Department Overview

Welcome to the Aiiso Yufeng Li Family Department of Chemical and Nano Engineering at UC San Diego (UCSD)!

The Aiiso Yufeng Li Family Department of Chemical and Nano Engineering was officially established on July 1, 2007 within the Jacobs School of Engineering. Nanoengineering is the practice of engineering on the nanoscale, wherein the unique and enabling aspects of a nanoscale material or structure are used to create a device to be utilized by mankind. Nanoengineering concerns itself with controlling matter on the molecular scale and manipulating processes that occur on the scale of nanometers. Nanoengineering is inherently interdisciplinary and often utilizes biochemical processes to create nanoscale materials designed to interact with synthetic inorganic materials. In simpler terms, nanoengineering attempts to manipulate the ‘growth’ of materials on the nanometer scale, mimicking the processes of nature, which could potentially lead to a vast array of revolutionary materials and products that would benefit all other aspects of engineering, technologies, medicine, and everyday life.

The research activities of the department are focused on four main areas: (a) Biomedical Nanotechnology, (b) Molecular and Nanomaterials, (c) Nanotechnologies for Energy and the Environment, and (d) Computational Nanoscience and Engineering. The curricula for the NE degree programs is leveraged on our strong research position in nanotechnologies and is specifically intended to develop students to be team leaders and innovators in corporations that have nanotechnology-centric applications, where our graduates will play the critical role to integrate across the varied disciplines involved, and help overcome the inherent challenges of engineering at the nanoscale. Their unique training in nanoengineering will enable them to naturally become these leaders. Companies employing our graduates include Intel, Illumina, Tesla, General Atomics, Genentech, Qualcomm, etc.

Since its creation, the Aiiso Yufeng Li Family Department of Chemical and Nano Engineering has been growing at a very rapid rate. It now has more than 30 faculty members. Our department is the first of its kind in the US to offer both undergraduate and graduate degree programs (B.S., M.S., Ph.D.) in Nanoengineering. Our Nanoengineering B.S. degree program has been accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,

The Aiiso Yufeng Li Family Department of Chemical and Nano Engineering also administers the Chemical Engineering (CENG) Program with B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees. At UC San Diego, the CENG Program was founded in the late 1970s and its B.S. degree program received ABET accreditation in 1984. The curriculum is created to provide breadth and flexibility for the CENG students. The goal is to graduate chemical engineers who are multidisciplinary and can work in a broad spectrum of industries rather than solely traditional chemical and petrochemical industries. The CENG Program has experienced rapid growth since its transition to the NE Department in 2007. The CENG Program currently has about 450 undergraduate students, over 50 graduate students, and 16 faculty members. The faculty members cover all CENG courses at both undergraduate and graduate levels and meanwhile conduct cutting-edge research (e.g. Nanomedicine, Energy and Environmental Nanotechnology, Nanomaterials and Nanomanufacturing) that are well aligned with the NE Department’s research focuses.

Again, welcome to the Aiiso Yufeng Li Family Department of Chemical and Nano Engineering!

- Dr. Liangfang Zhang, Professor and Chair of the NanoEngineering Department