job of the future: nanoengineer

A lot of people in the US are wondering where the next jobs are coming from. If you’re really bright and not intimidated by math you (or more likely, your kid) might want to look into nanoengineering.

A release from UC San Diego says Professor Jen Cha is making breakthroughs in one of the real hurdles in nanotech: manufacturing the little gadgets en masse and cheaply. Her technique: DNA origami.

People have created a huge variety of unique and functional nanostructures, but for some intended applications they are worthless unless you can place individual structures, billions or trillions of them at the same time, at precise locations… We hope that our research brings us a step closer to solving this very difficult problem. […]

“Using DNA to assemble materials is an area that many people are excited about,” Cha said. “You can fold DNA into anything you want – for example, you can build a large scaffold and within that you could assemble very small objects such as nano particles, nano wires or proteins. […]

“My job as a nanoengineer is to figure out what you need to do to put all the different parts together, whether it’s a drug delivery vehicle, photovoltaic applications, sensors or transistors. We need to think about ways to take all the nano materials and engineer them it into something people can use and hold.”

A bright future, I’d wager, if you’ve got the right stuff.

4 Responses to “job of the future: nanoengineer”

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