Summary Report for:
17-2199.09 - Nanosystems Engineers
Design, develop, or supervise the production of materials, devices, or systems of unique molecular or macromolecular composition, applying principles of nanoscale physics and electrical, chemical, or biological engineering.
This title represents an occupation for which data collection is currently underway.
- Conduct research related to a range of nanotechnology topics, such as packaging, heat transfer, fluorescence detection, nanoparticle dispersion, hybrid systems, liquid systems, nanocomposites, nanofabrication, optoelectronics, or nanolithography.
- Create designs or prototypes for nanosystem applications, such as biomedical delivery systems or atomic force microscopes.
- Design or engineer nanomaterials, nanodevices, nano-enabled products, or nanosystems, using three-dimensional computer-aided design (CAD) software.
- Coordinate or supervise the work of suppliers or vendors in the designing, building, or testing of nanosystem devices, such as lenses or probes.
- Design or conduct tests of new nanotechnology products, processes, or systems.
- Engineer production processes for specific nanotechnology applications, such as electroplating, nanofabrication, or epoxy.
- Develop processes or identify equipment needed for pilot or commercial nanoscale scale production.
- Provide scientific or technical guidance or expertise to scientists, engineers, technologists, technicians, or others, using knowledge of chemical, analytical, or biological processes as applied to micro and nanoscale systems.
- Prepare nanotechnology-related invention disclosures or patent applications.
- Prepare reports, deliver presentations, or participate in program review activities to communicate engineering results or recommendations.
- Generate high-resolution images or measure force-distance curves, using techniques such as atomic force microscopy.
- Identify new applications for existing nanotechnologies.
- Provide technical guidance or support to customers on topics such as nanosystem start-up, maintenance, or use.
- Synthesize, process, or characterize nanomaterials, using advanced tools or techniques.
- Write proposals to secure external funding or to partner with other companies.
- Supervise technologists or technicians engaged in nanotechnology research or production.
- Apply nanotechnology to improve the performance or reduce the environmental impact of energy products, such as fuel cells or solar cells.
- Design nano-based manufacturing processes to minimize water, chemical, or energy use, as well as to reduce waste production.
- Design nano-enabled products with reduced toxicity, increased durability, or improved energy efficiency.
- Design nanoparticle catalysts to detect or remove chemical or other pollutants from water, soil, or air.
- Design nanosystems with components such as nanocatalysts or nanofiltration devices to clean specific pollutants from hazardous waste sites.
- Develop catalysis or other green chemistry methods to synthesize nanomaterials, such as nanotubes, nanocrystals, nanorods, or nanowires.
- Develop green building nanocoatings, such as self-cleaning, anti-stain, depolluting, anti-fogging, anti-icing, antimicrobial, moisture-resistant, or ultraviolet protectant coatings.
- Integrate nanotechnology with antimicrobial properties into products, such as household or medical appliances, to reduce the development of bacteria or other microbes.
