Beginning in Fall 2020, the Department of Chemistry and Physics at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) will offer a nanoscience option for the Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and Physics.


The option will encompass core science courses in physics, chemistry, and math, with different focuses on nanoscience and technology such as nanomaterials, nanoelectronics, nanophotonics, and nanochemistry, according to a news release.


“This new option is the best preparation for students who wish to pursue a career in nanotechnology and state-of-the-art technologies by providing them with a foundation in multidisciplinary areas of nanoscale science and engineering, and even careers in health,” said Aboozar Mosleh, Ph.D, a member of the nanoscience physics faculty. “I am looking forward to seeing the program grow fast at UAPB — the technology evolves at a much higher pace these days.”


Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences Andrea Stewart applauded the program.


“The nanoscience option within the Department of Chemistry and Physics is significant and will strengthen the unit,” Stewart said. “Also, I’m elated that we have the program option and hopefully, it will attract more minority students.”


Junior physics major Maeyonna Done is looking forward to taking courses in the new program. She said nothing excites her more than optics and photonics at the nanoscale.


“The new courses offered in this program are aligned with my interest and current research I am doing, especially the two courses of Nanoscale Optics and Spectroscopy, and Nano Electronic Devices and Characterization,” said Done. “Taking courses like these helps me get better academic training to work in this field.”


Nanoscience is an interdisciplinary field that involves physics, chemistry, biology, and engineering. Students will be trained on theoretical, computational, and experimental analysis of science at the nanoscale level.


According Qinglong Jiang, Ph.D, a member of the nanoscience chemistry faculty with years of experience in nanomaterials, they have been widely used in daily life, such as targeted drug delivery/release, micro/nanoelectronics, construction, environment protection and energy applications. By 2024, Jiang said the global nanomaterial market is expected to exceed $125 billion.


Grant Wangila, Ph.D, is chairman of the Department of Chemistry and Physics.


“The new option in nanoscience is essential at this moment because it increases the chances for our graduates to enter into new cutting-edge technological niches that are critical in today’s economy,” Wangila said. “A student graduating with a degree in nanoscience will be qualified for jobs in traditional science-based industries and government laboratories, as well as well-positioned for new jobs in applied engineering and technology. This program will be anticipating trends and providing students with integrated, cross-disciplinary scientific knowledge and professional skills.”


Funding for the new option and hiring of expertise to implement the program was paid for in total or in part by resources from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education, Institutional Services Program, Title II part B Strengthening Historically Black Colleges and Universities Programs or Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, according to the news release.


Details: Grant Wangila, Department of Chemistry and Physics chair, at wangilag@uapb.edu.