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Q: I am about to select a major in engineering and would like to know the best major to select in order to excel in Nanotechnology. I hear that Nanotechnology holds enormous promise and can be helpful in areas from cleansing the air to treating bacterial infections. What schools, domestic and international, would you recommend?

Nanotechnology is a relatively new collection of fields, all characterized by analysis, design and synthesis of structures whose dimensions are roughly 1 to 100 nanometers. The term Nanotechnology has been used recently within diverse fields such as Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Electrical, Mechanical and Chemical Engineering, and sub-disciplines such as robotics. Nanotechnology was invoked in many different projects and sub-disciplines, including the design of new senors and actuators, drug delivery mechanisms, tissue engineering, design of semiconductor and optoelectronic devices, and a host of consumer goods applications. This is not a comprehensive list - you may be able to learn more in the Nanotechnology Now website ( and in the portal of the Institute of Nanotechnology (

Opinions on the future of Nanotechnology vary. Some students of the field make bold predictions about a technological revolution that will be invoked by Nanotechnology. Others predict a more moderate rate of progress, involving gradual emergence of useful products and processes based on Nanotechnology. At the other extreme there are skeptics who claim that Nanotechnology is just a new fashionable name for old fields which have been studied for a while. There is certainly enough interest, energy, projects, investments and expectations in Nanotechnology to mark this field as one of the most dynamic and promising in science and engineering.

The multidisciplinary nature of Nanotechnology means that many universities perform Nanotechnology research and provide education in this field through existing departments, such as Materials Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, BioScience, Chemistry, and Physics. Most of the serious work in Nanotechnology requires solid basis in other disciplines and is done at the graduate level by individuals who already have a Bachelor of Science Degree in a core area of Science or Engineering. We recommend that prospective students who are interested in Nanotechnology consider obtaining their degrees in a core area of Science or Engineering first, and then seek graduate-level education in Nanotechnology. One way to do that is to select an undergraduate program in Science or Engineering within a school where significant research and study in Nanotechnology already take place, and seek activities (such as independent study and senior design projects) that expose the student to Nanotechnology. It appears that within a College of Engineering the most appropriate choices for individuals seeking later specialization in Nanotechnology would be Electrical Engineering, Materials Engineering, and Chemical Engineering.

How does one find institutions with high level of activity in Nanotechnology? One way to do so is to scan some of the journals in the field such as Nanotechnology, IEEE Transactions on Nanotechnology, and the Virtual Journal of Nanoscale Science & Technology to see where the authors are coming from.

Stand-alone B.Sc programs in Nanotechnology (or with strong Nanotechnology flavor) are available in the following institutions, among others: University of Toronto (Division of Engineering Science, Toronto, Canada); University of South Wales (Sidney, Australia), Pennsylvania State University (see, US), Flinders University (Adelaide, Australia), Louisiana Tech University (US), Drexel University and Michigan Technological University (a minor in Nanotechnology, US). To find information search on line by using the name of the university and the search term "Nanotechnology".

Stand-alone M.S. and Ph.D. programs are available in the following institutions, among others (all in the US) : University of Albany New York (College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering), University of Washington, Rice University, Arizona State University (training within existing Ph.D. programs), and the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.

A comprehensive list of programs in Nanotechnology in academic institutions is provided here:

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Q: What are the opportunities in industry for holders of a Bachelor of Engineering (B.E.) degree in Electronics and Telecommunications (E&TC) Engineering or Electronics (EC) Engineering?
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Q: I have a B.E. degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from an Indian institute. At present I am working In New Delhi, India as a VLSI front-end design engineer. I wish to pursue MS degree in the USA in the area of Automated Intelligent control Systems, Telerobotics, and Avionics.
Could you please suggest some universities in the USA which have a strong research in these areas?

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Q: I am from India, currently enrolled in the final year of an undergraduate engineering program. I would like to pursue studies toward a Master of Science degree in the United States. How would I go about it? Should I take the GRE? When should I take the exam? When does the typical academic year start there?
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Q: I live in the State of Maharashtra (Pune city) in India, and am currently enrolled in a high school there. When I graduate from high school I will have completed my HSC (12th Grade exam).

I have two questions:

(1) Do you know what the minimum requirements are from each Indian State or high school affiliation for university admission in Computer Science or Computer Engineering? If so, what is the minimum cutoff for a person who has completed his/her HSC exam in Pune, Maharashtra?

(2) What are the minimum academic, as well as non-academic, requirements for a graduate of a high school in India to be admitted to a US university for undergraduate studies in Computer Science or Computer Engineering?

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Q: I plan to be working with embedded systems in the future. What course of studies should I choose � computer engineering or electronics engineering? I reside in Mumbai, India.
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Q: I write from Bangalore, India. I study toward a diploma in Mechanical Engineering and wish to join later a part time Bachelor of Engineering program. Can this be done in either one of the following locations; Bangalore, Chennai, and Ajmer?
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Q: I write from the state of Maharashtra in India. I have a choice of studying for a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electronics and Telecommunication in one of two colleges. The first is located 5 minutes away from my house. The second is Sardar Patel College of Engineering (SPCE), one of the best in Mumbai. However, if I go to SPCE, I will need one hour daily to commute there.

Once I earn the B.E. degree I want to do graduate-level work in aerospace engineering or work in the aerospace industry (either in India or in North America).

Which of the two colleges should I choose?

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Q: Let me please know the potential of Nanotechnology education, and the list of universities offering Masters and Doctoral degree in Nanotechnology.
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Q: I consider several undergraduate programs available in my country with the intent of doing research (and possibly some graduate work) later in the area of nanotechnology in Japan.

I have two questions:

(1) Would it be better for me to study chemical engineering or electrical engineering as an undergraduate?

(2) What are some of the institutions that do nanotechnology research in Japan?

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