NanoProfessor partners with City Colleges to offer course, internship

SKOKIE — NanoProfessor, a division of NanoInk Inc. focused on nanotechnology education, announced a partnership with City Colleges of Chicago in which two City Colleges students will complete a specially designed “Introduction to Nanotechnology” course followed by a paid summer internship program working in the Skokie-based NanoProfessor labs.

It marks the first step by City Colleges to prepare students for careers in the growing field of nanotechnology. During the course of the program, the selected students will receive valuable hands-on training and experience with instrumentation used in the nanotech industry that could directly lead to a nano-focused job following their graduation.

“Our partnership with NanoProfessor will offer our students an unprecedented opportunity to build valuable technical skills and gain real-world experience in the growing nanotechnology industry,” said Cheryl L. Hyman, chancellor of City Colleges of Chicago. “The NanoProfessor internship is a great start and we look forward to expanding this and other key industry relationships that allow us to offer our students cutting-edge education to prepare them to launch careers in high-demand fields.”

The internship program is part of the recently announced Colleges to Careers program, which is a partnership between City Colleges of Chicago and industry leaders to fill the skills gap and ensure residents can win the jobs of today and tomorrow.

“We are very excited to partner with City Colleges of Chicago and help meet Mayor Emanuel’s goal of matching education and training with 21st century careers,” said Dean Hart, chief commercial officer at NanoInk. “Moving forward, we hope to expand the program to reach even more students at City Colleges of Chicago.”

Mike Davis, associate vice chancellor for Science Technology Engineering and Math at City Colleges, has been a strong advocate for the tie between classroom experience and workplace skills. “Experiences like this are true game changers. Once you see what the larger world has to offer, classes have a whole new meaning.”

Significant investment in nanotechnology research over the past decade is providing innovations and breakthroughs in many industries including biotechnology, electronics, alternative energy and medicine. As these innovations evolve into commercially viable products, companies need a workforce with the knowledge and skill of working at the nanoscale in order to fully commercialize their products and become successful entities. Unfortunately, many companies go wanting as there is a significant global gap between the estimated 400,000 researchers in nanotechnology today and the 6 million nano-savvy workers projected by the National Science Foundation to be needed globally by 2012. The need for nanoscience education for undergraduate students is not only growing but also immediate.

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