction time reveals the surface reaction kinetics and the crystal structure relationship of a material. Thus, mapping the progression of reactive gas penetration into metal surfaces to form metal oxides (i.e. corrosion) is made possible.”
— Janet Teng, PCC Student and Undergraduate Researcher
Ms. Teng also expressed appreciation for all the support and guidance she received from her research mentors Dr. Jared Ashcroft, Dr. Tanya Faltens, Dr. Daniel Perea, Dr. Chiara Daraio, Dr. Sten Lambeets, Mr. Mark Wirth, and Dr. Yu-Chung Chang-Hou. Ms. Teng’s research and presentation is highlighted also in last fall’s Think Small post:
Rick Vaughn at Rio Salado College is encouraging Arizona residents to think small. Small as in nanotechnology size small. Smaller than you can see with the naked eye. Thanks to recent NSF (National Science Foundation) funding, the school is offering scholarships that will cover half the cost for a nanotechnology certificate.
With an above-average national median salary of $40,500, Nanotechnology and semiconductor technicians are in demand, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you are an Arizona resident, these scholarships are aimed at you.
If you are not an Arizona resident, visit the Nanotechnology Jobs – A Resource Guide that includes links to a variety of programs and statistics: “According to CareerExplorer.com, “there are currently an estimated 132,500 nanotechnology engineers in the United States. The nanotechnology engineer job market is expected to grow by 6.4% between 2016 and 2026.” The top states for Nanotechnology Engineer jobs are also listed in the post.
Read more about the Rio Salado College Nanotechnology Scholarships below:
“Nanotechnology embodies everything that has to do with engineering, chemistry, biology and science, and then puts them together with technology to form something that’s new and different,” said Dr. Rick Vaughn, Rio Salado College Faculty Chair for STEM initiatives.
According to the National Nanotechnology Initiative, nanotechnology touches many of us through a variety of consumer products such as eyeglasses, computer screens, cosmetics, clothes, digital storage, tires, paint, lasers and airplane coatings.
Rio Salado recently received a $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to train 30 students and help increase the employee pool for the nanotechnology industry. Rio Salado is offering five $780 scholarships that will cover half the cost of the 6-course nanotechnology certificate program.
Whether you are a student, the parent of one, an educator, or an interested citizen scientist, the Micro Nano Technology Education Center (MNT-EC) YouTube channel is a place where you can learn more about microtechnology, nanotechnology, photonics, military veteran programs, and even what NASA is doing in its education and outreach efforts.
Active Duty service members Working with Transition Assistance Programs with Kate Alcott:
Future post coming on U.S. Military and Veteran certificate and degree program efforts leading to great jobs in Nanotechnology and Microtechnology across the country.
Nano Health and Safety Workshop
MNT-EC and Mentor-Connect
Kendrick Davis – State of STEM education
Neda Habibi – Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials Technology
Bob Ehrman & Ozgar Cakmak – Penn State CNEU – It’s NACK plus more
Peter Kazarinoff – MNT-EC Podcast and Journal
Kate Alcott – Active Duty service members Working with Transition Assistance Programs.
Rick Vaughn – Distance Education
Greg Kepner and Frank Reed – Photonics Professional Development Opportunities
State of STEM Education with Kendrick Davis:
The MNT-EC YouTube channel is striving to provide as many resources to students and parents as they explore the micro- and nanotechnology field. Parents might find the two videos listed on the Micro Nano Technology Parent page to be informative. Scroll down for these two:
–X/Nano: The Enabling Potential of a Career in Nanoscience
–Careers in Nanotechnology: Opportunities for STEM Students
If you are interested in a Nanotechnology or Microtechnology degree and the many inter-related fields where a degree or certificate can open doors, keep visiting MNT-EC pages here and subscribe to our YouTube channel. Come grow and learn with us as we continue to build and expand our content.
Nanotechnology is a fast-moving field revolutionizing major areas such as medicine, engineering, food science (agriculture and consumer products), aerospace, defense, materials science, and energy, to name just a few. The job market in nanotech, as it is also called, is growing to keep up.
