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Scientists and engineers working in the nanotechnology field are finding ways to make materials at the nanoscale. They’re finding ways to take advantage of the enhanced properties such as lighter weight, higher scales, better chemical reactivity, etc. Therefore, a nanotechnologist develops new equipment, materials, drugs, diagnostic tools, and much more! Read on to know more about becoming a nanotechnologist.
Nanotechnology is a scientific branch of technology or engineering that functions at a nanoscale. Subsequently, it is devoted to producing or designing products, structures, or systems by manipulating molecules and atoms at a nanoscale having dimensions of 100 nanometers.
Both nanotechnology and nanoscience study and apply small things utilized across various science fields like physics, mathematics, biology, chemistry, engineering, etc. Both the sciences include the ability to control individual molecules and atoms. Thus, nanotechnological applications can be proven beneficial to society and have great potential in the industrial sectors. In addition, nanotechnologists use such applications to make new materials with different properties.
Who is a nanotechnologist?
A nanotechnologist is a specialist who performs research at a molecular level. They also create innovative ideas to improve areas related to science, engineering, and technology. In addition, they manipulate molecules and atoms to create new materials by incorporating tiny matter samples with other science disciplines. Moreover, a nanotechnologist uses a nanometer for quantifying the nanomaterials or nanoparticles for multiple experiments.
Nanotechnologists use particle sizes to alter and design new materials at a nano-level since it helps them create new products with better properties. They have also worked on various products to date like medical equipment, sports equipment, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, food packaging, hygienic products, etc.
Responsibilities of a nanotechnologist
A nanotechnologist’s duty varies by project or work environment. They work in various industrial settings, independent laboratories, universities, etc. Therefore, nanotechnologists can be found everywhere– from the aerospace industry, electronics, and defense, to pharmaceutical companies and research institutes. The following is a breakdown of the responsibilities of a nanotechnologist-
- Plan and conduct experiments in order to create new materials.
- Collect data from various experiments.
- Develop theories based on the findings.
- Also present the findings to researchers, colleagues, and other significant organizations.
- In addition to working with scientists, work with engineers on various projects.
- Design and operate specialized nano equipment.
- Apply for grants and funds for further research and development.
- Create new methods and procedures.
- Subsequently, test the new materials, products, and structures for functionality.
A candidate must receive extensive education before pursuing the position of a nanotechnologist. You will need an honors degree in any of the following related subjects.
- Biology or molecular biology
- Computer science
- Materials science
A few candidates also pursue a master’s degree and receive a doctorate before becoming nanotechnologists. Moreover, most employers require the candidates to have a Ph.D. or M.Sc. to provide them with roles for research and development. You can also secure your position as a lab technician without doing post-graduation.
Aspiring individuals who want to excel in nanotechnology can upgrade their knowledge and skills by completing the following certifications-
- Nanotechnology for health
- Introduction to machine learning with PyTorch
- Certified software testing professional
- Certified network security open source software developer
Individuals can also choose various internship roles to get hands-on knowledge in their careers as nanotechnologists. Moreover, the majority of institutes offer paid internships for the aspirants to gain experience in nanoscience and nanotechnology.
Skills required to become a nanotechnologist
Receiving a postgraduate degree will allow you to showcase what you have learned. However, you must possess other skills to work effectively and be successful in the scientific background. You must have the following skills to become an experienced nanotechnologist.
- Scientific and technical skills
- Analytical skills
- A logical approach to solving problems
- Capacity to deal with complexities creatively and systematically
- Numerical skills
- Ability to write papers or reports for publication
- Presentation and communication skills
- Ability to operate computer-controlled equipment
- Project management skills and teamwork
- Ability to manage budget and time
- Patience and self-motivation
- Attention to detail
Individuals interested in the field of nanotechnology have the following multiple career choices.
- Service engineer
Service engineers are responsible for analyzing systems for problems and rectifying them to prevent further issues from occurring in the future.
2. Business development manager
Business development managers get involved in organizational management and decision-making in order to prepare business strategies, hire officers, attract clients, give presentations, etc.
3. Account executive
Account executives collaborate with project consultants in order to create strategies on budget briefs with clients, proposing new concepts, finance ideas, etc.
4. Project assistant
Project assistants work under the supervision of project directors to resolve the issues and challenges related to a project.
5. Applications engineer
An application engineer develops and maintains applications and programs. They also respond to customer needs and provide immediate solutions.
6. Manufacturing engineer
Manufacturing engineers are responsible for producing new machinery, technology, and processes in order to develop new products and improve the existing ones.
7. Optical engineer
Optical engineers supervise the creation and implementation of light tools.
8. Market development manager
Market development managers help resolve various problems by supporting partners.
Top universities to study nanotechnology
Multiple educational institutes across the world offer courses in nanoscience and nanotechnology. There are a few top universities that offer nanotechnology courses, such as-
- Harvard University
- Columbia University
- Arizona State University
- Northwestern University
- University of California, Berkeley
- Georgia Institute of Technology
- University of Chinese Academy of Sciences
- Soochow University
- National University of Singapore
- Zhejiang University
- Peking University
- Stanford University
- Tsinghua University
- Nanyang Technological University
- Nanotechnology has evolved over the years and proved beneficial for various industrial, technological, and scientific uses.
- Nanotechnologists produce new nanomaterials, structures, and equipment to demonstrate the potential of generating energy.
- A nanotechnologist’s career is not only about experimenting with miniature science but contributing to technological advances for the greater good of society as well.
- Although nanoscale materials came into being for centuries, nanotechnologists have taken them to a new level by manipulating them to make efficient products.
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Q1. Is a nanotechnologist a scientist or an engineer?
Answer- Nanotechnology is a combination of science, technology, and engineering. Moreover, it has applications that range from electronics to energy production.
Q2. What is the average salary of nanotechnologists?
Answer- The average salary of a nanotechnologist is $76,366. However, it can range from $15,663 to $417,354.
Q3. How many years does it take to become a nanotechnologist?
Answer- It typically takes 3-4 years to become a nanotechnologist.