The fields of nanoscience and nanotechnology are providing us with new technologies every day, from stain-resistant fabrics to lightweight, strong sporting equipment to dramatic improvements in drug delivery and the treatment of diseases. The big breakthrough that has made “nano” such an important field is the ability to visualize species and events at the molecular level. Advanced microscopes and spectrometers provide unparalleled insights into physical and chemical properties at the nanoscale, and these new discoveries can lead directly to the development of new innovations and technologies. Nanoscience is also inherently multidisciplinary, requiring methodologies and understanding from many different scientific and engineering disciplines. In fact, many of the new advances in nano that impact our everyday lives come from discoveries made at the interface between disciplines, and this will continue for the foreseeable future. This is the true value of the BSc Nanoscience program: the multidisciplinary training of students in state-of-the-art techniques in the physical sciences.
In the BSc Nanoscience program, classroom lectures are given by instructors who incorporate their own nanoscience research experience into the course material. The nanoscience courses combine aspects from different science disciplines, discussing topics that include nanoparticle synthesis, nanolithography, quantum materials, molecular electronics, computational modeling, bionanomaterials, quantum computing, nanoscale surface science, renewable energy, carbon dioxide capture and reduction, and sensing and biosensing.
One of the major highlights of the BSc Nanoscience program is the unique nanoscience undergraduate laboratory experience that begins in the students’ second year. The laboratory is an integrated facility that has a wide range of research-grade instrumentation that includes a scanning electron microscope, atomic force microscopes, a scanning tunneling microscope, a range of optical spectrometers and many other state-of-the-art analytical instruments. In the nano labs, students learn how to synthesize nanoparticles and nanostructured materials, and then they characterize the physical properties of these materials, providing excellent feedback on the quality of their synthesis. The labs provide students with hands-on experience on instruments that are currently used in both industrial and academic research laboratories, making them immediately useful in co-op job placements and providing them with enviable preparation for further research in academia and industry. Each lab course reinforces our pedagogical goals, since we emphasize understanding of the phenomena and how instruments work, provide students with hands-on lab skills, and give students an opportunity to present their findings in the form of a scientific paper.
Throughout the BSc Nanoscience program, we develop the students’ communication skills by having them present posters on their lab work, write critical reviews of journal papers and give oral presentations on their fourth-year research projects.
The BSc Nanoscience program provides students with considerable flexibility in designing their own program, allowing them to select different academic pathways by pursuing their passions in physics, chemistry, biology, and engineering.
Advantages of Multidisciplinary Approach
Many high school students have a difficult time in choosing a university program because they enjoy many different subjects. The multidisciplinary nature of the BSc Nanoscience program provides these students with the opportunity to learn different subjects while focusing their efforts on the technologically important area of the science of materials.
A significant percentage of graduates of the BSc Nanoscience program (46%) have gone on to graduate programs in a broad range of disciplines, including physics, chemistry, materials science, electrical and computer engineering, mechatronic engineering, and radiation oncology physics, as well as professional schools such as medical schools, at 17 different institutions in Canada, the US, the UK and Japan. The success rate of BSc Nanoscience graduates in winning graduate scholarships is outstanding, with 16% of these students awarded federal (NSERC) graduate scholarships and an additional 5% awarded provincial (OGS) graduate scholarships. Also, several BSc Nanoscience students have received the CEPS Graduation Prize, awarded to the student graduating with the highest cumulative average from an Honours Program in the college.
In addition to providing them with the skills to succeed in graduate school, the multidisciplinary nature of the BSc Nanoscience program has given students the tools to succeed in a wide variety of industrial careers such as: Microscopist (E-Moli), Research Engineer (HP), Materials Engineer (Adient), Software Engineer (Predictum), Director of Circular Services (Stona Enso), Staff Scientist (Mirexus Biotechnologies), VP Investment Banking (National Bank), Marketing (Maple Leaf Foods Inc), Electrical Engineering (Toronto Hydro), Battery Test & Development Scientist (e-Zinc), Technology Development Representative (Bayer Crop Science), Machine Learning (Cohere AI), UAV Lead Developer (Royal Canadian Mounted Police), Operations Manager (Sanofi), and Metrology (Illumina).
Nanoscience Summer Camp: July 6-10
The College of Engineering and Physical Sciences is offering a Summer Camp for high school students interested in exploring the realms of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology during the week of July 6 to 10
Nano Night in November
The Nanoscience Club showcases demonstrations at Nano Night in November as part of STEM week.
Professor Dutcher's spinoff company raises $12 million for factory
Professor John Dutcher's natural nanotechnology spinoff company Mirexus raises $12 million to finance factory, fund business development, and deepen R&D - Press Release.
Sweet corn nanoparticles receive Innovation of the Year Award
"Two University of Guelph innovations — sweet corn nanoparticles and genetic testing technology for livestock — have received this year’s Innovation of the Year awards for U of G inventions."
Unlocking the Potential of Nature's Nanotechnology
Prof. John Dutcher speaks at the Women in Physics Conference about how a serendipitous scientific discovery of natural polysaccharide nanoparticles has lead to the commercialization of a sustainable nanotechnology and creation of a spinoff company.
Ferrofluid Cork Screw
Watch as a ferrofluid dances in the fields of an electromagnet.
Phytoglycogen Nanoparticles as Natural Moisturizer
Collaborative research between the Unviersity of Guelph and Mirexus Biotechnologies Inc has lead to the development of new eco-friendly moisturizing formalutions based on phytoglycogen nanoparticles, which have been extracted from non-GMO sweet corn.
Could pollution-eating concrete clean up our urban jungles?
"(CNN) -- Concrete isn't usually considered an environmentalists' friend, but a remarkable new technology could soon be turning the gray stuff green."
"A Mayo Clinic research team has developed a new type of cancer-fighting nanoparticle aimed at shrinking breast cancer tumors, while also preventing recurrence of the disease."
Immunotherapy Nanoparticle Vaccines?
"Researchers from UT Southwestern Medical Center have developed a first-of-its-kind nanoparticle vaccine immunotherapy that targets several different cancer types."
Iron Fortified Foods?
"Whey protein nanofibrils loaded with iron nanoparticles. Now researchers are developing a new and highly effective way of fortifying iron into food and drinks."
Artificial Spider Silk?
"An international scientific team in which UPM researchers are involved has developed a bioinspired method that for the first time will allow researchers to spin artificial silk fibers as spiders do and to efficiently produce kilometers of silk."
Nanoelectrodes for your Brain?
"Wires are sometimes implanted in the brain to treat epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease by stimulating malfunctioning nerve cells. They can also be used to record electrical signals inside the brain – a useful tool for neuroscience."