At last year’s Nanoscience Open House, senior Stephen Swiontek demonstrated the university’s state-of-the-art scanning electron microscope. Swiontek is now a Ph.D. student in Engineering at Penn State.
LOCK HAVEN, Pa. - Lock Haven University is once again organizing events on campus that will benefit high school students who are interested in obtaining a science degree. These events are designed to familiarize high school students with the interdisciplinary opportunities offered by LHU’s newly developed nanotechnology programs. All events are free. Lock Haven University is a member of the Pennsylvania State
System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the largest provider of higher education in
the commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 250 degree and certificate
programs in more than 120 areas of study. Nearly 405,000 system alumni live and
work in Pennsylvania.
Nanotechnology is the science of designing and constructing devices and materials on an atomic or molecular scale. It has applications in industry, manufacturing, medicine and all branches of science. Anura Goonewardene, chair of LHU’s department of physics and geology, says “Nanoscience is the cutting edge for interdisciplinary sciences. No matter what branch of science a student pursues, whether it’s biology or chemistry or physics or any other branch, nanotechnology has tremendous applications.”
The first event will be the university’s 4th annual Nanoscience Awareness Day, 6:30 -8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 9 in Ulmer Hall 232 (Planetarium). Nanotechnology alumni will present what they are doing now and how they have benefited by participating in nanotechnology programs. Some of LHU’s graduates who are in MS and PhD programs from Engineering to Neuroscience are expected to make presentations.
Current students Jacob Cox, Nanoscience Scholar, and Bradley Golder, President of LHU’s Nano Club, will give a brief overview of their experiences in the program and club activities. One of the featured alumni speakers will be Stephen E. Swiontek, a 2009 graduate in Applied Physics. Now a Ph.D. student in engineering at Penn State, Swiontek worked closely with LHU Professor Marian Tzolov on light-emitting diode research and is named, along with Tzolov, on the patent application that resulted from their work.
On Friday, November 19, LHU will host a Nanoscience Open House from 8:50 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. This will be an all-day event for area school districts. All senior/junior high school students from neighboring school districts are invited to this Open House where they will be presented with a tour of nanotechnology labs and an opportunity to meet with LHU nanotechnology students to discuss their ongoing research. High school students will also see a demonstration show by the students of the physics and chemistry clubs. The university will provide lunch for the participating students.
School districts bringing students for the Nanoscience Open House need to register their participation by sending an email to Dr. Goonewardene (email@example.com). They will then receive a detailed agenda for this event.
All these events will showcase the interdisciplinary field of nanotechnology in the context of the science BS degree programs in Biology, Biology/Chemistry, Chemistry, and Physics and MS degree (4+2) program in Engineering in partnership with the Department of Engineering Science at Penn State University.
At Lock Haven University, Nanotechnology tools are being used to conduct interdisciplinary research with our science students. In partnership with Penn State University, students spend their sophomore year summer at Penn State learning the techniques of nanotechnology. In their junior year at Lock Haven University, all these students are encouraged to participate in research with our faculty in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics using Lock Haven University's state-of-the-art Nanotechnology Labs.
In April. Lock Haven University announced plans for a new 80,000 square-foot Science Center to be constructed at the university’s East Campus. Construction is expected to begin in 2011. Plans include a “clean room” for the nanotechnology program. A clean room is an environment that is virtually free of dust, microbes, and other contaminants. Currently, LHU nano students use the clean room facility at Penn State. Having its own clean room would make the LHU nanotechnology program the premier nano program in the entire Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE).
According to the latest report from American Institute of Physics, there are only 52 four-year colleges in the nation who have 10 or more graduates per year. Lock Haven University’s Physics program graduates 8 majors per year and is the third in the PASSHE system. This is also a very credible record since LHU is 12th overall for undergraduate numbers in all PASSHE universities. Presently LHU has about forty students in the nanotechnology programs and another thirty two graduates. Fourteen of these graduates have gone on to graduate school in M.S. and Ph.D. degree programs at universities across the nation fully supported by assistantships, while others have gone on to industry.