Friday, May 18, 2018

NanoDay 2018

Nanome had demos of their VR tool at NanoDay.
 Nathan Tong, a fourth-year nanoengineering student at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, was tired of getting the same question over and over again: what is nanoengineering?

“I wanted to raise awareness about what the major is, what we do at UC San Diego, and also the potential future that could happen using nanoengineering,” Tong said.

So he and the Nanoengineering and Technology Society (NETS) at UC San Diego resurrected NanoDay, a celebration of all things nanoengineering that hadn’t been held in at least the last four years. The student organization plans to make the event an annual occurrence to highlight all that’s going on in the department, and provide undergraduate students with tangible ideas of what a career in nanoengineering could look like.

Professors Darren Lipomi and Sheng Xu shared their insight.
UC San Diego was the first in the nation to create an official academic Department of Nanoengineering in 2007 and began offering it as an undergraduate degree program in fall 2010. In its simplest form, nanoengineering draws on all disciplines of engineering to create devices at the nano, or sub-micron, scale. It’s an interdisciplinary science relating biochemistry, engineering and physics to create structures smaller than bacteria with complex functions.

As Darren Lipomi, a professor of nanoengineering and one of four professors on a panel about academic life in nanoegineering put it, nanoengineering principles underpin all of the concepts and phenomena we understand on a larger scale.

“I think the challenge is to identify something that’s not nanoengineering,” Lipomi said.

Professors David Fenning and Shaochen Chen answered
questions about their career path and gave advice to students.
He was joined on the panel by nanoengineering professors Shaochen Chen, David Fenning and Sheng Xu.

For a taste of post-grad life in industry, students heard from a panel of speakers from large companies like General Atomics, to small startups like GrollTex, and nanoparticle manufacturer nanoComposix, all of which have nanoengineering-specific positions.

Joseph Wang, chair of the Department of Nanoengineering, gave opening remarks at NanoDay about the wide scope of research underway at UC San Diego—from needle-free tattoo-like glucose sensors, to micromotors for drug delivery, stretchable batteries and flexible ultrasound patches, it’s a diverse field.

Representatives from General Atomics and Grolltex
 shared their perspectives on nanoengineering in industry.
Nanoengineering alumnus Steve McCloskey, who founded virtual reality company Nanome, shared his post-grad story and advice with students. Nanome allows users to experience and manipulate atoms and molecules in a 3D environment, making it easier to visualize and design new medicines or chemicals, for example. The startup was one of seven companies honored with a Best of Show award at the Bio-IT World conference.

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