David Berube Reflects on 20 Years of Nanotech in Society

Headshot of David Berube

At the most recent NNCI seminar, RTNN’s David Berube joined Arizona State’s Andrew Maynard to discuss nanotechnology in society over the past twenty years. Their engaging discussion covered a range of topics. 

Abstract: In a major address at Caltech in 2000, President Bill Clinton unveiled the National Nanotechnology Initiative and proposed doubling the federal funding for nanoscale research in the United States. President Clinton gave the speech in front of a map of the Western hemisphere created out of gold atoms. Looking back at it he joked: ”I think you will find more enduring uses of nanotechnology.” Since that day the federal government has poured billions of dollars into nanoscale R&D and scientists and engineers have indeed found more enduring uses. Questions, concerns, and excitement about the social aspects and implications of nanotechnology have accompanied this effort every step of the way. This panel brings together two scholars who have played important roles in exploring nano in society over the past twenty years. They will reflect on the changes in the way that scholars, governments, corporations, and the general public engage with nanotechnology over the last two decades.

Watch the conversation:

RTNN Kickstarter Program Eligibility Expanded

A CHANL user loads a sample on the FTIR

Several recent reports describe how the COVID-19 pandemic adversely affected and continues to affect academic research particularly for specific groups (e.g., women, international students, early career scientists). In response to this crisis, the RTNN is expanding eligibility in its Kickstarter program to include researchers that have been disproportionally affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

To submit proposals under the expanded criteria, complete and submit a Kickstarter application by the priority deadline: July 1, 2021. Proposals received after this date will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Questions about the program or eligibility requirements can be directed to rtnanonetwork@ncsu.edu.

Maude Cuchiara Wins Outstanding Extension and Engagement Award

Maude Cuchiara assists a child with microscopy at the Museum of Life and Science

The RTNN congratulates Associate Director Maude Cuchiara for earning one of NC State’s Outstanding Extension and Engagement Awards. The award recognizes Maude’s extensive contributions to RTNN’s outreach mission over the past five years. During this time, she worked with RTNN colleagues to develop RTNN’s Coursera course, start the RTNN Student Ambassadors program, pilot outreach to libraries and museums in rural North Carolina, launch Take-out Science during the COVID-19 pandemic, and secure RET and REU site awards. Through these efforts, the RTNN has made a substantial impact on thousands of program participants around the world.

Nano Innovation Challenge Winners Announced

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Nano Innovation Challenge. We were impressed with the number of innovative nanotechnology solutions students created to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. See the winning videos here!

And the winners are:

High School

1st place: Athens Drive High School
Teacher: Shane Barry
Students: Martha, Drew, Evan Rashmi, and Will

2nd place: Rocky Mount High School
Bionic Brain Implant Innovation
Teacher: Emily Haggerty
Students: Cristal and Amahlah

3rd place: West Johnston High School
Water Filter
Teacher: Dorothy Holley
Students: Vanessa and Panalee

Middle School

1st place: WSFCS Virtual Academy
Nanotechnology Takes Flight!
Teacher: Leslie Russell
Students: Justin and Faythe

2nd place: Davis Drive
Mechanical Trees
Teacher: Elizabeth Crowell
Students: Hemanth, Avi, Aaron, and Genko

3rd place: Reedy Creek
UV Nano-Rays 500
Teacher: Chris Barth
Students: Dylan and Emily

RTNN faculty win REU Site Award focused on perovskites

Perovskite crystal structure

Congratulations to Professors Jim Cahoon (UNC), David Mitzi (Duke) and Aram Amassian (NC State) for receiving NSF funding to launch a new collaborative REU site focused on hybrid perovskite materials. Under this award, twelve students will conduct research in faculty labs across the three RTNN institutions. To strengthen inter-institutional relationships, each student will partner with a peer working on a complementary project at a different RTNN university. Team-building, professional development, and social activities will be interwoven into the program schedule. The first cohort of students will begin in summer 2022.

There are three objectives for this REU program: (1) To provide a hands-on research experience in hybrid perovskite materials that reinforces student knowledge of cutting-edge characterization techniques and analytical tools that can be used to evaluate the nanoscopic structure of hybrid perovskite systems; (2) to foster student interest in pursuing a career in STEM fields, especially those from underrepresented groups; and (3) to develop communication and networking skills in each of the participants.

More information for the program will be posted on the RTNN website in Fall 2021. If you are interested in receiving updates about this exciting new program, please contact Maude Cuchiara (mlrowlan@ncsu.edu).