Our History, Mission, and Vision

Who We Are

The Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering (JSNN) is an academic collaboration between North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NC A&T) and The University of North Carolina Greensboro (UNC Greensboro). Located on the South Campus of Gateway University Research Park, JSNN builds on the strengths of our universities to offer innovative, cross-disciplinary graduate programs in the emerging areas of nanoscience and nanoengineering.

What We Offer

JSNN offers four degree programs: a Master of Science (M.S.) in Nanoscience, a Ph.D. in Nanoscience, an M.S. in Nanoengineering, and a Ph.D. in Nanoengineering. We’re also offering nine Graduate Certificates Programs.

Our four research focus areas:

Synthetic Biology

Synthetic Biology is the synthesis of complex, biologically-based or biologically-inspired systems which display functions that do not exist in nature or the re-design of existing natural biological systems for useful purposes and biotechnologies. It is an interdisciplinary field that combines principles of molecular biology, biochemistry, and nanoscience.

Nanomaterials: Molecular Structures and Devices

Research focused on the synthesis, processing, manufacturing, and characterization of nanostructured materials that can be applicable in emerging technologies, medical diagnostics, composite materials, signaling, and optoelectronics. 

Computational Nanotechnology

Computational Nanotechnology modeling and simulation of devices, structures, and systems, including composite materials, computational biology, and materials modeling.

Environmental Science and Sustainability

Explore the environmental impact of nano materials and the knowledge gaps associated with energy harvesting, scavenging, and storage.

These technical areas afford numerous opportunities for collaboration with industrial partners.

JSNN is a $56.3 million, 105,000 square foot state-of-the-art science and engineering research facility, with nanoelectronics and nanobio clean rooms, nanoengineering and nanoscience laboratories, and extensive materials analysis facilities. JSNN’s characterization capability includes a suite of microscopes from Carl Zeiss SMT®, including the only Orion Helium Ion microscope in the Southeast. Our visualization center allows three-dimensional imaging for modeling of nanotechnology problems.  JSNN collaborates with Guilford Technical Community College and Forsyth Technical Community College on an internship program that exposes students to the advanced technology at its facility. JSNN also is actively engaged with K-12 outreach with Guilford County Schools.


The Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering (JSNN) is an academic collaboration of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NC A&T) and The University of North Carolina Greensboro (UNC Greensboro). Both of these institutions are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Accreditation Status for North Carolina A&T State University
Accreditation Status for The University of North Carolina Greensboro

Our Mission

The Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering (JSNN) mission is to be a catalyst for breakthrough innovations that provides high-impact academic, industry and government research outcomes.

Our Vision

The Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering (JSNN) is a collaboration between two high research universities: North Carolina A&T State University (NC A&T SU) and The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). Collaboration will always be a core part of JSNN’s DNA. JSNN will constantly seek out strategic collaborations with other academic institutions, industry and government organizations as a catalyst for continuing to produce research breakthroughs.

To achieve our mission, JSNN recruits the best and brightest students from a variety of disciplines to conduct advanced research in Nanoengineering and Nanoscience. Students are challenged to choose a research area that is expected to provide significant benefit to mankind. Beyond becoming exceptional researchers, students will develop leadership and communication skills that will make them an exceptional asset in any academic, industry or government organization.

JSNN is also a catalyst for economic development. The Southeastern Nanotechnology Infrastructure Corridor (SENIC) was created as a partnership between Georgia Tech and JSNN, a collaboration of NC A&T and UNCG. SENIC combines the infrastructure strengths of both Georgia Tech and the JSNN to provide academic, industry and government users with affordable access to one of the largest and most modern Nanofabrication and Nanocharacterization tool sets in the country.

JSNN formed in 2009 and actively recruits organizations from academia, industry and government to join. For a nominal annual membership fee that is applied to tool and facility rental, JSNN provides NIC members with training and 24/7 access to JSNN’s facilities, state-of-the-art tools and labs. The research and collaborations formed through membership are leading to breakthroughs in materials, products and processes that stimulate the economy and improve the world around us.

JSNN is located on the south campus of Gateway Research Park, another collaboration between NC A&T and UNCG. Our location at Gateway Research Park provides the opportunity for our members to locate or co-locate facilities adjacent to JSNN’s facilities for 24/7 access to tools and labs. This is resulting in economic development and job creation for the Greensboro region.

Our Strategic Plan

View our 2020-2025 Strategic Plan.

Message from the Dean’s Office

Dr. Mitch Croatt
Dr. Mitch Croatt

As the Interim Dean of the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering (JSNN), it is my pleasure to welcome you to JSNN. This School connects two excellent universities in Greensboro, North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, to inspire innovation and collaboration at the intersection of fields relating to Nanoscience and Nanoengineering. Faculty from the two universities have extensive training and experience in fields such as Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Engineering, Mathematics, and various subfields and combinations thereof. This blending of knowledge and techniques serves as an incubator for synergistic collaboration to create new knowledge, materials, and solutions.

Projects that are being researched and developed at JSNN range from protecting the military with new materials or detection of specific compounds to protecting the environment through the treatment of water. There are also projects to help with drug delivery or energy storage issues. Based on the breadth of research programs at JSNN, the students here are exposed to techniques, instrumentation, and perspectives that will suit them well in their future careers. Moreover, the collaborative environment at JSNN trains and inspires the researchers for future collaborative research projects.

The instrumentation and facilities at JSNN are managed by several staff members with expertise in the specific areas. For example, we have several people managing the microscopy (e.g., SEM, TEM, AFM), analytical instrumentation (e.g., XRD, ICP-MS, 700 MHz NMR), and our cleanroom. The managers of these areas all have their PhD in those areas and actively work with faculty and students to assist and enable research projects.

In addition to the training of graduate students at JSNN, the students and faculty are committed to outreach programs to inspire the next generation of scientists to help advance the fields of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering. Outreach activities include visiting local schools, hosting high school students to do research at JSNN, inviting students and groups to visit JSNN, and do demonstrations and science experiments at regional events.

Regardless of your background, I hope that you feel welcome at JSNN and are inspired by the excellent research and collaborative environment. If you have any questions, please reach out to myself, my faculty, or anyone at JSNN.

Mitchell P. Croatt
Interim Dean
Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering

Chancellors’ Thoughts

Dr. Harold L. Martin, Sr., Chancellor of NC A&T SU

chancellor harold martin

Academic pursuits within the realm of nanotechnology will enhance the quality of substantive research conducted here in the Triad, enhance the outgrowth of patent disclosure, increase opportunities for technology transfer, and increase the number of new technology spin-off businesses that raise employment levels and trigger job growth in this region.

The Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering will permit North Carolina A&T and UNCG to recruit exceptional faculty, build high-quality nanotechnology programs, work collaboratively with other faculty members and world-class researchers, create companies, create jobs, and ultimately, stimulate our local economy.

Our ability to be transformative leaders in technology will establish this region on the global forefront to attract multinational operations, and work collaboratively with other world-class researchers to foster the development of emerging industries, launch new companies, and create jobs.


Dr. Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr., Chancellor of UNCG

chancellor franklin gilliam

The Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering is a powerful example of the impact that bringing together two great universities, several academic disciplines, and a cadre of talented faculty can have on moving science and our community forward.

With the support of our campuses and community leaders, JSNN has become a strong anchor point for Gateway University Research Park and an important resource for numerous business and industry partners.

These public-private partnerships not only drive economic development but also provide critical learning opportunities for our students and unique research opportunities for our faculty. Together the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and North Carolina A&T State University are harnessing our strengths to work toward the common good.