UAlbany, Corrnell top nano institute rankings

May 23, 2006 – Ten US universities from New York to Texas to the midwest have been ranked as tops among universities’ efforts in micro- and nanotechnology research, according to a survey conducted by Solid State Technology sister publication Small Times.

The rankings, determined across five key categories — research, education, facilities, industrial outreach and commercialization — were compiled from a survey that included 26 questions about funding, facilities, patenting, company formation, collaborations with industry, research, publishing, and micro and nano-specific courses and degree programs. The survey also gave respondents an opportunity to state which of their peer institutions they thought were leaders in micro and nanotech research and commercialization.

Tops in research was the U. of Pennsylvania, where many of the school’s dozen or so science research centers, institutes and facilities boast multi-million dollar budgets. Penn also participates in the collaborative Nanotechnology Institute, which includes Drexel U. and the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania.

The U. Albany was tops ranked universities in several categories (education, facilities, and industry outreach), thanks to the performance and visibility of its College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE), which is co-located with the Albany NanoTech complex. The school’s Nano+MBA program was launched in 2005, and a forthcoming $435 million multi-university Institute for Nanoelectronics Discovery and Exploration will be located on the Albany campus.

Cornell ranked highly in terms of facilities and commercializing nanotechnology research due to the production capabilities at its NanoScale Science and Technology Facility, where it makes nanofabrication tools and processes and trained staff available to industry as well as university researchers. Almost half of its funding comes from user fees. The Cornell Center for Technology, Enterprise and Commercialization was consolidated in 2004 to support startups. Students and faculty also collaborate with corporations like IBM, Evident Technologies and Hitachi on projects as diverse as nanotransistors, quantum dots, and memory devices.

MIT also received kudos from peers for its commercialization efforts, driven by its School of Engineering’s Tiny Tech initiative, involving technology areas such as photonics, nanomaterials, MEMS, and NEMS.

Other schools ranking atop other categories include: The U.’s of Michigan, Virginia, North Carolina, and Minnesota; Rice U.; Ohio State U.; and Northwestern U.

The entire list of top-ranked universities’ nanotechnology efforts can be seen at


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