Materials and Nanotechnology

Program and Application Information
Director:Erik Hobbie
Department Phone:(701) 231-6103
Department Web
Application Deadline:International applications are due May 1st for fall and August 1 for spring and summer. Domestic applicants should apply at least one month prior to the start of classes.
Degrees Offered:Ph.D., M.S.
Test Requirement:GRE
English Proficiency Requirements:TOEFL ibT 71; IELTS 6

Program Description

North Dakota State University offers an interdisciplinary program leading to the Master of Science or Ph.D. degree in Materials and Nanotechnology (MNT). The program includes a series of required MNT core courses; additional elective courses; written and oral preliminary examinations; a doctoral dissertation based on independent, original research in the area of materials and nanotechnology; and a final oral examination of the dissertation.

Admissions Requirements

The program in Nanotechnology and Nanomaterials is open to qualified graduates of universities and colleges of recognized standing. Students with a degree in the disciplines of chemistry, engineering, material science and engineering, physics, polymer science, polymer engineering, or related fields will be considered for admission. Applicants must meet the Graduate School requirements.

Financial Assistance

Students are routinely supported through research assistantships. Applicants are considered on the basis of scholarship, potential to undertake advanced study and research, and financial need. All students who submit complete applications by the appropriate deadlines are considered for assistantships. Exceptional students are also eligible for university fellowships that are awarded on a competitive basis.

By the end of the first academic year, the student will select an academic adviser from among the MNT faculty and arrange for the appointment of a Graduate Advisory Committee. This committee will consist of at least four members of the graduate faculty. This includes the student's major adviser, at least one additional MNT faculty member, and an appointee of the Graduate School.

The plan of study will be prepared by the student, in consultation with the major adviser, by the end of the first year in residence. The plan shall be approved by the student's Graduate Supervisory Committee, the MNT Program Director, and the Graduate School dean. The plan of study must be filed in the Graduate School prior to scheduling the comprehensive written examination.

Master of Science

Graduate students in Materials & Nanotechnology are able to obtain a master’s degree following one of two different tracks. In each case, a total of at least 30 graduate credits with a grade point average of 3.0 or better are required.

The non-thesis option (Masters of Materials and Nanotechnology – Plan B) is appropriate for working professional students or students who are certain that they do not wish to pursue future graduate work in any field of science or engineering to the level of doctorate. In the context of the MNT program, this is the equivalent of a Plan B Master’s with a 6-10 credit culminating experience (794) replacing the research credits (798). The thesis option (Plan A) represents a more traditional Masters of Science in Materials and Nanotechnology, with an independent research component in the form of an original thesis that can serve as a foundation for future doctoral work in science or engineering.

For the Thesis Option, of the required minimum 30 graduate credits, at least 16 credits must be from approved graduate courses numbered from 601-689, 691, 700-789, and 791 while the research credits (798) must be not fewer than 6 nor more than 10 credits.


The Graduate School requires the plan of study for the Ph.D. degree to include not less than 90 semester graduate credits. Of this total, not less than 27 credits must be in courses other than seminar or research credits. Of the 27 course credits, 15 must be at the 700-789 level. The MNT Ph.D. program requires students to complete a series of 7 core courses totaling 17 semester credits. The student will complete additional elective courses to fulfill The Graduate School requirement of 27 semester credits in academic courses. An overall GPA of 3.0 or better must be maintained.

Courses Offered

All students must complete the core curriculum which consists of:

MNT 729Materials Characterization3
MNT 730Nanotechnology and Nanomaterials3
MNT 732Physical Properties of Materials3
MNT 745Preparing Future Researchers1
MNT 756Molecular Modeling3
MNT 760Materials Synthesis Processing3
MNT 790Graduate Seminar1

Students must complete at least an additional 12 credits of graduate level coursework. The courses should be chosen by the students in consultation and with the approval of the student's committee.

