International Center for Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials
In the past few years The University of Texas at Austin started efforts in the Science and Engineering areas under the leadership of Dr. Juan Sanchez, VP for Research. This has already resulted in increased interactions with Latin America that have started to produce important results. A top Mexican scientist, Miguel Jose Yacaman, has been recruited by the University of Texas at Austin, and major research programs and collaborations have been established with the most prestigious Mexican Universities and research centers. UT Scientists such as Dr. Don Paul, Dr. Isaac Sanchez and Dr. Alan Bard, have collaborative research programs with Mexico. The numbers of graduate students from Latin America has increased. Major actions have been undertaken such as the donation of a supercomputer to a Mexican research center. Also trough collaborations, Latin American scientist are using the high speed computers, the TMI facilities, and other equipment.
The new Institute is aimed to give a definite impulse to the collaborations and cooperation with Latin American Engineering and Sciences and plays the role of the Mexican Center in the Science and Engineering areas. One of the goals of the ICNAM is to increase the number of Hispanic students in UT.
We have detected the following problems:
If the research programs are widely advertised many people will come in sabbatical or a post doc, since they will bring financing; it will only be necessary to support them with around $1,000.00 a month to get a top researcher working in their group.
Activities of the ICNAM
The main activities of the ICNAM are:
Once the above mentioned activities have been consolidated, the center could expand undergraduate and graduate educational opportunities by offering joint Doctoral Program on materials and nanotechnology, in as well as other outreach activities focused on nanoscience education.
One of the great challenges of the state of Texas is to educate the increasing Hispanic population in the state at higher standards. The problem can be reflected in the statistics; Hispanics are only 14% of the enrollment of the College of Engineering and 14.7% of the College of Natural Sciences. This is extremely low when compared with Asian-American wich represent 23% of the students and a much lower fraction of the Texas population. The huge drop comes at the doctorate level where the Hispanic enrollment falls to 1.9% in Engineering and 2% in Natural Sciences. One of the solutions will be to have Latin American graduate students and post docs that will act as a roll model for Hispanic under grads and help them to go to graduate school. However the statistics of foreign students are in the opposite sense:
Students Total 53%
Other East Asian Countries (Japan, Malaysia, etc.) 5.66%
Arab Countries 3.1%
African Countries 1.2%
Other Asian Countries 0.07%
Asian Countries 78.68%
Total Latin American Countries 8%
Total European Countries 6.9%
Total African Countries 1.2%
International Center for Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials (ICNAM)
The University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX 78712
Mexican President Vicente Fox (left), CONACYTs Director Jaime Parada (center) and The VP for Research of the University of Texas at Austin Juan Sanchez (right) after signing a letter of intent for a joint nanotechnology network between CONACYT and UT-Austin. Nov 2004
The vision of the future, shared by many industries and by governments on both sides of the border, is the creation of a high tech industrial corridor running from Houston to Monterrey and Saltillo. This might include the most advanced technologies, including nanotechnology. Austin is one of the most important places in the US for high tech companies, including Nanotechnologies Inc., Sematech, Motorola, IBM, and many others. Monterrey has the most important industrial base in Mexico, and its government has developed a very aggressive plan for technological modernization of its industry, including the development of the hightech corridor.
The border region between the USA and Mexico is the gateway to the rest
of the Americas. In contrast to the US side, the Mexican side is heavily
populated. For educational purposes, the Texas legislature has ruled that
the Mexicans living at the border on the Mexican side are considered as residents,
and may attend border universities. By 2015, these rapidly growing universities
will have a joint enrollment of more than 35,000 students of a largely Hispanic,
from one of the poorest and most rapidly growing regions of the US. Human resource development in
this region is vital to economic growth in Texas and the US. The ICNAM will serve as a catalyst to increase the quality of education and research at the Texas universities in the border region. It will connect them with the most prestigious institutions and researchers of Latin America and open new possibilities for industrial partnerships.