The Michigan Tech Nanotechnology Enterprise

Join Nanotechnology Enterprise in Spring 2008

The Nanotechnology Enterprise seeks to provide undergraduate students with a comprehensive hands-on entrepreneurial educational experience as they research, develop and market nanotechnology-related products and services, and share their knowledge and experiences with first-year undergraduates and high school students and teachers. The initial market will be high school teachers and students, who will gain introductory lessons on the underlying science, engineering applications, and societal implications of nanotechnology, access to a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) with atomic-level resolution, and a low-cost STM for their school or district. At least two nano-materials related products can also be developed in collaboration with participating faculty almost immediately.

What are the Enterprise Team's goals and objectives?

  • Fulfill the requirements of the newly funded NSF-NUE grant ($200,000 over two years beginning 1/1/2008).
  • Develop a sustainable business model, branding, and student leadership team.
  • Develop, build and market an affordable STM system and accessories for distribution to participating high school teachers.
  • Research, develop and market other selected nanotechnology products, tools, and services, particularly those related to sensing technologies.
  • Significantly impact ~180 undergraduate engineering students over the 2-year grant period through nanoE, explorations, and new modules and courses.
  • Contribute to the advancement of nanoscale science and engineering (NSE) education, including societal implications, for up to 12 high school teachers and 500 students through workshops and on- and off-campus presentations.
  • Participating faculty will develop curricular modules and courses in (i) scanning probe microscopies, (ii) nanotechnology commercialization, (iii) nanotechnology business plan development, and (iv) intellectual property ethics.

What possible sources of funding has the potential team identified?

  • Two years of support from the National Science Foundation. The grant has already been awarded to John Jaszczak, Mary Raber, Nasser Alaraje, Paul Bergstrom and Michael Bennett.
  • Support for magneto-optical thin films, scanning probe microscope samples, and graphene sources as product themes.

What will you learn by being part of the new Enterprise Team?

  • The same skills and experiences as with other entrepreneurial Enterprise Teams, including leadership, teamwork, entrepreneurship, rewards and accountability, etc.
  • General interdisciplinary background in the broad field of nanoscale science and engineering.
  • Teaching skills, especially for bringing exciting new technologies to high school students and college freshmen.
  • Particular knowledge in scanning probe microscopies, nano materials, societal implications of technologies and nanotechnology, grantsmanship, and business plan development.

From what disciplines are students invited to join the new Enterprise Team?

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Education
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
  • Physics