Based upon a set of 'big ideas' identified by recent workshops and a study report, a broad curriculum framework has been developed for degree programs in nanoscale science and engineering (NSE). The framework is built around four essential areas or nodes in NSE that include-Processing (how nano-entities are fabricated), Nanostructure (how the structure of nano-entities can be imaged and characterized), Properties (the resulting size-dependent and surface-related properties of nanostructured materials/devices), and Applications (how nanomaterials and nano-devices can be designed and engineered for the benefit of society), which can be abbreviated as 'P-N-P-A'. This paper argues that the P-N-P-A rubric provides a tool for program and course construction and evaluation in higher education. An analysis of emerging NSE degree programs in the US suggests that improvements need to be made in the programmatic balance among the P-N-P-A nodes, with particular attention being paid to essential features such as the interdisciplinarity of NSE and its societal impact (ethics, safety and so on). A significant challenge for achieving programmatic balance is providing students with access to advanced instrumentation, which is an essential element for student mastery of the 'nanostructure' node. Recommendations and challenges for achieving programmatic balance are discussed.
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||International Journal of Engineering Education|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 10 2009|
- Course design
- Curriculum design
- Degree programs
ASJC Scopus subject areas