Nanosystems Engineer

Design and build new technologies using atoms and molecules.

What does a Nanosystems Engineer do?

Man has long sought to discover uncharted lands, from the shores of the New World to the cratered surface of the moon. Now, technology is pushing exploration even further into never-before-seen territory—the microscopic world.

As a Nanosystems Engineer, you’re concerned with how particles ranging in size from tiny atoms to miniscule molecules work together. Invisible elements zip around unseen and create bonds with each other, similar to a busy city forming roads and bridges to connect one place to the next. Through research and experimentation in the lab, you seek out how to strengthen and manipulate those connections.

Why investigate something so small that it’s nearly invisible? It’s not about showing off—though you certainly earn bragging rights for your discoveries as a Nanosystems Engineer. Rather, it’s about improving healthcare, building better computers, and creating gadgets that have longer life spans.

To go from an idea for a new product to the finished work, you first examine the materials available to you. By studying their properties, you learn how they function. Next, you spend weeks, months, or even years conducting cutting-edge research and analyzing data for patterns. Finally, you present your ideas, and create an intricate system of nano-particles—like a tiny city—that can carry out microscopic tasks.

“Bigger is better” does not apply to this field. The smaller you can build a circuit board, the more advanced technology you can create. When you tell your friends that your work as a Nanosystems Engineer changes the world, you mean it literally.