Chemical Engineers are needed in many industries including Nanotechnology, so there are a lot of job opportunities out there. That being said, if one was to decide to work for a Nanotechnology company, which should he or she choose? Which companies offer a rewarding career and which offer simply material rewards but offer boring or stressful jobs? Here is my list of 5 Nanotechnology companies I would like to work at:
1) NanoInk – As my first pick, I need to put NanoInk, a nanofabrication and nanolitography company headquartered in the Illinois Science and Technology Park in Skokie, IL. I had a pleasure of working in educational wing of Nanoink during my Summer Internship Program at Nanoprofessor – I wrote about my experiences before in the internship article and the thank you note for NanoInk and NanoProfessor teams posted on my blog.
First of all, the people at NanoInk are great – kind, courteous, knowledgeable, and professional – but most of all, completely excited about working with Nanotechnology! The atmosphere in the lab was always such that I enjoyed every day of my internship, as well as the time I spent working as a Chemical Lab Technician before returning to school to start my Chemical Engineering program. Some of my greatest mentors and scientists I consider my role models are employees of NanoInk.
Secondly, NanoInk is a fast growing company in the middle of a fast growing industry. If it was a publicly traded company, it would top my list in my recent article about top nanotechnology stocks worth investing in. The company is very secure financially and has great growth prospects, so it offers real job security to its employees.
Lastly, NanoInk is a cutting-edge company! They are at the fore-front of research into many areas of Nanotech, so if one wants to join a team of the best of the best in Nanotechnology, NanoInk is a place to be!
P.S. NanoProfessor team published an Introduction to Nanotechnology book, for a review and link to buy the book, please visit the article on Chemical Engineering News, entitled: Introduction to Nanotechnology Book Review/Recommendation: Introduction to Nanoscale Science and Technology - http://wp.me/p2rTRU-1t.
To find out more about NanoInk, visit their website: http://www.nanoink.net/, to find out more about their Nanoscience Education program, visit the NanoProfessor website: http://www.nanoprofessor.net/
2) 3M Company – while not strictly a Nanotechnology company, 3M is a publicly traded (NYSE: MMM) conglomerate formerly known as the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota. Any self-respecting list of top Nanotech firms must include the 3M Company. There are many reasons for not, not the smallest one being its size – with over $31.6 Billion in assets reported in fiscal year 2012 is arguably the biggest Nanotechnology company – if not the biggest, then for sure it’s right there in the top. With close to 85,ooo employees worldwide, #M is doing great. Their Annual Report – including the balance sheet and income statement – look very promising showing increase across the board, including revenues, assets, total equity, operating income, and net income.
We’ve established that 3M is the biggest Nanotechnology company (or close enough) and that they are doing great financially but that’s not the only reason it’s a good place for Nanotechnology scientists and Chemical Engineers to want to work at. 3M encourages innovation - the so-called15% Time is the practice at 3M that allows their employees to experiment and work on their own projects. Thanks to this program we all can enjoy sticky notes – Post-it notes were originally invented by Art Fry who took advantage of the 15% Time program. The technology giant Google has a very similar program where they allow employees to use up to 20% of their on-the clock time to devote to their side-projects. That’s a full day each week!
To find out more about the 3M Company, visit their website: http://www.3m.com/
3) Nanosys, Inc. – a mid-size (around 100 employees) nanotechnology company located in Palo Alto, California. Nanosys holds over 750 patents and patent applications for technology, products, and processes that can revolutionize a vast array of industries from Flash memory and medical devices to LED lighting and specialized nano-surface coatings, including super-hemostatic, super-hydrophilicsuper-adhesive, and super-hydrophobic.
The sheer number of technologies that Nanosys is researching and working with is the best reason to work there. Imagine the prospects available to their employees – instead of being stuck with one set of activities, you could wear many hats and rotate throughout different teams getting a taste of all those different industries while working at the same company – you could never be possibly bored with your job!
To find out more about Nanosys, visit their website: http://www.nanosysinc.com/
4) NanoWorld – Based in Switzerland, NanoWorld is a small to mid-size company (depending on the definition with a little over 50 employees) that manufactures tips for Atomic Force Microscopy (if you’d like to find out what is Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), please check out my article on this subject posted here on the Chemical Engineering News - http://wp.me/p2rTRU-1S) and Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM).
I have extensive experience in using Atomic Force Microscopy gained during my time at NanoINk and have been fascinated by AFM ever since. Atomic Force Microscopy uses a sharpened probe with less than 50nm in diameter, which is the essence of Nanotechnology – the study of very (very) small. Working at NanoWorld would mean not only working with AFM but possibly improving it by developing better and better tips – that alone is a reason enough to want to work there!
To find out more about NanoWorld, visit their website: http://www.nanoworld.com/
5) Oxford Instruments PLC – Last on my list is a publicly traded, United Kingdom-based Oxford Instruments. It is a research and manufacturing firm that specializes in tools and systems for both research purposes and commercial industries. The headquarters of Oxford Industries are located in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, England. The company also has facilities in the UK, United States, Europe, and Asia. Similarly to Nanosys, Oxford Instruments is involved with many products (such as Glass X-ray Tubes, Radiation Shielded X-ray Tubes, Benchtop NMR Analyser – MQC) set to benefit multiple industries including:
- Agriculture, Food & Beverage
- Chemicals & Oils
- Failure Analysis
- Industry & Transport
- Information & Communication Tech
- Minerals & Mining
- Quality Control & Compliance Testing
- Research & Academia
Moreover, Oxford Instruments engages in a variety of activities creating and developing multiple technologies, which include:
- NanoAnalysis – provides components for electron and ion beam microscopes, including X-ray microanalysis systems, manipulators and gas injection systems.
- Industrial Analysis – elemental analysis using X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) and Optical Emission Spectroscopy (OES), XRF coating thickness measurement, X-ray tube manufacture and Space Technology.
- Plasma Technology – provides cutting-edge tools and processes for the engineering of micro- and nano-structures.
- NanoScience – measurements down to the atomic scale for applications in physical science, including quantum computing research.
- Superconducting Technology - focused on manufacturing of low temperature superconducting wires.
- Austin Scientific Instruments – focuses on the semiconductor industry by supplying, refurbishment, and repairing of helium compressors and cryopumps.
- Magnetic Resonance – supplies industrial QC and bioscience industries with benchtop NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance ) and DNP-NMR (Dynamic Nuclear Polarisation).
- OiService – the service arm of Oxford Instruments, according to their website, “OiService CT & MR provides high-quality maintenance services, equipment sales and parts for after-market GE CT and MRI systems.”
To find out more about Oxford Instruments PLC, visit their website: http://www.oxford-instruments.com/
There are multiple Nanotechnology companies and organizations, as well as firms directly and indirectly working with Nanotechnology. In the future their number is bound to increase exponentially and covering each and every one of them is a tack beyond the scope of the Nanotechnology and Chemical Engineering News website. I’m sure many of them are great companies that care for their employees and provide them with interesting and challenging projects. Moreover, every person is different and have different preferences, the companies listed in this article are my top Nanotechnology companies that I would like to work for and thus, my personal opinion. I expect that some will agree and some won’t, so please feel free to share your thoughts and/or suggest other companies for inclusion in this list.
Thank you for your attention, I hope you enjoyed my article!