- Reengineer nanomaterials to improve biodegradability.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Atomic absorption AA spectrometers — Atomic absorption spectrometers
- Binocular light compound microscopes — Differential interference contrast DIC microscopes; Fluorescence optical microscopes; Optical inspection microscopes; Optical profilers
- Capacitance meters — Capacitance-voltage C-V plotters
- Computer servers
- Cryogenic temperature controllers — Temperature controllers
- Desktop computers
- Drying cabinets or ovens — Critical point dryers; Spin dryers; Spin rinse dryers
- Electronic measuring probes — Probe stations
- Fume hoods or cupboards — Fume hoods
- Handheld refractometers or polarimeters — Handheld refractometers
- Impedance meters — Four-point probes; Impedance analyzers
- Infrared dryers — Ultraviolet UV exposure units
- Infrared spectrometers — Infrared microscopes
- Inkjet printers
- Isolation glove boxes
- Laboratory evaporators — Filament evaporators; Resistance evaporators; Thermal evaporators
- Laboratory safety furnaces — Ashing systems; Atmospheric furnaces; Oxidation furnaces
- Lasers — Pulsed laser systems; Tunable lasers
- Light scattering equipment — Zeta potential analyzers
- Microprocessors — Graphics processing units GPU
- Microtomes — Cryocut microtomes; Ultramicrotomes
- Network analyzers
- Optical diffraction apparatus — Particle size analyzers
- Polarizing microscopes — Raman scattering microscopes
- Potentiometers — Potentiostats
- Reciprocating shaking water baths — Reciprocating shaker water baths
- Scanning electron microscopes — Field emission scanning electron microscopes FESEM; Focused ion beam scanning electron microscopes FIB-SEM; Scanning auger microscopes; Scanning electron microscopes SEM
- Scanning light or spinning disk or laser scanning microscopes — Confocal Raman microscopes; Laser scanning confocal microscopes
- Scanning probe microscopes — Atomic force microscopes AFM; Scanning tunneling microscopes STM
- Semiconductor process systems — Molecular beam epitaxy MBE systems; Nanoimprint lithography NIL systems; Plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition PECVD systems; Wafer saws (see all 25 examples)
- Semiconductor testers — Semiconductor parameter analyzers
- Signal generators — Laser pattern generators; Optical pattern generators
- Spectrometers — Energy dispersive x-ray EDX spectroscopes; Raman scattering spectroscopes; Secondary ion mass spectrometers SIMS; X-ray photoelectron spectrometers
- Surface testers — Profilometers; Surface profilers
- Temperature cycling chambers or thermal cyclers — Rapid thermal annealers RTA
- Thermal differential analyzers — Laser flash systems
- Thickness measuring devices — Ellipsometers; Scanning ellipsometers; Spectroscopic ellipsometers
- Transmission electron microscopes — Transmission electron microscopes TEM
- Tumblers or polishers — Chemical mechanical polishing CMP systems; Lapping machines
- Vacuum ovens
- Video attachments for microscopes — Video microscopes
- Voltage or current meters — Surface charge analyzers
- X ray diffraction equipment — X ray diffractometers
Technology used in this occupation:
- Analytical or scientific software — General Atomic and Molecular Electronic Structure System GAMESS *; QuantumWise Atomistix ToolKit; UTQUANT *; Vienna Ab-Initio Simulation Package VASP (see all 15 examples)
- Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk AutoCAD software; LinkCAD; Optical Research Associates LightTools; PTC Pro/ENGINEER software (see all 8 examples)
- Computer aided manufacturing CAM software — Rapid prototyping software
- Development environment software — National Instruments LabVIEW
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Freehand
- Operating system software — Linux software
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
* Software developed by a government agency and/or distributed as freeware or shareware.
Detailed Work Activities
- Prepare operational reports.
- Advise customers on the use of products or services.
- Develop technical methods or processes.
- Test performance of electrical, electronic, mechanical, or integrated systems or equipment.
- Measure physical or chemical properties of materials or objects.
- Prepare contracts, disclosures, or applications.
- Supervise engineering or other technical personnel.
- Provide technical guidance to other personnel.
- Research engineering aspects of biological or chemical processes.
- Coordinate activities with suppliers, contractors, clients, or other departments.
- Explain engineering drawings, specifications, or other technical information.
- Devise research or testing protocols.
- Prepare proposal documents.
- Develop operational methods or processes that use green materials or emphasize sustainability.
- Create physical models or prototypes.
- Research engineering applications of emerging technologies.
- Design materials for industrial or commercial applications.
- Design alternative energy systems.
- Identify new applications for existing technologies.
- Design micro- or nano-scale materials, devices, or systems.
- Operate precision equipment to control microscopic or nanoscopic processes.
This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:
Interest code: IRE
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Wages & Employment Trends
Median wages data collected from Engineers, All Other.
Employment data collected from Engineers, All Other.
Industry data collected from Engineers, All Other.
|Median wages (2014)||$45.31 hourly, $94,240 annual|
|Employment (2012)||133,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2012-2022)||Slower than average (3% to 7%)|
|Projected job openings (2012-2022)||29,500|
|Top industries (2012)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.