Florida Tech To Host 11th Annual NanoFlorida Research Conference October 5-7

By  //  September 4, 2018

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there are 25,400,000 nanometers in an inch

Florida Tech will host a large gathering this fall centered on a very small thing. More than 200 people from the Sunshine State and the southeast United States are expected to visit Florida Tech Oct. 5-7 for the 11th NanoFlorida Research Conference. (Florida Tech image)

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA — Florida Tech will host a large gathering this fall centered on a very small thing.

More than 200 people from the Sunshine State and the southeast United States are expected to visit Florida Tech Oct. 5-7 for the 11th NanoFlorida Research Conference.

Attendees at the conference, the only state-wide research gathering for nanotechnology, will include researchers from government and industry, as well as faculty and students.

Nanotechnology is science, engineering and technology conducted at a nanoscale of between 1 and 100 nanometers, according to the National Nanotechnology Initiative. How small is a nanometer? It is one billionth of a meter. So there are 25,400,000 nanometers in an inch, and a newspaper page is about 100,000 nanometers thick.

Or this: One nanometer is about the length your fingernail grows in one second.

The three-day event, convened every year at a different research university in Florida, features technical discussions, presentations and keynote addresses on nanotechnology topics, including devices and materials, agriculture, medicine, energy and the environment, aerospace, and education.

Industry vendors will display and demonstrate their latest instrumentation and research supplies.

Participants at NanoFlorida will experience an interdisciplinary program that highlights research efforts in understanding the fundamental nature of materials and interactions among atoms and molecules, as well as applications of nanotechnology to important industries in Florida, such as space exploration and pest control in citrus crops, according to Kurt Winkelmann, an associate professor of chemistry who co-organized the conference with Florida Tech colleague James Brenner, an assistant professor of chemical engineering.

Kurt Winkelmann, right, a Florida Tech associate professor of chemistry, co-organized the NanoFlorida Research Conference with Florida Tech colleague James Brenner, an assistant professor of chemical engineering.

Florida Tech is home to many student and faculty researchers studying nanotechnology related to multiple fields of science and engineering.

Winkelmann and Brenner developed what is considered the first hands-on nanotechnology laboratory course for first-year students in 2004, and Brenner went on to create a full nanoscience/nanotechnology minor program.

Educators at the conference will share how they teach nanotechnology to their students in primary and secondary school as well as at the college level.

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“NanoFlorida is a great tradition for researchers to share their ideas, for networking, and to help students gain experience giving presentations. Students give most of the oral presentations and posters in a relaxed, supportive professional environment,” Winkelmann said.

Winkelmann received funding from the National Science Foundation to reimburse conference fees for up to 200 student attendees from any university. At the conference, graduate schools and nanotechnology companies will set up informational booths, and all NanoFlorida student attendees will be invited to attend Florida Tech’s Career Fair on Oct. 5.

NanoFlorida is open to students, faculty and the public but registration and fees are required. More information, including registration, is available by clicking here.

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