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Tiny tech = big future

SCCC nanoscale grads see budding industry, hired before graduation

SCCC adjunct professor Simon Miner points out part of a sputtering training system to students, from left, Andrew Doucet, Ed Springli and Apollo Marmarinos in the Nanoscale Materials Technology lab.

SCCC adjunct professor Simon Miner points out part of a sputtering training system to students, from left, Andrew Doucet, Ed Springli and Apollo Marmarinos in the Nanoscale Materials Technology lab.

— Miner works for Schenectady-based SuperPower Inc. as a shift process technician. He said nanoscale technology helped develop what SuperPower produces, which is second-generation high-temperature superconducting (2G HTS) technology. The wire product would be used in smart grid technologies.

Miner said he sees students being engaged and interested in nanoscale coursework at SCCC. Also, the job prospects don’t hurt interest, with around 80 percent of students having jobs lined up before graduation in the current graduating class, according to Miner.

“It is exciting stuff. It is a technology that is gaining more and more press,” he said. “Students really seem to enjoy learning about these high-tech systems, and they are also very excited that there is a very good chance they will have job lined up before they graduate.”

Miner said he would urge any student interested in math, science or technology to take “a hard look” at SCCC’s nanoscale program.

“There is no better feeling than knowing you are going to be working on cutting edge technology that can basically change our world,” he said.

Palmeri admits nanoscale job opportunities might not be for everyone

Working for hours at a time in a clean room in a “bunny suit” and protective gear can get rather hot, he said.

“It is very physically and mentally demanding, but it is definitely worth it if you can hack it,” he said.

Palmeri said it is really important to him to understand the materials on the earth around him. Also, knowing how the next hot gadget is made interests him.

“A lot of people who use their computers and smartphones have no idea how it is made,” he said.

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