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USF to host Nanotechnology discussion

TAMPA, Fla. -- IPod nanos are everywhere, and everyone knows that ‘nano’ means “small.” But how small? There are about 100,000 nanometers in the width of a human hair. Who besides a few scientists should care about that? The University of South Florida College of Arts and Sciences will sponsor an all-day discussion forum about the importance and impact of nanotechnology, led by top experts. The forum will begin at 9 a.m., Tuesday, March 27, 2012, in the USF Marshall Center Ballroom.

“Nanotechnology, the application of discoveries in nanoscience, is influencing diverse fields, leading to improvements of existing technologies and generating new ones in electronic computing, biomaterials for tissue engineering, sensors and biosensors, renewable energy, water treatment methods, targeted drug delivery systems and other areas,” said Don Haynie, associate professor of physics and organizer of the upcoming forum.

Haynie said a growing number of jobs are nano-related or have a nanotechnology focus.

“It can be hard to distinguish promising technological breakthroughs from hype,” Haynie said. “Nanotechnologies also pose unique challenges for human health and the environment; it’s important to be aware of that.”

The distinguished panelists will include Scott McNeil of the National Cancer Institute, Thomas Theis of IBM, Rutledge Ellis-Benhke of MIT and University of Heidelberg, Steve Dunn of Queen Mary University of London, and Vincent Caprio of NanoBusiness Commercialization Association. The presentations will be aimed at a general audience, not only scientific experts.

The “USF Technology & Innovation Forum: Nanotechnology” has been timed to coincide with the first-ever NANOSMAT conference to be held in the United States. NANOSMAT conferences are technical meetings for nanotechnology experts. In recent years the conference has been held in Barcelona, Rome, Reims and Krakow. This year NANOSMAT will be held in Tampa. Delegates will attend from 35 countries across the globe. Sir Harry Kroto, Nobel laureate in chemistry, will serve as honorary chairman of the conference.

The discussion forum, which is for non-experts, will have five themes: technology commercialization; education, environment and space; medicine and toxicology; nanotechnology in Florida; and engineering. Each themed discussion will feature three to four experts and will last about an hour, with a 15-minute panel discussion and a 15-minute break immediately after. The discussion forum will conclude with tours of IDS and NREC. For a complete schedule, visit the Forum website.

The discussion forum is free and open to the public. Those interested in participating by live webcast should register prior to the event to help ensure connectivity. See the Forum website for further details.

The forum was organized by Haynie and Sandy Justice, College of Arts and Sciences Office of Research and Scholarship, with support from Ashok Kumar, director, and Rob Tufts, assistant director, College of Engineering Nanotechnology Research and Education Center.


Filed under:Arts and Sciences Events School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Physics Research 
Author: D'Anna Fiorelli