WASHINGTON – Three new university research centers to be funded by the National Science Foundation will focus on developing nanotechnology systems that could be used in electromagnetic, mobile computing, energy and manufacturing.
NSF (Arlington, Va.) said this week it is awarding $55.5 million to three university consortia to work with U.S. industry to advance nanotechnology science and engineering and transfer innovations to manufacturers. "Our understanding of nanoscale phenomena, materials and devices has progressed to a point where we can make significant strides in nanoscale components, systems and manufacturing,” Thomas Peterson, NSF’s assistant director for engineering, said in a statement on Monday (Sept. 10).
Along with research on electromagnetics and manufacturing, the new engineering research centers in North Carolina, Texas and California also will focus on the human health and environmental implications of nanotechnology.
A third nanotechnology engineering center at the University of Texas (Austin) will pursue nanomanufacturing processes and demonstrate the manufacture of mobile nanodevices.
A scanning electron micrograph shows a 500-nm nickel ring on a piezoelectric substrate that could be used in the fabrication of nanoscale motors. (Credit: Joshua Leon Hockel, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, UCLA)
The initiative is also intended to give young engineers experience in technology research, innovation and entrepreneurship, NSF said.
The new engineering centers will be linked to NSF’s Network for Computational Nanotechnology for distribution of computational and simulation tools. The centers will also be a component of the National Nanotechnology Initiative launched in 2000.
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