Center Manager Notes — Partner Spotlight: Cait Cramer

LinkedIn profile: Engineering Faculty – Highline College

Location: Des Moines, Washington, United States

Welcome back to our “Center Manager Notes,” where this month’s “Spotlight” shines on Cait Cramer, an essential figure at the Micro Nano Technology Education Center, as the first Industry Partner Coordinator, and now the MNT-EC curriculum development lead, as well as full-time faculty member at Highline College. Cait shares her journey and insights into the fascinating world of nanotechnology.

My Background and Pioneering Work

I hold an Applied Masters in Material Science & Engineering from the University of Washington and a Bachelor of Engineering in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan. I worked at Intel Corporation prior to becoming an educator, and taught at Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana before moving to Highline College in Washington state. At MNT-EC, one of my key initiatives was establishing the Business and Industry Leadership Team (BILT), which aligns our educational programs with real-world industry demands, ensuring our curriculum prepares students for the future. This role was successfully handed off to Scot McLamore as I transitioned to the Curriculum Team lead. I have led our team through publishing the Intro to Nanotechnology canvas course (now available on Canvas Commons) and compiling microsystems education resources (available summer 2024). 

Educational Innovations

I’m particularly proud to have led the publication of the first set of industry-validated KSAs (knowledge, skills, and abilities) for Microsystems technicians. We are now working on a curricular repository for Microsystems educational resources with the expectation that it will be complete summer of 2024. Designed to be versatile, the Canvas Shell will have modules on various topics and be mapped to the KSAs, allowing educators to enhance existing programs or build whole classes depending on the course outcomes they need. While housed in Canvas, the resource is compatible with other learning management systems including Blackboard. Our goal with this shell was to make advanced educational resources accessible, ensuring instructors have the tools to bring cutting-edge micro and nanotechnology into their classrooms across various platforms.

Impact and Advice

In the realm of micro and nanotechnology, staying ahead means staying adaptable. I encourage students and fellow educators to embrace the evolving landscape of engineering and technology. For those aspiring to enter this field, my advice is to keep learning and adapting. Integrating advanced technologies like nanotechnology is not just the future—it’s the present.

What I Love Best About My Work

What I love most about my work is interacting with many intelligent, innovative individuals. Not only do I work with an incredible team at MNT-EC, this work allows me to use my background to support the next generation of engineers and technologists. Seeing our work’s impact on students and the industry is incredibly rewarding.

Connect with Me

Please reach out if you’re interested in learning more about micro and nanotechnology or want to discuss potential collaborations. I’m available via LinkedIn or directly through my email at Whether you’re an educator looking to integrate nanotechnology into your curriculum or an industry professional seeking to connect, I’m here to help.

Want to talk more about Nano? Get in touch with me. Are you in industry and want to get involved, reach out to myself or Cait at the above email link.



Short Bio: Billie Copley, MNT-EC Center Manager