As part of Nanotechnology Awareness Day, four LHU graduates spoke about how they benefited from studying nanotechnology. Left to right: Fieldon Daubert, Stephen Swiontek, Justin Ingram and Shawn Pickering.
LOCK HAVEN, Pa. - Lock Haven University’s Nanotechnology Awareness Day was a huge success. Students, faculty and guests assembled in the Ulmer Planetarium on Tuesday, November 9 to hear guest speaker Travis Benanti, research assistant at the Center for Nanotechnology Education and Utilization at Penn State University. 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.
Benanti began with a brief explanation of a “nano.” Nano- is a prefix meaning one billionth. Nanotechnology deals with the creation of functional materials and devices on the scale of 1 to 100 nanometers…so small that they can be seen only with an electron microscope. Nanotechnology has practical applications in solar panels, biomedical technology, Wii controllers, computer chips, cameras, and even fabrics. Nano fibers have created fabrics that are stain resistant, and the gauze pads on Curad Silver band-aids are coated with silver nano particles that have anti-bacterial qualities. “There are a lot of products that use nanotechnology,” he said, “and we need more skilled workers in the field of nanotechnology.”
Benanti’s presentation, entitled “Take Matter Into Your Own Hands,” focused on the Pennsylvania Nanofabrication Manufacturing Technology (NMT) Partnership Capstone Semester at Penn State. The NMT Capstone Semester prepares qualified students for lifetime careers in nanotechnology. Each year, students from Lock Haven University take advantage of this unique opportunity to acquire nanotechnology-based manufacturing and new product development skills. The NMT Capstone Semester provides students with unique job skills that set them apart from other graduates entering the job market. “Nanotechnology is a growing field,” he said.
Shawn Pickering, 2007 graduate in Applied Physics and Nanotechnology, and now completing his Ph.D. in Engineering at Penn State University, told students about the doors that had opened to him because of his study of nanotechnology.
Fieldon Daubert, 2006 graduate in Applied Physics and Nanotechnology, talked about how the nano program helped him to get his current position at Tyco Electronics. He says that the nano program helped "set him apart from others in the pack.” He gave a company overview of Tyco Electronics, which makes connectors for almost any electronic device.
Justin Ingram, 2005 graduate in Biology/Chemistry and Nanotechnology, explained that his success has been due largely to his experiences within nano at LHU. He is currently a Ph.D.student in Neuroscience at Penn State. He challenged current students to really ask themselves, "What are you going to do when you graduate?" For him, the nano program was a "life-changing experience."
Stephen Swiontek, a 2010 LHU graduate in Applied Physics and now a Ph.D. student in Engineering at Penn State, described his experiences working with Dr. Marian Tzolov on polymer light-emitting diodes. Their research, which streamlines the process of making the LEDs, has the potential for creating large, flexible computer screens and light panels at a lower cost. Swiontek is named, along with Dr. Tzolov, on a patent application for the process.
Bradley Golder, senior and the president of the Nano Club, and fellow Nanoscience junior student Jacob Cox spoke about the exciting activities and learning opportunities that Nanoscience has to offer students at LHU.
All speakers made reference to the interdisciplinary nature of the LHU nano degree and how their resumes are more diverse because of completing the program.
This year's Nanotechnology Awareness Day event was organized and hosted by Dr. Jacqueline Whitling, professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry. She stated, “The faculty in the interdisciplinary Nano program are very proud of our graduates' and current students' numerous accomplishments. It was a pleasure to hear how being a part of the Nano program has influenced their lives. Their presentations were motivational and encouraged all science students to pursue a degree in nanotechnology.”
Those interested in the LHU Nanoscience Program should contact Professor Anura Goonewardene at firstname.lastname@example.org or 570-484-2079.