NanoJapan expands summer intern program

NanoJapan expands summer intern program
Elionix joins award-winning study-abroad program as industrial partner

Rice News staff

The award-winning, Rice-based program NanoJapan, which combines a traditional study-abroad experience in Japan with targeted undergraduate research internships in nanotechnology, has a new industrial partner.

Elionix Inc., a leading Japanese manufacturer of electron beam lithography systems, has agreed to host a NanoJapan intern this summer.

  Elionix Overseas Marketing Director Ken Koseki spoke with Rice students Michelle Jin (left) and Georgia Lagoudas (right) during a NanoJapan site visit this year.

NanoJapan, which is supported by the National Science Foundation and administered by Rice, aims to increase the number of U.S. students pursuing studies in nanotechnology. The centerpiece of the program is a 12-week summer session involving 16 first- and second-year science and engineering students from U.S. universities. The students participate in a three-week language and cultural orientation followed by research internships in leading Japanese nanotechnology laboratories.

“For the past two years, Elionix has hosted a company site visit for all 16 of the NanoJapan students during the orientation period, and we are very pleased that the company is making even more opportunities available to NanoJapan’s student interns,” said NanoJapan Principal Investigator Junichiro Kono, professor in the departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Physics and Astronomy at Rice.

NanoJapan was honored at the United Nations in 2008 with an Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education. The awards are given by the Institute of International Education, and NanoJapan was recognized for ”Best Practice in Study Abroad.” Targeting science and engineering students, this program serves as a model for increasing study-abroad participation for students in these fields and making study abroad accessible to a broader student population.

The Elionix internship, as part of the new NanoJapan Alumni Internship initiative, will allow the intern to learn the intricacies of fabricating nanodevices using electron beam lithography and to gain insight into the manufacturing of these systems. NanoJapan 2006 participant Yu-Heng (Jaret) Lee has been selected for the 2009 internship. He graduated from Rice University in 2008 with a degree in electrical and computer engineering and is currently pursuing graduate studies in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of California-Santa Barbara. Lee has also been selected as a recipient of the KAUST Discovery Scholarship, which will provide full funding for his doctoral studies at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia starting in the fall of 2009.

“We view this internship as a win-win situation,” Elionix Overseas Marketing Director Ken Koseki said. “The student gains the cultural and educational perspective of how a Japanese high-tech company operates, while we in turn establish a mutual friendship that will last over the student’s professional career in the nanotechnology field.”

Elionix has been manufacturing electron beam lithography systems for more than 30 years. Their electron beam lithography systems have the largest market share throughout Asia, and they are able to routinely write patterns with line widths of five nanometers.

About Jade Boyd

Jade Boyd is science editor and associate director of news and media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.