The Universities of Kentucky and Louisville are joining together to create a national center of excellence in micro and nanotechnology. The announcement came Monday along with a $3.7 million grant from the National Science Foundation. Todd Hastings, director of the Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering says facilities, tools, and expertise at UK and U of L will be made available to outside users. “This is gonna be really beneficial for the Commonwealth," Hastings said. "Just having this cooperative infrastructure with very low barriers to entry I think will have a big economic impact over the next five to ten years. It’s a long term award.”
Nanotechnology is the manipulation of matter on an atomic, molecular, and supra molecular scale. Hastings says the potential economic impact over time is significant. “We’re seeing more and more impact in health care with miniature implantable devices, new drug delivery methods," he said. "We’re seeing impacts in energy with new battery systems. We’re seeing impacts in environmental remediation, defense and security."
The five year grant will go toward, among other things, upgrading advanced manufacturing equipment at the two schools and to add staff to train and support up to 500 additional users. It will also go to engage more minorities and women in nanoscale science, engineering, and technology.