BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A major contributor to the development of
nanotechnology in the United States will discuss its evolution and
future initiatives in a lecture at the University at Buffalo.
Mihail C. Roco, senior advisor for nanotechnology for the
National Science Foundation, will speak about "New Frontiers for
Nanotechnology" at 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 20 in Room 201/106 of the
Student Union Theatre on the UB North (Amherst) Campus.
The hour-long lecture, part of the Distinguished Lecture Series
sponsored by the UB Office of the Vice President for Research, will
be preceded by a reception with refreshments at 3 p.m.
Roco was a key architect of the U.S. National Nanotechnology
Initiative (NNI), a long-term research and development program that
coordinates 27 federal departments and independent agencies and
which this year has a total budget of about $1.4 billion.
His lecture will focus on the genesis of the NNI, its current
outcomes and likely evolution. Roco also will explore scientific
and technological frontiers, the balance between the promised
benefits and measures to address possible undesirable effects, and
the general risks associated with nanotechnology applications.
"Nanoscience and nanotechnology have opened an era of
integration of fundamental research and engineering from the atomic
and molecular levels. It has increased technological innovation,
and provided an enabling base for improving human health and
long-term cognitive abilities," Roco said. "For the next five
years, new priorities are envisioned in exploratory research for
nanomedicine, energy conversion, food and agriculture, realistic
simulations at the nanoscale, molecular nanosystems, and improving
Roco holds 13 patents and has published more than 200 papers and
15 books, including "Nanotechnology: Societal Implications --
Maximizing Benefits to Humanity" (Springer, 2006) and "Managing
Nano-Bio-Info-Cogno Innovations" (Springer, 2007). He coordinated
preparation of the U.S.
National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) reports on
"Nanotechnology Research Directions" (NSTC 1999) and "National
Nanotechnology Initiative" (NSTC 2000).
Under his stewardship, the nanotechnology federal investment
increased from about $3 million to $1.3 billion in 2006. Roco is a
corresponding member of the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences
and a member of the International Risk Governance Council; a fellow
of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American
Institute of Chemical Engineers and the Institute of Physics. The
U.S. Society of Professional Engineers and NSF elected Roco as
Engineer of the Year in 1999 and 2004.