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UT Tyler Professor Awarded Grant to Develop Nanotechnology Courses

February 26, 2013

Media Contact:  Hannah Buchanan
Public Affairs Specialist
Marketing and Communications
The University of Texas at Tyler
903.565.5769 or 903.539.7196 (cell)

Dr. Dominick Fazarro, associate professor of industrial technology at The University of Texas at Tyler, has been awarded nearly $200,000 from the National Science Foundation to develop two courses in nanotechnology safety, Dr. Michael Odell, associate vice president for sponsored research and director of federal relations, announced.

Farzarro collaborated with co-principal investigator and associate professor Dr. Jitendra Tate at Texas State University – San Marcos on the project. 

“Nanotechnology, which is the engineering of functional systems at the molecular scale, is the emergent technology of the early 21st century. Yet, little has been done from either industries or academic institutions to create training/teaching material to address the safety hazards,” Fazarro said.

This grant UT Tyler received is one of only 29 nationwide to be awarded for nanotechnology undergraduate education and the only one to cover nanotechnology safety.

The two courses will cover the risks involved with two relatively common nanomaterials – nano-titania oxide and carbon nanotubes. Nano-titania oxide is used to manufacture various fuel and solar cells, while carbon nanotubes are components of transistors, diodes and computer chips. The courses will also address the acute toxicity they can cause when inhaled, absorbed or ingested as well as preventive safety methods, he added.

Plans are to incorporate the courses into UT Tyler’s industrial technology curriculum to better prepare students who will supply the needs of emerging nanotechnology companies. “Nanotechnology Safety” will be available this summer. The second, “Principles of Risk Management for Nano Scaled Materials,” will be available Spring 2014.

“I am thrilled to be competing on the national level in nanotechnology. We appreciate the efforts our faculties are undertaking to ensure UT Tyler’s students are receiving a relevant and innovative education,” said Dr. Harold Doty, College of Business and Technology dean.

The work builds on nanotechnology safety measures research for OSHA Fazarro conducted two years ago with Kristen Kullnowski, a researcher with IDA, a Washington, D.C.-based science and technology policy institute.

“I am very pleased to have NSF grant funding in our department. It is a very prestigious opportunity for both our department and the College of Business and Technology,” said Dr. Jerry W. Gilley, UT Tyler Department of Human Resource Development and Technology chair.

Serving UT Tyler since 2010, Fazarro has been nationally recognized for developing the nanotechnology focus group for the Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering and chartering the second IEEE Nanotechnology Student Branch Chapter in the world, the first in Texas.

He holds a master of science in industrial management from Central Missouri State University and a Ph.D. in industrial education and technology from Iowa State University. His research and teaching interests include nanotechnology, safety, assessment and workforce development.

Fazarro also has published and/or presented in a variety of scholarly mediums including refereed journal articles, book chapters, professional newsletter columns, refereed presentations, research reports, panel discussions and invited local presentations/forums.

For more information about nanotechnology courses at UT Tyler, contact Fazarro, 903.565.5911 or dfazarro@uttyler.edu.

One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler offers excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 80 undergraduate and graduate degree programs are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of almost 7,000 high-ability students at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine.

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