DCTC Hosts Nanotechnology Summit

Dakota County manufacturers invited to panel discussions

Deb Newberry | Director of Nano-Link & DCTC Nanoscience Technology Program

Dakota County Technical College, in partnership with the Dakota-Scott Workforce Investment Board, is hosting the first-annual Nanotechnology Summit at the Eagan Community Center in Eagan, Minn., Wednesday, October 13, 2010. The summit, which will run from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., will feature Deb Newberry as the keynote speaker. Newberry is the director of both the Midwest Regional Center for Nanotechnology Education (Nano-Link) and the DCTC Nanoscience Technology program.

“Nanotechnology is going to take off through the combined efforts of business, education and government,” Newberry said. “This summit is a critical step in the drive to bring all three sectors together in Dakota County and our surrounding areas.”

Skip Nienhaus, the economic development coordinator for Burnsville, Minn., chairs a committee tasked with organizing the summit. Nienhaus reported that the summit will center on a panel of experts versed in three main topic areas: Education, Industry and Workforce. Each panelist will conduct two 30-minute breakout sessions complete with in-depth discussions and a Q&A period. Summit attendees will have the opportunity to participate in breakouts with two of the three panelists.

“The purpose of the summit is to educate area manufacturers about the immensely constructive impact nanotechnology will have on the businesses of the future,” Nienhaus said. “The summit will cover specifics to show what nanotechnology is, how manufacturers can use it and why they should use it.”

Mike Opp, the dean of transportation and technical careers at DCTC, praised the summit as a very direct way to get the word out about the amazing applications of nanotechnology across a range of fields and industries, including:

  • Medicine
  • Chemistry
  • The Environment
  • Energy
  • Information Technology
  • Communications
  • Heavy Industry
  • Consumer Goods

Opp said that nanotechnology can be defined as the branch of technology focused on structures at the molecular and atomic level. By manufacturing materials at that scale, the physical, electrical and biological properties can be controlled.

He also noted that nanotech is an industry with an exceptionally bright future, pointing to a report by the National Science Foundation indicating a worldwide nanotech market that will approach $1 trillion by 2015.

“Experts estimate the global workforce needed to sustain nanotechnology as a field will have to top 2 million that same year,” Opp said. “DCTC is positioned to help train that workforce and the Nanotechnology Summit is a smart step in the process of showing manufacturers that the promise of nanotech is all about creating jobs and enhancing the bottom line.”

Nanotechnology Summit

  • 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
    Wednesday, October 13, 2010
    Eagan Community Center
    1501 Central Parkway
    Eagan, MN 55121
    Main Phone: 651-675-5550


  • Register Online

For more information about the Nanotechnology Summit, contact:

  • Mike Opp
    Dean of Transportation & Technical Careers
    Dakota County Technical College
  • Deb Newberry
    Director, Midwest Regional Center for Nanotechnology Education (Nano-Link) and the DCTC Nanoscience Technology program
  • Skip Nienhaus
    Economic Development Coordinator
    Burnsville, Minn.