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Micro Nano Technology Education Center


Jared Ashcroft, PI,  is a member of the natural sciences faculty at Pasadena City College in Pasadena, CA. He brings his expertise in undergraduate research and technician education and a passion for nanobiotechnology. 

Mel Cossette, Co-PI, is also the PI of  MatEdU, another ATE resource center. She brings her expertise in material science, technician education and industry.  

Greg Kepner, Co-PI, is the former PI of the Midwest Photonics Education Center (MPEC), he brings his expertise in photonics and optics and technician education. 

Neda Habibi, Co-PI, is faculty at the Northwest Vista College in San Antonio, TX. She brings her expertise in nanobio technology and technician education.  

Peter Kazarinoff, Co-PI, is faculty at Portland Community College in Portland, OR and was the center manager of the now sun set SHINE center. He brings his expertise in nanoscience and technician education. 

Billie Copley, Center Manager, is the former Project Manager for the now sun set Nano-Link Center and brings her expertise in project management and nanoscience education. 


This project is led by Pasadena City College in collaboration with Edmonds Community College, Portland Community College, and Northwest Vista College. In addition, the MNT-EC connects existing micro and nano NSF ATE Resource Centers (NACK, SCME, NEATEC, and MatEdu). As a result, MNT-EC is able to leverage a broad set of expertise to prepare a nationwide skilled technical workforce for manufacture of micro and nano products.

The mission of the MNT-EC is to grow the MNT technician workforce by fostering academic and industry mentorship between existing MNT partners and educators developing prospective community college MNT programs. 

Each member of the MNT-EC  brings resources, such as cleanrooms, educational materials, and remote operation of lab instruments, to support and inform the development of a common curriculum for associate degrees and certificates in micro nano technologies. The content of this curriculum will be informed by the needs of industry members and be updated via annual reviews between academic and industry members.

The faculty of the academic institutions will remain current in micro- and nanotechnology innovations via periodic workshops or webinars across the various specializations (such as safety, fabrication, operations) provided by the academic and industry members. The MNT-EC will map where the micro- and nanotechnology industry is greatest and where it is growing and promote adaptation of the MNT-EC curriculum at regional two-year institutions near these locations.

The National Science Foundation's Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program has been funding innovation at two-year colleges for over twenty years. With a focus on the education of technicians for the high-technology fields that drive our nation's economy, and strong partnerships between academic institutions and industry, ATE promotes improvement in the education of science and engineering technicians at the undergraduate and secondary school levels.

To learn more about ATE, please visit the NSF ATE program home page.


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MNT-EC is holding a Summer Seminar Series every Wednesday, August thru November, at 9 am Pacific Time. Each seminar will feature one of the MNT-EC's very own members who will talk about their summer of 2021 professional development opportunities. Opportunities include writing groups, clean room labs, nano safety and other exciting hands on activities. Please come to the sessions to learn more. 

You can register for the series here:


Go to the MNT-EC YouTube page to see the recordings of the past sessions and be sure to subscribe to our channel to get the latest updates -