Within the Erasmus Mundus framework, four leading educational institutions in Europe offer a joint Erasmus Mundus Master of Science in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. The partner institutions are:
The word Nanoscience refers to the study, manipulation and engineering of matter, particles and structures on the nanometer scale (one millionth of a millimeter, the scale of atoms and molecules). Important properties of materials, such as the electrical, optical, thermal and mechanical properties, are determined by the way molecules and atoms assemble on the nanoscale into larger structures. Moreover, on a nanometer scale, structures’ properties are often different then on a macro scale because quantum mechanical effects become important.
Nanotechnology is the application of nanoscience leading to the use of new nanomaterials and nanosize components in useful products. Nanotechnology will eventually provide us with the ability to design custom-made materials and products with new enhanced properties, new nanoelectronic components, new types of ‘smart’ medicines and sensors, and even interfaces between electronics and biological systems.
In the first stage of the programme all students study at the coordinating institution, where they take a set of fundamental courses (max 12 credits) to give them a common starting basis, general interest courses (6-9 credits), a compulsory common block of core courses (36 credits), and already a profiling block of elective courses (min 6 credits) which prepares them for their specialisation area. In the second stage the students take a compulsory set of specialising courses (15 credits), depending on their chosen specialisation area, combined with a set of elective broadening courses (15 credits), and do their Master’s thesis research project (30 credits). Chalmers offers the second year specialisation options of Nanophysics and Nanoelectronics. TU Dresden offers the options Biophysics and Nanoelectronics, and JFU Grenoble offers the options Nanophysics, Nanochemistry and Nanobiotechnology.
The programme contains the following educational modules:
The EMM-Nano programme is truly integrated, with a strong research backbone and an important international scope. The objective of the programme is to provide a top quality multidisciplinary education in nanoscience and nanotechnology.
In the coming decades, nanoscience and nanotechnology will undoubtedly become the driving force for a new set of products, systems, and applications. These disciplines are even expected to form the basis for a new industrial revolution.
Within a few years, nanoscience applications are expected to impact virtually every technological sector and ultimately many aspects of our daily life. In the coming five-to-ten years, many new products and companies will emerge based on nanotechnology and nanosciences. These new products will stem from the knowledge developed at the interface of the various scientific disciplines offered in the EMM-Nano programme.
Thus, EMM-Nano graduates will find a wealth of career opportunities in the sectors and industries developing these new technologies: electronics, new and smart materials, chemical technology, biotechnology, R&D, independent consultancies and more. Graduates have an ideal background to become the invaluable interface between these areas and will be able to apply their broad perspective on nanoscience and nanotechnology to the development and creation of new products and even new companies.
Visit the Erasmus Mundus in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology MSc page on the KU Leuven website for more details!