UAlbany Launches New College of Nanotech, Science and Engineering

UAlbany Launches New College of Nanotech, Science and Engineering

A new college at the University at Albany, combining the university's engineering colleges of nanoscale science and applied sciences, will prepare students for jobs in next-generation chip design.

The University at Albany (UAlbany) recently announced the creation of the College of Nanotechnology, Science, and Engineering. Classes will be available to new and returning students starting this fall semester.

The new college is the product of a union between UAlbany's College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (CEAS) and the former College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE), which was founded at UAlbany nearly two decades ago but has spent the last nine years operating out of the Utica campus.

The partnership maintains the original CNSE's global reputation for excellence in nanotechnology and semiconductor research, while embedding it within the academic and research enterprises of a comprehensive public research university that is among the most diverse in the nation.

"Today is a historic day for UAlbany. The federal government is making unprecedented investments in domestic semiconductor research and development, and a reunified UAlbany and CNSE will ensure New York leads the pack in critical fields such as next-generation chip design," UAlbany President Havidán Rodríguez said in a news release. "As one of the most diverse public research institutions in the nation, UAlbany also is uniquely positioned to help ensure the skilled workforce needed for this generational economic transformation reflects the rich diversity of our state.

"I am proud to welcome CNSE students, faculty and staff back to the UAlbany family, and I am incredibly excited about what the future holds for our university."

The new college will see 10 academic programs and approximately 90 continuing students, 29 faculty and lecturers, and more than 100 post-docs, staff members and Research Foundation personnel transferring back to UAlbany from Utica's SUNY Polytechnic Institute.

"The fact that we were able to complete this complex transition four months ahead of schedule is a testament to the hard work of the dedicated employees at UAlbany, SUNY Poly and SUNY who were committed to ensuring our students, faculty and staff were well served and could begin the fall semester with the reassurance of knowing the transition was complete," Rodríguez said in the release.

The return of CNSE to UAlbany also marks a significant milestone toward the realization of Gov. Kathy Hochul's ambitious vision to double SUNY's external research funding and cement the system's four research centers as national and global epicenters of innovation and discovery. UAlbany is one of SUNY's four R1 University Centers, signifying the highest level of research and doctoral activity.

"For the researchers who will push the limits of science, for the students who have an unparalleled opportunity to study and enjoy experiential learning, for the industry partners who will thrive, and for the workers who will enjoy good-paying jobs, CNSE continues to unlock new synergies and new opportunities," said John B. King Jr., chancellor of the State University of New York, in the release. "The commitment to high-technology advancement in this region is strong, and I have no doubt it will bear extraordinary fruit in the coming years and decades."

The academic programs that have returned to UAlbany include:

– Undergraduate: BS Nanoscale Science, BS Nanoscale Engineering, Minor in Nanotechnolgy
– Graduate: MS Nanoscale Science, MS Nanoscale Engineering, MS Nanobioscience, PhD Nanoscale Science, PhD Nanoscale Engineering, PhD Nanobioscience, MD/PhD in Medicine and Nanoscale Science or Engineering

The newly created Department of Nanoscale Science & Engineering joins UAlbany's existing strengths in the departments of Computer Science, Electrical & Computer Engineering, and Environmental & Sustainable Engineering as part of the reunified CNSE.

The new CNSE will be led by Dean Michele Grimm, who previously served as dean of UAlbany's College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Professor J. Andres Melendez, who served as interim dean of CNSE at SUNY Poly, will continue his teaching and research as part of CNSE's faculty and has agreed to become chair of the new department.

"The new CNSE will be an academic powerhouse, and we are very grateful to Dean Grimm and Dr. Melendez, whose leadership has been pivotal during the reunification process," said UAlbany Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Carol Kim in the release. "Dean Grimm's talents are well known to us, and we are thrilled to be working with Dr. Melendez, a gifted scientist whose insight and leadership will help continue to ensure a smooth transition as these two incredible groups of educators and scientific researchers join forces."

CNSE's return to UAlbany comes as the university is undertaking its largest cluster hire in history, which will bring 27 new faculty members specializing in artificial intelligence to eight schools and colleges as part of the AI Plus initiative. AI Plus is UAlbany's holistic approach to integrating teaching and learning about AI across the university's academic and research programs, to ensure every graduate is prepared to live and work in a world radically changed by technology in the coming decades. The new hires will include a new director of the AI Plus institute.

"As SUNY continues to serve as an important partner in our efforts to bring new high-tech jobs and economic and social opportunity to all New Yorkers, I'm thrilled to join in celebrating the reunification of UAlbany and CNSE," said Congressman Paul Tonko in the release. "This move will only further enhance SUNY's status as a national leader in cutting-edge research, opening new avenues for expanded funding and partnerships with both the public and private sectors.

"Since the passage of the CHIPS and Science Act last year, which I proudly supported, I've been working tirelessly to ensure that our Capital Region reaps the benefits of this transformative legislation in the form of new skilled manufacturing jobs and economic growth in communities across our district.

"With this exciting news, I'm confident that our Capital Region, New York State, and our nation will continue to compete vigorously in our global economy."

"CNSE's groundbreaking work in the area of nanotechnology and semiconductor science will dovetail beautifully with UAlbany's current research in life sciences, bioscience, bioengineering, and climate science, and the university's forthcoming plans to incorporate its AI Plus curriculum across all disciplines," said Senator Neil Breslin in the release.

"This forward-thinking, full-court press approach to research and academics will help further UAlbany's status as one of the nation's leading public research universities and spark a spirit of innovation, creativity and collaboration that will attract outstanding talent and millions of additional research dollars to the region and state."

Read the original article on Government Technology.