ERC’s Online Certificate Program Focuses on Experiential Nanotechnologies 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), is offering an online graduate certificate program focused on experiential nanotechnologies and big data. The updated program enables experiential learning through portable nanolabs, a unique feature of the program.


Sixty students will participate in three semester-long courses, which are available to corporate partners and partner institution undergraduates. The inclusion of portable nanotech – hands-on labs shipped to the students – enables new experiments and the collection of very large data sets for student analysis.


The Experiential Nanotechnologies and Big Data Certificate Program provides students with a meaningful introduction to leading-edge and emerging trends in nano-enabled technologies and related data-analysis skills. Training its fourth cohort of students in 2020, the program is designed to enable engineers in the semiconductor and other nanotech-related industries to engage more deeply and comprehensively in their careers through online course instruction, real-time office hours, hands-on experiments, and associated computational projects.

A key feature of the updated program is the development of portable labs with automation, enabling new experiments, such as a vacuum lab, and the collection of very large data sets. Pilot efforts to deploy the new portable nanotech labs for big data analytics and for vacuum deposition were postponed in the spring of 2020 due to health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.