(588i) Incorporation of Nanotechnology into the Che Curriculum at Oregon State University

Authors: 
Koretsky, M. D., Oregon State University
Yokochi, A., Oregon State University
Kimura, S., Oregon State University
Herzog, S., Oregon State University


There is a need to adapt engineering and science curricula to equip students with the skills and attributes needed to contribute effectively in manufacturing based processes that rely on nanotechnology. Two activities have been undertaken at Oregon State University (OSU) in support of this goal: (1) development of a Nanotechnology Processes Option in the Chemical Engineering (ChE) Program and (2) development of two sophomore level classes in nanotechnology. The hands-on based Option is designed to allow students both to develop an in-depth understanding of how the core skills of the ChE discipline can be applied towards manufacturing of nanotechnology based products as well as to provide them with multidisciplinary experiences.

The Nanotechnology Processes Option contains six courses, five required courses and an elective. Two entirely new sophomore level courses have been developed. The Science, Engineering and Social Impact of Nanotechnology (ENGR 221) is a general engineering survey course so that it is available to students from Chemical, Biological, Electrical, Environmental, Industrial, Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering. Thus, there will inherently be a multidisciplinary approach. This course includes several features to promote active learning, including (1) hands-on activities and demonstrations, (2) the integrated use of wireless laptops through an in-house developed web-based learning tool to promote metacognition and assessment of student learning, and (3) a capstone ethics project where students complete a risk assessment of the impact of nanotechnology on society. Additionally, this course will focus on synthesizing fundamental concepts in science and engineering towards applications in nanotechnology. The other new sophomore course, Material and Energy Balances in Nanotechnology (ChE 214), is a ChE specific lab-based course, emphasizing how the fundamental skills students have just learned couple to nanotechnology. For ChE students, the approach is to develop a complementary experience early in their undergraduate studies. One class provides the breadth of multidisciplinary experiences while the other provides depth of specific technical applications within the discipline. These sophomore level courses lead into three upper division courses and into the senior laboratory sequence. The curricular development leverages the growing research and commercialization activity of the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI).

The implementation and assessment of the option and courses in nanotechnology will be discussed.

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