National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network

National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network

Serving Nanoscale Science, Engineering & Technology

SEI Research at the University of Washington

Coordinator: Suzanne Gage Brainard, PhD,
Center for Workforce Development (professional website / e-mail)

The SEI research effort at the University of Washington is located in the Center for Workforce Development (CWD). CWD conducts original research that addresses diversity within the global engineering and science workforce; establishes partnerships with industry, education and government; provides mentoring programs; assesses educational climates; and evaluates programs designed to increase the representation of diverse groups in science and engineering fields.

Additionally, since 2004, CWD has added a research specialization in identifying and analyzing social and ethical issues posed by emerging science and technologies, with a particular emphasis on nanotechnology. One current research project examines interdisciplinary collaborations within the NNIN and study the strengths and weaknesses of collaborative efforts for different research directions.

This project will combine network-wide surveys with in-depth interviews with scientists and provide recommendations to federal agencies for how to enhance interdisciplinary collaborations. Moreover, research on social and ethical issues of nanotechnologies completed has indicated a need for specialized nano-ethics education for graduate students in nano-related disciplines.