September 2013

Nanotechnology Open House

 On August 8th and again on August 15th, Oakton Community College hosted open house events to promote its nanotechnology program.  Over 50 attendees gathered at the Park to hear a general overview of the field by industry consultant Dr. John Ireland.  They then surveyed nanotechnology applications of local industry with Dr. David Giljohann, chief operating officer of AuraSense Therapeutics, and Benjamin Mangrich, CMC Product Manager of Applied Thin Films, Inc.  Tours of the College's lab facility at 8025 Lamon Ave led by Bob Sompolski, Oakton Dean of Mathematics and Technology and Adam Hayashi, Oakton Dean of Science and Health Careers.


In January 2013, Oakton ran a four-credit Fundamentals of Nanotechnology I course with students meeting at the Oakton Ray Hartstein Campus at 7701 Lincoln Ave for lecture sessions accompanied by hands-on experience at the IS+TP lab site on atomic force and scanning electron microscopes, quantitative nano analysis tools and fluorescent microscopes that enhance 3-D imaging.  The course is being offered again for the Fall 2013 term with the intention of creating a certificate in the area so that students can apply for internship opportunities offered by local science companies.


The need for nanotechnology is sufficiently strong to encourage various regional resources to put their support behind the program.  The Nanotechnology Employment, Education, and Economic Development Initiative (NE3I) is a collaborative effort to bring nanotechnology education not just to Oakton, but eventually to area high schools as well. Oakton's NE3I partners include the Village of Skokie; the IS+TP, and the North Suburban Educational Region for Vocational Education (NSERVE), a career and technical education consortium of the nine public high schools in Oakton's district.  The College has received grants from the National Science Foundation, the Chicago Community Trust and the Dr. Scholl Foundation to help fund this initiative.


Special thanks to Bob Sompolski for this summary.

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