The Shortcomings and Strengths of Nanotechnology Education: A Student's Perspective

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Nanotechnology degrees are relatively new, and a growing number of them are available at many 2-year colleges and 4-year universities.  Due to its young age, nanotechnology education is still being perfected. Its shortcomings and the experiences of recent alumni have yet to be reported in detail.  This presentation will focus on the strengths and shortcomings of 2 and 4 year postsecondary nanotechnology education, from the perspective of recent “nano” alumni. Anecdotal evidence based on the experience of alumni in the job market will be presented to highlight the apparent strengths and shortcomings of nanotechnology-focused degrees


Duncan is a new professional trained in nanotechnology with multidisciplinary experience, having worked on projects within the fields of semiconductors, MEMS, and space exploration.  Being in the first undergraduate class of NanoEngineers from UC San Diego then pursuing a Master’s in Nanoscience and Microsystems Engineering at the University of New Mexico, Duncan has watched the emergence and adoption of micro and nanotechnologies closely. 

While a graduate student at the University of New Mexico, Duncan worked as a project assistant and analyst of the industries enabled by the micro and nanotechnologies.  From this work, he assessed workforce and educational needs of these emerging industries and how universities and community colleges may best prepare students can best prepare students to enter them.  In addition, Duncan has worked with entrepreneurial teams to develop new MEMS and chemical products.

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Work presented in this presentation was funded in part through a grant from the National Science Foundation DUE 1205138.

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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Duncan McClure (2016), "The Shortcomings and Strengths of Nanotechnology Education: A Student's Perspective,"

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