Staff Contact:

Andrea J. Burney, APR

Director of  Public Relations



Two Boys in Nanotechnology lab

Students in DCC's Nanotechnology lab.


DANVILLE, VA, August 25, 2011 -- Danville Community College's newest program, Nanotechnology Technician Education was approved in spring 2011 by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) to an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree.

This represents a tremendous milestone for DCC and its students, as the program not only provides an additional (and highly lucrative) technical career path for the citizens in DCC’s service region to pursue, but the caliber of the program makes DCC now one of the leading nanotechnology educators in the nation, particularly on the two-year college level.

The term “nanotechnology? is used to describe the study and control of matter on the molecular level (a nanometer is one-billionth of a meter – a hair, for example, is around 100,000 nanometers in width).

DCC’s nanotechnology program, which was developed under funding from the National Science Foundation, will train students to work in a variety of laboratory and technician types of jobs in a wide range of fields.
Nationwide, the National Science Foundation forecasts the creation of nearly 1 million new nanotechnology-related jobs within a decade. With nanotechnology now being used in some way in nearly every product manufactured and the majority of new technologies being developed, a nanotechnology degree opens up a huge range of exciting career choices for program graduates in a diversity of fields ranging from healthcare to green technologies to energy to aerospace to manufacturing – and more.

At a time when many families are finding it difficult to meet the financial burden of sending a bright son or daughter off to a four-year university, DCC’s nanotechnology program provides an affordable, yet equally as challenging and rewarding alternative.

To that end, one unique feature of the program is that it provides technician-level students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience on high-end equipment usually available only to graduate students at major universities. Examples of such equipment in DCC’s program include atomic force microscopes, scanning tunneling microscopes, four-point probes, Raman spectroscopy systems, carbon nanotube reactors, and chemical vapor deposition equipment. Experience in using such equipment will give graduates of DCC’s program a huge competitive advantage over other job applicants as most first-time lab technicians have no familiarity at all with equipment of this caliber. DCC’s students, on the other hand, will be able to claim not only experience, but also expertise.
In addition to having the National Science Foundation as a major program partner, DCC has lined up 42 additional partners, many of which are from industry and have agreed to hire program graduates or offer job internship opportunities to students. On the local level, such partners include Luna nanoWorks; IR Flex Lab; Electronic Development Labs, Inc.; EDS; Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company; and Arista Tubes, to name but a few. Partnering companies throughout Virginia and North Carolina are primarily industries that specialize in nanotechnology research, and they include Sensory Analytics; Alnis BioSciences; Amphora Discovery Corp.; Liquidia Technologies; Nextreme Thermal Solutions; Advanced Liquid Logic; International Technology Center; Xintek; Hydrosize Technologies; NanoTechLabs Inc.; Zellcomp; Applied Quantum Technologies; MEMSCAP; Nitronex; Semprius; Micron; Expression Analysis; NanoLume Inc.; and AdvanceTEC.

According to DCC’s Nanotechnology Program Director
Dr. Beverly Clark, the greatest thing about having a degree in nanotechnology is that although the training is highly specialized, the scientific knowledge and technical skills learned have such a wide range of applicability.
“It’s a terrific choice for students who are good at math and science and enjoy hands-on work, but who haven’t really yet identified the specific job or career path they’d like to pursue in life. Nanotechnology gives them options. Lots of options,? Clark noted.

Check it out at or click here.


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