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Academy for Materials and Nanoscience
June 24-27, 2024

Orientation: June 24, 9:00-10:00 a.m. 

Ages 14-18 (9th-12th Graders) 
Camp Directors: Dr. Raluca Gearba and Dr. Jamie Warner

8:30-9:00 a.m. | Drop Off
4:00-4:30 p.m. | Pick Up
Camp sessions begin at 9:00 a.m.

Academy tuition: Free

Registration now open

Registration deadline, June 26 at 5.00 p.m.

Students will be notified of selections by June 1, 2024.

Summer 2024 Enrollment Now Open!!!

Limited seats available

Choose “Guest Login” to log in or create an account.

The Academy for Materials and Nanoscience at the University of Texas at Austin Texas invites high school students who are interested in a career in STEAM or who simply are interested in nanoscience and to explore materials for a four-day long program with Texas Materials Institute (TMI).  Each day, the campers will engage in a series of lecture-type presentations, and hands-on activities in TMI’s labs which include nanofabrication processes performed in the cleanroom, materials synthesis and processing and use of advanced characterization such as Scanning Electron Microscopy, Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), Focused Ion Beam (FIB), and profilometers.  In addition, the high schoolers will explore the UT campus and learn about research at UT by touring Texas Robotics, the Texas InventionWorks and several UT research labs. Beyond research, the program participants will get a glimpse into UT's application process, shared by UT admissions. The participants will also have the opportunity to interact with the Materials Science and Engineering program graduate students during an organized lunch hour.  

Topics covered:

  • Cleanrooms and their use in chip manufacturing
  • Nanofabrication processes such as optical lithography, etch and thin film deposition of metals
  • Phases of materials, microconstituents, grain boundaries
  • Explore the world of atoms and crystals by building atomic crystal models and visualizing computerized crystal models
  • Nanoparticles and their unique physical properties
  • Optical microscopy, profilometry, and Atomic Force Microscopy
  • Electron microscopy and its use to the study of materials
  • Aberration-corrected Transmission Electron Microscopy

Hands-on experiences

  • Nanoparticle synthesis and characterization using Dynamic Light Scattering and various microscopy techniques
  • Preparation of metallographic samples and observation of grain boundaries under an optical microscope
  • Operation of a Scanning Electron Microscope
  • Guided operation of a Focused Ion Beam
  • Guided operation of an aberration-corrected Transmission Electron Microcospe
  • Explore the UT Austin campus and meet UT Austin students, professors and scientists
  • Visit several core research facilities at UT Austin
  • Learn about how to craft your application to UT from UT admissions

Where you will learn:

This academy takes place on campus at the University of Texas at Austin in the Engineering Education and Research Center located at 2501 Speedway, Austin, TX-78732.

Meet Your Academy Staff

Gerald Speitel, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of Cockrell School of Engineering

Raluca Gearba

Dr. Raluca Gearba is a senior staff scientist and facility manager in TMI. She worked for UT-Austin since 2010 and in the current position she is primarily managing TMI’s cleanroom, the spectroscopy facility as well as several microscopy facilities, which include Atomic Force Microscopy, Scanning Tunneling Microscopy and the SEM/FIB dual beam system. Prior to joining UT, she was a Goldhaber Fellow at Brookhaven National Lab in New York. She has expertise in the areas of thin film photovoltaics, polymers, liquid crystals and 2D materials.

Gerald Speitel, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of Cockrell School of Engineering

Jamie Warner

Dr. Jamie Warner is the Hayden Head Centennial Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Director of TMI. Prior to this he spent 13 years in the Department of Materials at the University of Oxford leading the Nanostructured Materials Group. His research focuses on developing advanced transmission electron microscopy methods for atomic level analysis of nanomaterials, with a particular emphasis on understanding the fundamental behavior of new materials in energy generation and storage, catalysis, opto-electronics and quantum technology.

Gerald Speitel, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of Cockrell School of Engineering

Andrei Dolocan

Dr. Andrei Dolocan is a senior staff scientist and facility manager in TMI since 2011. He has 22+ years of expertise in surface analysis. In TMI he manages the advanced mass spectrometry, electron microscopy and spectroscopy instrumentation. His expertise is geared towards the development of novel imaging methodologies that use in conjunction TOF-SIMS, AFM, SEM, XPS and Raman techniques to provide three-dimensional material properties (chemical composition, morphology, optical properties). He also has extensive knowledge in development of routines for data analysis and theoretical simulations.

Gerald Speitel, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of Cockrell School of Engineering

Xun Zhan

Dr. Xun Zhan joined TMI in 2023 as a staff scientist where she manages the aberration-corrected scanning electron microscopy facility. Prior to joining UT, Dr. Zhan worked as an assistant research scientist in the Electron Microscopy Center at the Indiana University at Bloomington. Her expertise centers on the development and application of advanced electron microscopy techniques to understand materials behaviors, especially functional nanomaterials.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the academy located?

The Academy for Electron Microscopy is hosted by the Texas Materials Institute, University of Texas at Austin in the Engineering Education and Research Center. All activities are hosted on the UT Austin campus.

Who can attend?

Students entering grades 9-12 as of Fall 2024 are eligible to register. 

How do I enroll? Is there an application?

Students will need to submit an application for the Academy for Materials and Nanoscience by answering a series of questions. Click the “Enroll now” button and enroll using the Ideal-Logic portal. When you enroll, be sure to select “Guest Login,” not “University of Texas Login” and select the correct program. Enrollment contains contact, emergency, and medical information, as well as background related information and agreements for both participants and parents/guardians to sign.

Who are the instructors?

Students will learn from TMI’s facility managers and professors as well Materials Science and Engineering affiliated graduate students. More information about the instructors can be found in the “Meet your academy staff ” section.

How are participants supervised?

Academy participants are supervised at all times by a camp instructor.

What does it mean if I’m waitlisted?

If an accepted participant decides not to attend, we will promptly reach out to the next in line waitlisted applicants to offer any newly opened spots for the camp.

What is the cost?

Participation in the academy is free of charge.

Where to get lunch?

The participants should bring their own lunch.  In some of the days lunch will be provided.  

What is the Academy Schedule?

The students will check in with a camp instructoron on the 3rd floor ( room 3.642, North Tower) of the Engineering Education and Research Center at UT Austin located at 2501 Speedway, Austin, TX-78712 between 8:30 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.  From 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., students are either in the one of  TMI’s labs, taking a break for lunch, attending a lecture, or touring different departments on campus. The students will be picked-up from the same drop-off location between 4:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.