Suggested courses include the following

Microelectronics Focus
ABEN 682Instrumentation & Measurements3
CPM 796Special Topics2
CHEM 766Quantum Chemistry I4
CHEM 767Quantum Chemistry II2
ENGR 780Electromagnetic Theory3
ECE 751Electromagnetic Theory and Applictions3
IME 627Packaging for Electronics3
IME 720Surface Engineering3
IME 635Plastics and Injection Molding Manufacturing3
MNT 735Optoelectronics Materials and Processing3
PHYS 771Quantum Physics I3
Biomaterials Focus
ABEN 758Applied Computer Imaging and Sensing for Biosystems3
BIOC 716Protein and Enzyme Biochemistry3
BIOC 673Methods of Biochemical Research3
CE 725Biomaterials-Materials in Biomedical Engineering3
CPM 771Modern Methods of Polymer Characterization3
ME 668Introduction to Biomechanics3
ME 731Mechanical Behavior of Materials3
ME 743Biomechanics Of Impact3
ECE 685Biomedical Engineering3
ECE 687Cardiovascular Engineering3
PSCI 611Principles of Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics3
PSCI 701Quantative Drug Design2
Nanomaterials Focus
CE 641Finite Element Analysis3
CE 793Individual Study/Tutorial3
CPM 673Polymer Synthesis3
CHEM 766Quantum Chemistry I4
CHEM 767Quantum Chemistry II2
CPM 686Corrosion and Materials3
CPM 773Organic Chemistry Of Coatings3
CPM 782Physical Chemistry Of Coatings3
CPM 796Special Topics3
IME 720Surface Engineering3
ME 682Fuel Cell Science and Engineering3
ME 712Advanced Finite Element Analysis3
ME 733Polymer Nanocomposites3
ME 734Smart Materials and Structures3
PHYS 758Statistical Physics3
PHYS 781Solid State Physics3
General Materials Science and Engineering Focus
ABEN 658Process Engineering for Food, Biofuels and Bioproducts3
ABEN 644Transport Processes3
ME 673Polymer Engineering3
CE 641Finite Element Analysis3
CE 720Continuum Mechanics3
CHEM 732Advanced Analytical Chemistry4
CHEM 736Mass Spectrometry2
CPM 673Polymer Synthesis3
ME 633Composite Materials Science and Engineering3
ME 751Advanced Thermodynamics3
PHYS 611Optics for Scientists & Engineers3
PHYS 781Solid State Physics3

Affiliated Faculty

Iskander Akhatov, Ph.D.
Lomonosov University of Moscow, 1983
Research Interests: Fluid Dynamics, Multiphase Systems, Heat and Mass Transfer

Dilpreet Bajwa, Ph.D.
University of Illinois, 2000
Research Interests: Biobased Polymer Composites, Wood Composites, Processing and Characterization, Recycled Materials Utilization, Durability Engineering via Weathering and Degradation Mechanisms

Achintya N. Bezbaruah , Ph.D.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2002
Research Interests: Environmental sensors, Recalcitrant and micro pollutants, Contaminant fate and transport, Small community water and wastewater treatment, Environmental management

Gordon P. Bierwagen, Ph.D.
Iowa State University, 1968
Research Interests: Surface chemistry of coatings materials, corrosion, electrochemistry of coatings, coating lifetime prediction, concentrated random composites

Bret Chisholm, Ph.D.
University of Southern Mississippi, 1993
Research Interests: Combinatorial chemistry methods for coatings, novel organic-inorganic coatings applications, new polyester nanocomposites

Dr. Yongki Choi, PhD
City University of New York,  2010
Research Interests: Nanoparticle based electronics and sensors.

Andrew Croll, Ph.D.
McMaster University, Ontario, 2009
Research Interests: Polymers, Diblock Copolymers, Thin Films, Pattern Formation, Mechanics

Stuart G. Croll, Ph.D.
University of Leeds, 1974
Postdoctoral: National Research Council, Canada
Research Interests: Weathering durability of coatings, physical chemistry and suspension stability, pigmentpolymer interactions, film formation processes, coating and polymer physics

Alan R. Denton, Ph.D.
Cornell University, 1991
Postdoctoral, University of Guelph,1991-94; Technical University of Vienna, 1994-95, Research Center Julich, 1996-98
Research Interests: Soft Condensed Matter Theory, Computational Physic

Daniel L. Ewert, Ph.D.
University of North Dakota, 1989
Research Interests: Biomedical Engineering

Thomas Ihle, Ph.D.
Technical University, 1996
Research Interests: Theory and Simulation of Complex Fluids (Colloids, miroemulsions and Biopolymers).

