NUE: Nano in a Global Context for Engineering Students

Funding agency: 
National Science Foundation
09/23/2010 - 00:00 to 09/30/2014 - 00:00

This Nanotechnology Undergraduate Education (NUE) in Engineering program at the University of South Carolina, entitled "NUE: Nano in a Global Context for Engineering Students", under the direction of Dr. Navid Saleh, will offer the opportunity to teach the principles and application of nanotechnology through a real-world program of global significance: water decontamination. The proposed new Introduction to Nanotechnology 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. The course has three principal goals: (1) introduce nanotechnology to engineering students who otherwise have no formal exposure to this important emerging technology; (2) integrate the approaches pertaining to nanotechnology offered by different engineering disciplines; and (3) fully incorporate discussions about the practical ethical implications of implementing nano in a real, developing world context. The course will include students from Claflin University an historically black college that will broaden the impact of the course to a larger, more diverse audience. In addition, students who complete the course will have the opportunity to travel to Bangladesh, meet researchers and students at the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, and visit actual water decontamination sites in that region. The overall outcomes of this project include (a) development of an introductory nanotechnology class, (b) making the individual modules of the class available to other classes within USC and beyond, (c) incorporation of technical articles as the driver of the technical modules for student exposure to scientific research, (d) inclusion of minority students from Claflin University, and (e) international collaboration through the study-abroad program in Bangladesh.