Nanotechnology Project


The Nanotech Future: A Conversation with Mihail Roco

Thursday November 9, 2007 • 12:30 – 1:30 PM (lunch available at Noon)

View Webcast  video

Woodrow Wilson Center • 6th Floor Boardroom

WASHINGTON, DC—It is hard to discuss the future of nanotechnology without talking about or with Mike Roco. Dr. Roco is the key architect of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI)—America’s $8 billion investment in the science and engineering research expected to revolutionize technology and industry.

Mihail Roco Nanotechnology refers to the emerging science of manufacturing materials that are measured in nanometers, usually at the 1-100 nanometers scale. The head of a pin is 1 million nanometers wide. By 2014, Lux Research estimates that $2.6 trillion in manufactured goods will incorporate nanotechnology, or about 15 percent of global output.

What was Dr. Roco’s vision in 2000 at the start of the NNI? What are his expectations for nanotechnology’s many promises—in medicine, sustainable energy, and electronics? What challenges does nanotechnology pose for the future, particularly as it reaches toward third and fourth generation development—in guided molecular assembly, 3D networking, robotics, supra-molecules, molecules by design, and evolutionary systems?

Robert Service, nanotechnology reporter at Science magazine, will interview Dr. Roco about nanotechnology at a Friday, November 9th, 2007, 12:30 p.m. event and live webcast at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Prior to joining the National Science Foundation, Dr. Roco was Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Kentucky ((1981-1995), and held visiting professorships at the California Institute of Technology (1988-89), Johns Hopkins University (1993-1995), Tohoku University (1989) and Delft University of Technology (1997-1998). He is credited with 13 inventions, and has authored and co-authored numerous articles, publications and books.

Dr. Roco will receive the National Materials Advancement Award from the Federation of Materials Societies at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on December 5, 2007.

He is Corresponding Member of the Swiss Academy of Sciences, Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineering, Fellow of the Institute of Physics and Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering. Dr. Roco initiated work on converging technologies, and on societal implications of nanotechnology since the beginning of the NNI.