About Nanotechnology Engineering

Nanotechnology student working in lab

24 months of cooperative work experience prepares students for the jobs involving advanced materials, fabrication, and nanobiosystems.

Waterloo’s Nanotechnology Engineering degree program – unique in North America – is offered collaboratively by the Department of Chemical Engineering and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering, and the Chemistry department in the Faculty of Science. It graduates nanotechnology professionals with hands-on materials science, clean-room fabrication, and nanotools experience. Nanotechnology engineers are at the forefront of research and development related to a cluster of technologies that harnesses the unique properties and functions of nanoscale systems.

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Four main theme areas are gradually developed as students progress through a carefully designed curriculum, taught by accomplished faculty members with multifaceted nanotechnology expertise, augmented by extensive hands-on experience in state-of-the-art laboratory facilities, and linked to the workplace via the world’s greatest co-operative education program.

The four areas of concentration are:

Nano-engineered materials

The nano-engineered materials concentration addresses the synthesis, characterization, and engineering application of several classes of advanced materials, including nanocrystalline materials and nanopowders used in electronics and photonics applications, as catalysts in automobiles, in the food and pharmaceutical industries, as membranes for fuel cells, and for industrial-scale polymers.


The nano-electronics concentration addresses the development of systems and materials that will enable the electronics industry to overcome current technological limits. Also part of this theme area is a new generation of electronics based on plastics, which is expected to create new markets with applications ranging from smart cards to tube-like computers.


The nano-biosystems concentration addresses the molecular manipulation of biomaterials and the engineering of nanoscale systems and processes of biological and medicinal interest, such as, for example, the targeted delivery of therapeutic agents and the design of DNA, peptide, protein, and cell chips.


The nano-instruments concentration addresses some of the most far-reaching yet practical applications of miniature instruments for measuring atoms or molecules in chemical, clinical, or biochemical analysis; biotechnology for agent detection; and environmental analysis.


The Nanotechnology Engineering program prepares students to be technological innovators and the next generation of leaders in the new frontier of nanotechnology. Explore these pages to learn more about the program's people and curriculum. Also, visit the undergraduate programs pages for interesting and useful information about the University of Waterloo. 

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