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New IU degree programs in nanotechnology, microelectronics to drive research, boost talent pipeline

For Immediate Release Mar 28, 2023

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana University will create three new degree programs in the areas of microelectronics, semiconductors and nanofabrication to advance growth in these vital sectors and strengthen the talent pipeline of scholars and researchers.

Close-up of person holding computer chip IU will add additional degrees in microelectronics and other fast-growing tech industries.These new programs, along with expanded research efforts designed to drive innovation and knowledge within these disciplines, will advance IU’s leadership as part of the science and technology ecosystem in Indiana and nationally.

A master’s degree in microelectronics design and a related undergraduate degree that expands an existing computer engineering specialization will be offered through the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering. A separate master’s degree in nanofabrication will be offered jointly by the Luddy School and the College of Arts and Sciences at IU Bloomington. Expansion of IU’s Nanoscale Characterization Facility in the College’s Department of Chemistry will provide an IU hub for increased instrumentation experience and research in these areas as well.

“In 2020, the global nanotechnology market was valued at $1.76 billion; by 2030, it’s expected this market will increase in value to more than $33 billion,” said Joanna Millunchick, dean of the Luddy School, noting that nanotechnology and microelectronics can be applied to fight cancer, reduce energy consumption and detect the presence of pathogens in food, among other benefits. “When an industry shows this much promise and exhibits such exponential growth, the need for talented individuals focused on these technologies demands a multi-faceted response. Our graduates will help fill this need both within Indiana and around the world to continue to expand the capabilities of these technologies.”

In addition to meeting the needs of growing industries, the new degree programs will support the student success, research and service pillars of IU 2030 — a strategic plan that, once endorsed by the IU Board of Trustees, will guide the university’s progress for the next seven years. The plan sets bold targets for IU’s national research impact and productivity and calls for stronger alignment with industry sectors and focus areas that the state of Indiana has targeted for investment and growth through the Indiana Economic Development Corp.

The degree programs and expanded research areas also align with the CHIPS Act championed by U.S. Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind. The $280 billion bipartisan bill prioritizes investments in emerging technologies and innovations critical to America’s economic competitiveness, scientific and technology leadership, and national security.

“These new programs respond to key economic development priorities and increased student interest in these rapidly expanding industry sectors,” said Pamela Whitten, president of Indiana University. “They will prove essential to providing the talent needed to support Indiana’s aspiration as a tech hub destination. As Indiana’s largest and most research-active university, we have the potential to feed Indiana’s economic prosperity while equipping our students for multifaceted, in-demand careers.”

Pending approval from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, the microelectronics design and nanofabrication master’s degrees will launch in fall 2024 and the undergraduate degree in 2025.

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Barbara Brosher

Executive Director of Storytelling and Research Communications, and Interim Associate Vice President for Strategic Communications

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