Center’s Online Nanotechnology Certificate Updated to Include Metrology and Big Data

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The University of Texas at Austin’s Nanomanufacturing Systems Center (NASCENT), an NSF-funded Engineering Research Center (ERC), has updated its three-course online nanotechnology certificate program to include a new focus on metrology and big data. Online learning will be accompanied by a hands-on component, made possible through portable nanotech labs.q xc


Metrology, the study of measurement, provides quality assurance for cutting-edge manufacturing processes that require a high degree of precision, such as wearable electronics. The updates to the certificate program introduce students to metrology approaches in nanotechnology, with portable labs facilitating new experiments and large data collection for student analysis.


Now training its fifth cohort of students, the Center’s Graduate Certificate in Experiential Nanotechnologies and Big Data consists of three semester-long courses that are available to corporate partners and partner institution undergraduate students. The third course of the certificate program was updated to focus on understanding how to manage, interpret, and visualize the big data that results from metrology approaches used in manufacturing requiring a high degree of accuracy. This could include devices such as electronic displays and integrated circuits.

Portable labs with automation were also developed to provide students with the ability to conduct hands-on experiments and to collect very large data sets. Pilot efforts to deploy the portable nanotech labs were postponed due to health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.