Long Jiang, Ph.D.
Nanyang Technological University, 2003
Research Interests: Polymer and Polymer Composite Processing, Polymer Processing Machinery and Design, Nanocomposites, Polymers and Composites Derived from Biomass, Functional Composites with Novel Microstructures.

Alan R. Kallmeyer, Ph.D.
University of Iowa, 1995
Research Interests: Theoretical, Computational, and Experimental Solid Mechanics, Fatigue and Fracture of Engineering Materials, Composite Materials

Dinesh Katti, Ph.D.
University of Arizona, 1991
Research Interests: Geotechnical Engineering, Constitutive Modeling of Geologic Materials, Expansive Soils, Multiscale Modeling, Steered Molecular Dynamics, Computational Mechanics,
Nanocomposite, and Bionanocomposites. Computational Biophysics

Kalpana Katti, Ph.D.
University of Washington, 1996
Research Interests: Advanced Composites, Nanomaterials, Biomaterials, Biomimetics, Materials Characterization and Modeling, Analytical Electron Microscopy, and Microspectroscopy, Bone Tissue engineering

Svetlana Kilina, Ph.D.
University of Washington, Seattle, 2007
Research Interests: Photoexcitation process on the organic-inorganic interfaces in hybrid nanostructures: functionalized carbon nanotubes and quantum dots; Non-adiabatic dynamics in hybrid nanostructures: electron-phonon interactions in ligated quantum dots and functionalized carbon nanotubes; Self-assembly of bio-nanomaterials: structural aspects; Transport properties in amorphous conjugated polymers: effect of structural disorder.

Ivan T. Lima Jr., Ph.D.
University of Maryland, 2003
Research Interests: Photonics

Valery R. Marinov, Ph.D.
Technical University of Sofia, 1992
Research Interests: Process Modeling for Machining, Theory of Metal Cutting, Tribological Coatings, Including Nanocomposite Coatings and Deposition Methods, Design for Composites Manufacturing Processes, Packaging for low-cost disposable microelectronics, Direct-write material deposition methods, Laser processing

Sylvio May, Ph.D.
Jena, 1996
Research Interests: Physics of Lipid Membranes, Biophysics

Seth C. Rasmussen, Ph.D.
Clemson University, 1994
Postdoctoral, University of Oregon, 1995--99
Research Area: Inorganic/Organic Materials Chemistry, Chemical History

Jing Shi, Ph.D.,
Purdue University, 2004
Research Interests: Microelectronics
Packaging, Direct Write Material Depositing, Laser Processing for Electronics, RFID Applications, Numerical Modeling of Manufacturing Processes, Computer Integrated Manufacturing

Wenfang Sung, Ph.D.
Chinese Academy of Sciences, 1995;
Postdoctoral, University of Alabama, Birmingham, 1997-1999
Research Area: Organic Materials Chemistry

Chad A. Ulven, Ph.D.
University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2005
Research Interests: Advanced Composites Materials Development, Environmentally Friendly Materials Processing, Nondestructive Evaluation, Impact/High Strain Rate Characterization of
Advanced Materials

Alexander J. Wagner, Ph.D.
University of Oxford, 1997
Postdoctoral MIT, 1998-2000, Edinburgh, 2000-2002
Research Interests: Computational Soft Matter, Phase Separation, Diffusion, Interfaces Physics

Xinnan Wang, Ph.D.
University of South Carolina, 2008
Research Interests: Experimental Biomechanics, Synthesis of Nanomaterials, Nanomechanical Characterization, Nanomanipulation

Dean Webster, Ph.D.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 1984
Research Interests: Synthesis of high performance polymers, polymerization reactions, crosslinking chemistry, and quantitative structure-property relationship

Xiangfa Wu, Ph.D.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2003
Beijing Institute of Technology, 1998
Research Interests: Nanofabrication and Nanomaterials, Advanced Composites, Fracture and Impact Mechanics