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Friday, September 28, 2007

Survey :Nanotech skills gaps

The survey was carried out as part of the EU-funded NANOFORUM project, and received responses from research managers at government institutions, not-for-profit bodies and companies.

Training in research management and toxicology, interdisciplinary Masters level programmes and hands-on training experience are some of the recommendations from the Institute of Nanotechnology following a survey identifying the skills gaps and training needs in nanoscience and nanotechnology.

Some 57.1% of respondents claimed to recruit graduates and post-graduates specifically for their nanotechnology know-how, while 23.5% indicated a preference for generalist skills and 12.5% for specialists.

Management of research and development (R&D) was identified as the most important technical competence. The Institute of Nanotechnology therefore recommends training for nanoscience and nanotechnology postgraduates in managing research within industry and academia.

Short training courses and training programmes are also recommended in the following areas: customer interfacing roles such as technical support; toxicology; health and the safety of nanoparticles; the strategic application of intellectual property rights; policy issues.

The Institute of Nanotechnology also recommends the establishment of interdisciplinary Masters level programmes that provide a grounding in material science, the nano-biology interface, nanoscale effects and selected modules from chemistry.

In addition to these extra courses, the paper also recommends that students be required to carry out hands-on training during their studies. This training should cover fabrication and synthesis techniques as well as characterisation equipment.

Partnerships between industry and academia should be strengthened with the creation of more 'science to business roles', which should be supported with increased funding from government bodies.

A total of 240 responses to the survey were received, of which 61.2% were valid. Some 64% of the valid responses came from organisations with headquarters in Europe, 21% from Asia, 8% from North America and 7% from the rest of the world.

Job Fair Planned to Add High-Tech Jobs in Support of UAlbany NanoCollege Expansion
The University at Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering ("CNSE") announced today that it will hold a job fair this month - the third such event it has held in the past 16 months - to assist in the recruitment of employees to fill more than 70 new high-tech positions at CNSE's Albany NanoTech complex.

The event, which is scheduled for Thursday, September 20 from 5 to 7 p.m., will give applicants an opportunity to participate in initial interviews with representatives of CNSE's faculty and technical staff. In addition, applicants will attend a presentation about the job opportunities and receive tours of CNSE's world-class, $4.2 billion Albany NanoTech complex.

The new technical, engineering, and infrastructure support positions, which will sustain further expansion and growth at CNSE, are concentrated in three primary areas: cleanroom workstation operators, who will be trained and certified to run state-of-the-art 300mm wafer tools for the fabrication of computer nanochips; facilities operations technicians, with skills in HVAC and mechanical systems, water and wastewater treatment, and electrical and control services; and, environmental health and safety/security officers.

Annual salaries range from $40,000 to over $80,000, with benefits that include medical, dental and life insurance and a generous retirement package. Individuals interested in attending and interviewing at the job fair are encouraged to pre-register at, where they will find additional information, can fill out an application and upload their resume.

Congressman Michael R. McNulty said, "The Capital Region has become a hub for high tech industry, particularly nanotechnology. This event is an excellent opportunity for our local residents to take advantage of their location and find jobs within the high tech world. I am grateful that the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at the University at Albany has had the foresight to seek people to work in this exciting field. This job fair will ensure that these high tech industries will have the high-quality employees they need to continue to spur economic growth in the Capital Region."

Assembly Majority Leader Ron Canestrari said, "I am pleased to see the rapidly expanding high-tech economy in the Capital Region take another step forward with the creation of additional nanotechnology-related jobs at the UAlbany NanoCollege. This is a wonderful chance for residents of the Capital Region to learn about exciting career paths in the technology sector, and I encourage them to explore these opportunities fueled by the incredible growth of high tech in our region."

Assemblymember Jack McEneny said, "It is rewarding to see further growth and witness the creation of still more high-tech jobs at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering. These new positions provide exceptional career opportunities in the technology field for residents of Albany and the Capital District, while also underscoring the standing of this region and New York State as global leaders in nanoscale science and engineering."

Frank J. Commisso, Majority Leader of the Albany County Legislature, said, "This is an exciting opportunity for our residents to become part of the Capital District's growing high-tech industry. SUNY Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering is expecting a strong turnout of candidates to apply for more than 70 new positions requiring a wide range of skills and training. This is a positive sign for our community."

Dr. Alain E. Kaloyeros, Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of CNSE, said, "The UAlbany NanoCollege is delighted to once again provide residents of the Capital Region with a chance to obtain exciting and challenging high-tech employment in their own backyard. The creation of more than 70 additional positions at CNSE's Albany NanoTech complex is testament to the pioneering leadership and strategic investment of Governor Spitzer, Speaker Silver and Senator Bruno, along with our elected officials, led by Senator Charles Schumer, Congressman Michael McNulty, Assembly Majority Leader Canestrari, Assemblyman McEneny, and County Legislature Majority Leader Commisso, who see nanotechnology as a primary enabler for economic growth that is opening up new career opportunities for New Yorkers in this region and beyond."

In May of 2006, CNSE and Hudson Valley Community College held a job fair at CNSE in which more than 160 attendees turned out to fill over 60 new cleanroom positions. This past January, more than 250 people were in attendance - and twice that many submitted resumes - as CNSE and Vistec Lithography held a job fair to fill 60 new positions to support the company's move from Cambridge, England to CNSE and the Watervliet Arsenal Technology Campus.

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