Joint Nano School Sets Tone for Education Collaboration

The latest addition to the higher education network in Greensboro is the Gateway University Research Park. The park’s latest project is the $64 million Joint School of Nanoscience & Nanoengineering, a collaboration between N.C. A&T State University and The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Completion of the JSNN campus is anticipated by late 2011. The school is being built just off of I-40 in southeastern Greensboro and is one of two campuses in the Gateway University Research Park system.

Nanotechnology involves the science & engineering that manipulate atoms and molecules to form systems with customized properties and functions. Lux Research estimates that nanotechnology will have a $2.6 trillion impact on the world’s economy by 2014.

The first class of JSNN students enrolled in the fall of 2010. With that, the JSNN became one of fewer than 10 schools in the nation to offer degree programs in nanotechnology, according to the National Nanotechnology Initiative. In addition, it is the only such program in the nation that is created and operated by two universities.

JSNN will train students to conduct basic and applied research, and will work closely with the Piedmont Triad community to promote economic development. The school will initially offer professional master of science and Ph.D. degrees in Nanoscience and develop degree programs in Nanoengineering.

The JSNN also aims to afford access by undergraduate and K‐12 students to the fields of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering and to provide Nanoscience and Nanoengineering training for scientists and engineers already in the workforce. In October 2010, RF Micro Devices signed a Joint Research and Development, Facilities and Equipment Use Agreement with JSNN.

Under this agreement, JSNN and RFMD intend to collaborate on the development of innovative nanoelectronics technologies related to RF amplification, filter, and switch functions. JSNN’s cleanroom will be available to RFMD for research and development, and RFMD will collaborate with university research students while locating RFMD personnel at the facility. JSNN and RFMD intend for the collaboration between industry and academia to drive research excellence and generate leading edge technologies that ultimately support economic growth.

JSNN and its academic, research and outreach programs will position North Carolina to take advantage of the explosive economic growth expected from the next wave of nanotechnology innovation. And with the RF Micro partnership, the business / higher education collaboration is well underway.

 

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