The IEEE Nanotechnology Council was formed more than a decade ago, and it has been nothing but busy ever since. After all, it was present at the creation of a nanotechnology industry that will top US $2.4 trillion by next year, according to the U.S. government’s National Nanotechnology Initiative. The multidisciplinary council’s purpose has been to coordinate and advance the work in nanotechnology being carried out throughout IEEE. It supports the theory, design, and development of nanotechnology and its scientific, engineering, and industrial applications.
An IEEE council usually has an interdisciplinary focus that spans multiple technical societies, and sometimes it is the precursor to the formation of a new society, but not in this case. Part of IEEE Division I–Circuits and Devices, the Nanotechnology Council’s membership is comprised of representatives from its 21 sponsoring IEEE societies, including Aerospace and Electronic Systems; Components, Packaging, and Manufacturing Technology; Engineering in Medicine and Biology; Photonics; Systems, Man, and Cybernetics; and Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control. Members join the council by first joining one of its member societies.
The council has 12 chapters around the world, including ones in Australia, China, Italy, Singapore, South Africa, and the United States. It also has two student chapters—one at the University of Texas, in Tyler, and another at Kuvempu University, in Shankaraghatta, India.
The council sponsors four annual conferences.
The IEEE International Conference on Nanotechnology (IEEE NANO) covers nanofabrication, nanomanufacturing, nanomaterials, nanobiomedicine, nanoenergy, nanoplasmonics, nanoelectronics, nanosensors and nanoactuators, and the characterization and modeling of structures and devices. The council’s annual meeting takes place at IEEE NANO.
The IEEE Nanotechnology Materials and Devices Conference makes critical assessments of ongoing work and future directions in nanotechnology research, including nanomaterials and their fabrication, nanoelectronics, nanophotonics, devices, and integration.
The IEEE International Conference on Nano/Molecular Medicine and Engineering covers nano- and molecular technologies in medical diagnosis and therapy, drug delivery, biomedical imaging, biochips, cell mechanics, biological interfaces, and frontiers in nanobiotechnology.
The IEEE International Conference on Nano/Micro Engineered and Molecular Systems will bring together leading researchers to discuss topics dealing with microelectromechanical systems and nanotechnology.
The council’s awards program includes three annual prizes.
The Early Career Award in Nanotechnology goes to individuals whose contributions have had a major impact on nanotechnology within seven years after being granted their highest earned academic degree.
For those at least 10 years beyond their highest earned degree, there’s the Pioneer Award in Nanotechnology. It recognizes those who, by virtue of initiating new areas of research, development, or engineering, have had a significant impact on nanotechnology.
And people who have performed outstanding service for the benefit and advancement of the council are recognized with the Distinguished Service Award. The service, which can be in such areas as conferences, meetings, and publications, is usually given to journal or magazine editors, administrative committee members, or chapter leaders.