Nanotechnologists work in a wide range of fields. For those interested in a nanotechnology job, consider searching terms, such as, nanomedicine, nanoelectronics, biomaterials, nanomaterials. Here are a few sample ideas, but read on for more resources, links, and ideas on a career in nanotechnology.
Medical scientists – they design new diagnostic devices, develop cancer treatments (see the NanoBio mAB video from an award-winning student project at PCC) and find ways to repair damage at the cellular level.
As a food scientist, they increase food production, finding methods to detect contaminants and disease, for instance.
As engineers, they might develop computer hardware (think semiconductors) or super-strong materials (materials scientists is one of the high growth nanotechnology jobs). Of course, the worldwide interest in clean energy demands everything from better batteries to lightweight wind turbines and tiny sensors in all of it (again materials science is a big part of nano).
First stop: Visit the Micro Nano Technology Education Center page on Nanotechnology Jobs and Career Opportunities. Click the plus-sign (+) on the far right of the nanotechnology job titles listed and it will open to show you a range of details to help you decide if it sounds like a job for you.
For example, Materials Scientists, is a growth area in the state of California as you can see in this image below. Similar job titles include: Micro Electrical/Mechanical Systems Device Scientist (MEMS Device Scientist), Polymer Materials Consultant, Research and Development Scientist (R and D Scientist), Research Scientist, Senior Materials Scientist, Staff Research Scientist, Staff Scientist.
Dental Laboratory Technicians is another growth occupation that currently employs 1,510 people in the region (Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA Metropolitan Division). In the next ten years, employment for this occupation in the United States is expected to increase by 14.40 percent.
Similar job titles include: Crown and Bridge Dental Lab Technician, Dental Ceramist, Dental Laboratory Technician (Dental Lab Technician), Dental Technician (Dental Tech), Denture Technician, Metal Finisher, Model and Dye Person, Orthodontic Laboratory Technician (Orthodontic Lab Technician), Porcelain Technician, Waxer.
To search out specific details around educational requirements and skills needed for nanotechnology jobs, the well-known O*NET OnLine jobs site offers useful summary reports on almost every Nano job (and almost every other job under the sun). Sample of nano job titles: Engineering Technician, Laboratory Technician (Lab Technician), Nanofabrication Specialist, Process Engineering Technician, Research Associate, Research Scientist, Research Specialist, Research Technician, Scientific Research Associate, Technical Research Scientist.
Dr. Matt Hull of Virginia Tech presented his talk, X/Nano: The Enabling Potential of a Career in Nanoscience, during the Atlanta Public Schools’ Gifted Synergy Symposium on November 5, 2020.
Dr. Jim Marti of the Minnesota Nano Center, University of Minnesota, presented his talk, Careers in Nanotechnology: Opportunities for STEM Students, to high school and community college educators during an information session on the Research Experiences for Teachers across the NNCI program.
If you are looking to get an on-the-ground level perspective from a working technician, Dr. Peter Kazarinoff’s Talking Technicians Podcast is a must-listen. The podcast interviews micro and nano technicians and their stories of how they chose the field and what they do on a daily basis.
According to CareerExplorer.com, “there are currently an estimated 132,500 nanotechnology engineers in the United States. The nanotechnology engineer job market is expected to grow by 6.4% between 2016 and 2026.” The top states for Nanotechnology Engineer jobs include:
Considering the enormous nanotechnology opportunity at the national level, it is important to point out that MNT-EC is a national center based at Pasadena City College in California, but its partners and affiliates in micro- and nanotechnology span the entire USA. There are many nanotech programs that can prepare you for a job in nanotechnology, here are a few partner details that can help you explore:
Northeast Advanced Technological Education Center (NEATEC)
Housed at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Utica, NY: the Northeast Advanced Technological Education Center (NEATEC) mission is to attract and train a technician workforce for the semiconductor/advanced manufacturing industries. Read more about Associate Director Kate Williams Alcott’s work to recruit veterans and transitioning military members who are interested in nanotechnology training and jobs. If you are a veteran or active duty military member in transition, check out this upcoming program that still has seats available (at publication) – the flyer has all the info for the January workshop including info on the companies that are interested to hire.
