Interesting example yesterday for how nanotechnology is presented to the public and forming part of our educational systems, including EHS aspects. We visited Virginia Tech for the day as part of my daughter’s evaluation of prospective colleges. Our interests included their engineering departments. In their visitor building, where the tours start, Virginia Tech includes presentation material for several nanotechnology-related issues the university is working on. One was for how nanoparticles can be transported in the environment over long distances. The lead professor is in Geosciences, and collaboration is present with civil and environmental engineering professors. Virginia Tech promotes a “hands-on, minds-on” approach to training its undergrads in engineering, and they indicate that undergraduate research will be part of the project.
Below has more information about the NSF grant on the subject:
Researchers from geosciences and civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech are part of a consortium of four principal universities and five other schools awarded a multimillion dollar grant to study nanotechnology and the environment. This is one of only two such consortiums funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to form a national Center for the Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology (CEIN). Total funding for the project is $14 million over five years with an opportunity to renew for another five years. Virginia Tech’s portion of the grant is $1.75 million.