No Small Feat for UMass Lowell

09/24/2010
By By Erin Smith, Lowell Sun

LOWELL -- Science leaders at UMass Lowell are helping to set new national safety standards for cutting-edge nanomanufacturing jobs, which are expected to boom in the next decade.

Nano science deals with any particle that is 1 to 100 nanometers wide. By comparison, a strand of hair is about 100,000 nanometers wide.

Nanotechnology is attractive to manufacturing companies because nano particles have unique properties that make for better building blocks to create stronger and lighter materials used in everything from tissue scaffolding and cars to electronic devices and packing material used to keep food fresh longer.

"You could make an automotive part so that it's lighter-weight and the car uses less gas," said Carol Barry, co-director of the Nanomanufacturing Center for Excellence at UMass Lowell.

Joey Mead, the other center co-director, said it often takes two to three decades for a new innovation to transition from the laboratory to use in a product, and the center's research hopes to speed up that process to put the U.S. on the cutting edge of nanomanufacturing.

"The hope is that the manufacturing jobs will stay here," Mead said.

Read the entire story on UMass Lowell's Nanomanufacturing efforts.