Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical and Computer Engineering (Nanotechnology)
The University of Waterloo offers the first Master of Applied Science (MASc) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programs in Nanotechnology of its kind in Canada. The interdisciplinary research programs, jointly offered by three departments in the Faculty of Science and four in the Faculty of Engineering, provide students with a stimulating educational environment that spans from basic research through to application. The goal of the collaborative programs is to allow students to gain perspectives on nanotechnology from a wide community of scholars within and outside their disciplines in both course and thesis work.
The MASc degree collaborative program provides a strong foundation in the emerging areas of nano-science or nano-engineering in preparation for the workforce or for further graduate study and research leading to a doctoral degree. Four key areas of research strengths have been identified: nanomaterials, nano-electronics design and fabrication, nano-instruments and devices, and nano-biosystems. The objective of the PhD program is to prepare students for careers in academia, industrial R & D and government research labs. Students from Science and Engineering will work side-by-side in world class laboratory facilities namely, the Giga-to-Nano Electronics Lab (G2N), Waterloo Advanced Technology Lab (WatLAB) and the new 225,000 gross sq. ft. Nano-Quantum Center expected to be completed in early 2011.
There are nearly 50 faculty members involved in nanotechnology research at the university with many who are internationally renowned leaders in their fields. Among them are seven Canada Research Chairs and two NSERC Industrial Research Chairs.
Admission requirements are the same as home department programs. The home department in which the applicant intends to pursue graduate study must approve the application. Interested students should apply directly to one of the following departments via the regular university application process:
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering
Physics and Astronomy
Systems Design Engineering
All graduate students engaged in MASc and PhD studies at the University of Waterloo receive financial support. In addition, students admitted into the collaborative Nanotechnology graduate program are also eligible to apply for Fellowships in Nanotechnology, valued at CDN $10,000 each, through the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN). Fellowship funding is on top of the research support from the supervising Faculty Member and can be held simultaneously with other graduate awards (subject to the requirements of other scholarships/awards). Additional information is available at the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology website
Admission requirements are the same as those for the PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Note: It is possible that some students may need to take more courses than are prescribed by the home department in order to meet the specific course requirements of the collaborative program.
For the PhD program, students who are admitted with an appropriate master’s degree must complete:
- A total of at least four courses (0.50 unit weight) including two required core courses and one elective course from the approved list, the choice of courses must meet with the approval of the supervisor,
- a PhD Comprehensive Examination,
- Nanotechnology PhD Seminar Milestone, and
- an original Research Thesis dissertation
Students admitted with an appropriate honours bachelor’s degree or who transfer directly from a master’s program to the PhD program must complete:
A total of at least seven courses (0.50 unit weight) including two required core courses and five elective courses from the approved list,
a PhD Comprehensive Examination,
Nanotechnology PhD Seminar Milestone, and
an original Research Thesis dissertation
Core courses are designed to provide the base knowledge and skill set required to prepare students for more specialized courses and to conduct interdisciplinary nanoscale research. Generally, students are required to take two core courses and complete the Nanotechnology Seminar. All core courses have written examinations, as do all ECE graduate courses.
The two required core courses are:
Core Course Exemptions
Students who have completed their Bachelor of Applied Science (BASc) degree in Nanotechnology Engineering or Master’s degree in Nanotechnology at the University of Waterloo are not obliged to take the two core courses as part of the minimum course requirement. Instead, they can choose all graduate courses from the prescribed list of electives to meet the total course credit requirement.
Approved technical elective courses (pdf)
Nanotechnology Seminar Milestone
This seminar is a forum for student presentation of research results or proposals. The range of topics that will be addressed in the seminar crosses all areas of research in the collaborative program. Each student is required to present at least one Nanotechnology research seminar over the course of the degree.