Mainland High School
Blinding Light: ISTF 06-1439
Component Three

Provide a forecast of what the workforce demand would be over a five-year period to produce and market your team’s technical application or process. Include the impact such production would have on the marketplace.

Nanotechnology, considered "the next revolutionizing frontier of science", is an advancing industry facing rapid growth in the next five years. Projected to become a $1 trillion per year industry, research and development for these technologies is actively being financed by the governments of Japan and the United States. New developments can be expected to generate global growth in a variety of fields. Our product will most likely increase demand for employees in the nanotechnology industry.

Projected Growth in the Nanotechnology Industry
Image courtesy of BCC Research

In the automobile manufacturing industry, flat glass producers made $3.8 billion dollars in 2005. Enhancements to glass like our product will supplement existing products, producing no apparent increase in consumption. A minimal impact on employment in the glass manufacturing sector would be expected with a marginal increase in employees who would specialize in the application of our product.

Our product with the potential to reduce accidents may become federally mandated or may be required by insurance companies in new vehicle models. A comprehensive requirement like that would dramatically increase our products deployment and reduce the manufacturing costs on an economy of scale. The automobile industry as a whole will utilize nanotechnologies like our product in order to become more cost effective. This trend can be seen in the graph below.

Image courtesy of Frost & Sullivan

Overall nanotechnologies are going to revolutionize the technology sector of the economy, leading the way to developments like our product. The greatest growth will be concentrated in the countries currently investing in research. The enhancements in safety, and driver comfort from the reduction of glare will secure our product as a valuable automotive feature for many years to come.

Give two examples of undergraduate or graduate degree programs in science or engineering that directly relate to your team's NCT technical application. For each program, be sure to include the following:
     the URL address of the institution,
     the department (for example, chemical engineering, electronic engineering) where the program is offered, and
     a brief description of the program of study.

Due to the scope of our project, we felt it was necessary to examine three undergraduate programs to solidify the varied pre-requisites present in our technical application.

Schools of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Physics, and Materials Science and Engineering

Optics and photonics will play a critical role in enabling the development and refinement of manufacturing during the 21st century. Optical engineers use the discoveries of scientists to design and create optical equipment that advances industry and improves life by making products that are safer, faster, and easier to use. Click on each course title to see a detailed description.

  • MSE 3015 — Electrical, Optical, and Magnetic Properties of Materials
  • ECE 4500 — Optical Engineering
  • PHYS 3225 — Modern Optics
  • PHYS 4220 — Optical Design

College of Engineering

North Carolina State's undergraduate program in materials science and engineering focuses on understanding the structure, modification and properties of materials, and the development of new or improved processing methods. This program also offers the newest information for material engineering to keep the students up to date with the new technology. Click on each course title to see a detailed description.

  • MSE 200 — Mechanical Properties of Structural Materials
  • MSE 230 — The Impact of Materials on Civilization
  • MSE 331 — Electronic Properties of Materials
  • MSE 350 — Mechanical Properties of Materials I
  • MSE 310 — Computer Applications for Materials Engineering
  • MSE 450 — Mechanical Properties of Materials II

Image courtesy of Niagara College

Bachelor of Applied Technology

The Niagara College in Canada specializes in educating prospective students in the field of photonics. Students are trained in the development and technology of photonic systems as they also explore the science of harnessing and developing light. Graduates are prepared to pursue careers in optical coatings and optical hardware design. Click on each course title to see a detailed description.

  • BATP9701 - Advanced Optical Theory
  • BATP9504 - Thin Film and Vacuum Systems
  • BATP9102 - Optics and Waves

Develop an idea for a new science and/or engineering degree program that might emerge given the advancements in scientific knowledge that the team has identified. Provide a title and 100-word description of this new degree program.

In addition to building a basic background in optical technologies and sciences, our graduate program Optical Design and Manufacturing Technologies (ODMT) will enable our students to design, manufacture, and modify our product. The research we conducted will hopefully instill a better understanding of the optics, materials, and design involved in windshield manufacturing. We have developed a comprehensive degree program for those who wish to seek further education in this particular optics-based technology field.

Year One Year Two
Fundamental Optical Theory
Polymer Chemistry
Fundamentals of Nanotechnology
Crystal Structural Design
Industrial Facilities Planning and Design
Optical Properties of Materials
Optical Engineering
Photonic Chemistry
Applications of Optical Nanotechnologies
Nanotechnological Manufacturing
*Thin Films and Anti-Reflective Coatings
*Systems and Material Engineering
*Composite Materials and Technology
*Chemical Concepts in Materials

When asked what sort of college classes or previous work experience one would like to see on the resume of someone who wished to apply for a job that would incorporate a new feature in a current product, Mr. Rob Vandal, the Director of Advanced Product Development at Guardian Industries, replied, "We are looking for people who can plan and implement automation or techniques, meaning engineers and technicians."1

Also when asked about which personality traits that he would like to see in an individual wishing to work for him, he answered, "We look primarily for positive attitude, strong work ethic and as a result like to see that students have engaged in some real work during their time as a student. It is nice if it is related to their discipline ... individuals that do well are very self motivated with a high level of dedication."2

Rob Vandal
  1email correspondence 21 February 2007
  2email correspondence 21 February 2007

AutoGlass: Industry Statistics

BCC Research: Nanotechnology: A Realistic Market Assessment There are Tremendous Growth Prospects for the Nanotechnology Inductry that is Expected to Grow ... 2005 to 2007

Frost & Sullivan: Growth Opportunities in the Transportation Sector

Georgia Tech: Undergraduate Courses in Optics + Photonics

Larta: Small Science Has Big Opportunities

Niagara College: Bachelor of Applied Technology (Photonics)

North Carolina State: Materials Science and Engineering Courses

Research and Markets: Nanotechnology: Worldwide IC Market

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Mainland High School ISTF
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