College of Humanities and Sciences

PhD in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology a first in Virginia

VCU is offering a new interdisciplinary PhD program in nanoscience and nanotechnology, making it the first major research university in the state to offer such a program, and only one of a handful of programs in the United States.

The new program, developed by faculty in the VCU Departments of Chemistry and Physics, is designed to cross-train students in the physical sciences of chemistry and physics with particular focus on how the science changes at reduced dimensions.

“This new program will help position VCU as a leader in the field of nanoscience and nanotechnology,” said Dr. Fred M. Hawkridge, interim dean of the College of Humanities and Sciences.

“We have prolific research faculty in both chemistry and physics with expertise in nano who will guide these students, as well as equipment and resources to support the program,” he said. “These students will one day contribute to scientific developments and technologies that will have a great impact in the state and on the world around us.”

Invaluable for the study of nanotechnology at VCU, the Nanomaterials Core Characterization Center is a state-of-the-art facility located within the new Health and Life Science Engineering Facility.

In the past year, VCU received two National Science Foundation major research instrumentation grants totaling more than $1.1 million to expand its capabilities for research in materials science. Combining these federal awards with state instrumentation grants and private donations, VCU has been able to build a state of the art facility with over $4 million in new equipment.

The PhD in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology will prepare students for future positions in industry or government research by providing an opportunity to work beyond traditional scientific boundaries to examine the theoretical underpinnings of nanoscience and nanotechnology.