The School of Industrial and Manufacturing Science at Cranfield University has received a $2.75 million endowment to enhance work in the ultra-precision technologies covering nanoscience, nanotechnology, microsystems technology and ultra-precision engineering.
The endowment has been bestowed by the McKeown family as a result of the technical and commercial success of one of the family in Silicon Valley, California. Pat McKeown FREng, now a Cranfield Emeritus Professor played a major role in leading Cranfield into its current world class position in high-precision engineering.
The donation will allow Cranfield to enhance its research activities primarily in the field of nanotechnology. Two new Professorial posts will be created, one of which will be named the McKeown Chair. New research fellowship/lectureships will also be established, together with supporting research studentships.
Professor McKeown said "Nanotechnology is destined to become one of the key technologies for wealth creation in the foreseeable future - with strong positive industrial, economic, social and environmental implications. Cranfield with its outstanding ability to work effectively with industry is superbly placed to develop and support the necessary infrastructure for British wealth creation in this exciting field through research, development, teaching and training."
This comes as a very timely boost to Cranfield, it will interface with a new Masters-level course in Microsystems and Nanotechnology due to start in October 2001 and with newly established MSc in Precision Engineering.
Nanotechnology is the study and development of materials processes and systems where structures with a dimension of less than 100 nanometers are essential to obtain the required functional performance. 1 nanometer = 1 billionth of a metre, approximately 80,000 times less than the diameter of a human hair.