Dr. Matthias Pleil is well known in the Micro Nano world as the Principal Investigator for two NSF funded centers, the Southwest Center for Microsystems Education (2004-2018) and the Support Center for Microsystems Education (2017) housed at the University of New Mexico. Read his full bio here.
The SCME is packed with microsystems education resources including a popular YouTube channel filled with micro and nano videos. To go even deeper in the opportunities in microtechnology and nanotechnology for jobs, internships, and general networking, consider joining the MNT Special Interest Group and be part of the Micro Nano Education community.
Two additional resources that list out nanotechnology job info and salaries are also affiliates or partners here at MNT-EC. One of our National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program partners is the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI is an NSF-supported initiative). It provides researchers from academia, small and large companies, and government with access to university user facilities with leading-edge fabrication and characterization tools, instrumentation, and expertise within all disciplines of nanoscale science, engineering and technology. NNCI has a terrific overview of careers in nanotechnology.
NNCI cites Recruiter.com data that can give you an idea of what a nano future holds in regards to expected nanotechnology salaries:
Two Year Associate’s – $35,000 – $52,000
Four Year Bachelor’s – $40,000 – $65,000
Six Year Master’s – $60,000 – $80,000
Eight Year Doctorate – $75,000 – $150,000
U.S. salaries for nanotechnology engineering range from $52,000 to $150,000 with the average $95,000 according to Recruiter.com.
The National Nanotechnology Initiative, better known as Nano.gov, has a dedicated page to Associate Degrees, Certificates, & Job Opportunities in Nanotechnology for technician level work (good paying, too) requiring a 2-year degree, including links to many of the top schools that can help you get a certificate or degree on your path to a nano job. If you are after a 4-year or graduate opportunity, then check this page.
As you can see, the growth in nanotechnology jobs is on an upward trend. Keep up with the news and resources by bookmarking this page as we will continue to update it to help you find that dream nanotechnology job.
Did you know there is a National Nanotechnology Day?
On Saturday, October 9th, the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI), celebrates National Nanotechnology Day. The 16-member network in locations around the nation began hosting an annual Plenty of Beauty at the Bottom image contest in 2019. This date, 10/9, pays homage to the nanometer scale, 10–9 meters, in case you were wondering how October 9 was picked.
If you have wondered how today’s youth, in the USA and around the world, are learning and growing despite the COVID-19 Pandemic, take a look at the many STEM events, competitions, and programs hosted by educational institutions, government agencies, and international organizations.
In today’s post, we are celebrating the annual Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) event Ignite Off! competitionwinner Janet Teng, Sophomore at Pasadena City College (PCC). “The Ignite Off! event showcases the talents of interns from participating federal agencies and offices as they share their research through Ignite Talks. Each competitor has five minutes to present their project, using 20 picture-centric slides that automatically advance every 15 seconds. Contestants have access to a professional development course that teaches the process for developing an Ignite talk,” according to the ORISE program page.
Janet Teng is an intern at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and has plans for graduate school to explore how engineering and physical sciences intersect and how she can better the lives of others.
From her technical abstract submitted to the ORISE competition: “As corrosion, the natural occurring chemical process of a material degrading over time, continues to result in menacing safety and economic consequences, there is an increased urgency to develop corrosion-resistant materials…” In five brief and intense minutes, she outlined her research and analysis to explain how she used “Atom Probe Microscopy (APM) suite of techniques while coupled with a novel operando mode of analysis developed at PNNL, to map out spatial and temporal chemical reactions with atomic resolution.” Ultimately, by drilling down to the atomic scale, she looked at “the impacts a material’s crystal structure has on surface reaction kinetics which can eventually allow us to bridge the knowledge gap needed to better engineer corrosion-resistant materials for real-world applications.”
Ms. Teng participated in the Community College Internship (CCI) program under the Department of Energy. Her research was at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) with mentors Daniel E. Perea, Sten Lambeets, and Mark Wirth. Her mentor at PCC is Dr. Jared Ashcroft. You can view other ORISE Ignite Off! 2021 finalists and their presentations here.