The MassNanoTech Institute is the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s campus-wide initiative for nanoscale science and engineering. The campus has built a strong reputation for innovation in nanoscale research, with breadth across many departments. Over 50 faculty investigators from eight departments in three colleges are working in the field of nanotechnology, generating over $36 million in research funding since 1997 from a variety of federal and industry sources. Ongoing efforts include multiple prestigious NSF awards, licensing of key technology, acquisition of specialized characterization equipment, and the education and training of many talented graduate students working on innovative technologies in individual faculty labs. MassNanoTech provides a single point of contacts for academic and industrial collaborators.
The goals of the MassNanoTech Institute are to:
- Coordinate a multifaceted program of fundamental, interdisciplinary research in nanoscale materials, devices, and systems.
- Fabricate new nanoscale devices within specialized facilities on campus, manage a shared lab and development facility for use by academic and industrial partners, and collaborate with industry in the development of prototypes of devices and new technology.
- Foster academic-industrial collaboration in nanotechnology and commercialization of discoveries made at the UMass Amherst campus, and stimulate start-up firms, SBIR awards, and job creation related to nanotechnology in the state and region.
- Help train a new generation of scientists and engineers working at the nanoscale, contribute to the improvement of K-12 science education and college-level technician training, and attract and retain those from underrepresented groups in the field of nanotechnology.
- Engage academic research and public discourse related to societal implications and environmental, health, and safety issues concerning nanotechnology, sponsor informational resources on nanotechnology, and sponsor public meetings, conferences, and museum exhibits related to this field.
The nearly 30 faculty members affiliated with MassNanoTech come from the departments of Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Food Science, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Marketing, Physics, Plant, Soil & Insect Science, Polymer Science and Engineering and Veterinary and Animal Sciences. The institute itself is organized under the Vice Chancellor of Research and Engagement with strong affiliations to the College of Engineering and the College of Natural Sciences.