Dr. Steve Smith
Nanoscience and Nanoengineering
Professors Salem and Smith (Chair); Miller Professor Whites; Associate Professors Ahrenkiel, Anagnoustou, Cross, Fong, Yang, and Zhu; Research Faculty Hong; Dean Wells (ex-officio)
Nanoscience and Nanoengineering
The Nano Science and Engineering Ph.D. (Nano SE Ph.D.) Program at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology is an interdisciplinary Ph.D. program focusing on the science and engineering of nanomaterials. The goal of nanoscience and nanotechnology is to manipulate matter at the atomic and “nano” length scales (dimensions from a few to 100’s of atomic radii), e.g. the molecular to mesoscopic levels, where new materials and phenomena have been discovered. The ability to engineer systems at these length scales will require professionals with a broad understanding of fundamental principles and the ability to cross-over into other fields. The nano program provides the training to allow scientists and engineers to address these challenges, and the opportunity for students to engage in such research at the School of Mines while pursuing the Ph.D.
The Nano SE Ph.D. program offers a research-intensive degree focused on nanoscience and nanotechnology, with an emphasis on nano-scale materials. A multi-disciplinary core curriculum is taken by students from diverse science and engineering backgrounds. These “core” courses are intended to introduce students to contemporary topics in nanoscience and nanotechnology, and to initiate a cross-disciplinary approach to research and learning. These courses can usually be completed in one, or at most two years. In addition to this core, students entering with an M.S. degree are required to take at least two electives outside the student’s traditional area of training. Students entering at the B.S. level will be expected to pursue, or take coursework equivalent to, an M.S. degree, in addition to the nano core curriculum.
Students from traditional science and engineering backgrounds enter the program with well-defined research interests and affiliate themselves with a research group and a faculty mentor. Current nano program participants draw from the Departments of Chemistry and Physics, and Chemical, Electrical, Materials and Metallurgical, and Mechanical Engineering. Students with traditional training in these areas participate in cross-disciplinary research with a nano focus. Examples of active research areas are: synthesis and characterization of nanocomposite materials, photo-activated nano-inks for direct write applications, nano-energetic materials, polymer chemistry, theory of spintronic devices, and structural and optical characterization of nano-materials for solar energy, bio-fuels and other forms of renewable energy.
The Nano SE Ph.D. program builds on traditional science and engineering disciplines, and offers a “core” curriculum which introduces students from varying science and engineering backgrounds to contemporary topics in nanoscience and nanotechnology. Students are expected to obtain graduate level training in a traditional discipline, designated as the “program major emphasis”, and take a minimum of 6 elective credits outside their own area. Students entering the program with an M.S. may apply up to 24 transfer credits toward fulfilling the program major emphasis requirements. More information is available in the Nano SE Ph.D. Program Handbook.
Students with an M.S. degree in science or engineering are eligible for admission. However, students with a B.S. degree only will also be considered for admission when the student has proven to possess exceptional qualifications. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE), three letters of recommendation, and a GPA of 3.00 or better are required of all applicants for the Ph.D. program. The TOEFL exam is required for students whose native language is not English.
All candidates for the Ph.D. program are required to successfully complete the following minimum credits and earn a grade of “C” or better, except for a final grade of “S” in NANO 898:
The program of study must be filed with the graduate office , and approved by the Nano SE Ph.D. program director before midterm of the second semester of residence, and again before the qualifying exam. Below is the summary of the required course of study.