Looking into Hunterdon’s Future

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This article by Barbara Fox was prepared for the October 2, 2002 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Nanotechnology: Small, Smaller Yet

Nanotechnology is the new buzz word for technology that

may not be terribly new — just much smaller. Fifteen years ago

the semiconductor experts were working with a couple of hundred nano

(atom-sized particles) at once, and now they are working with atoms

on a single nano scale. What’s that? Think of a human hair and then

think of the trunk of a redwood tree. That’s the difference between

nano scale and the scale of what you could see under a microscope.

Alexander Pechenik of Cornell University’s Nanofabrication Facility

will speak at the IEEE on Tuesday, October 8, at 7 p.m. at Sarnoff

Corporation’s auditorium. The meeting is free, but for information

call Walter Curtice at 215-369-0193.

"Features of semiconductor processing have approached the nanometer

range and therefore a new area has sprung up under the term nanofabrication

that uses the technologies developed over the last 10-15 years,"

says Gerhard Franz, who chairs the Central Jersey section of

IEEE. He notes that communications researchers and semiconductor researchers

can work together more closely on projects, now that fiber optic technology

can be deployed on a chip.

What makes nano research particularly exciting is that the "nano"

buzzword is stimulating investment. Because the state and federal

government have invested in Lucent Technologies’ nanolab, the lab

is now available for use by other companies. And the state is pouring

funds into the Picatinny Arsenal’s nanotechnology program. "As

this technology is being applied in other industries, it becomes more

interdisciplinary and more attractive to investors," says Franz.

The arsenal concerns itself with working in materials science, whereas

the Lucent-based consortium is developing devices.

Pechenik, the Cornell researcher, graduated from Northwestern and

has a Ph.D in materials science and engineering. He has taught at

UCLA and worked at Dow Chemical Company, NIST, and the Air Force’s

Office of Scientific Research. He is associate director of the Cornell

Nanofabrication Facility (CNF), part of a network supported by the

National Science Foundation. It facilitates and supports the research

of others, and it requires no collaboration and no sharing of proprietary

intellectual property. CNF has nearly $30 million worth of equipment

and 20 members on its technical support staff. Nearly 700 users (including

300 new users) worked on nanofabrication projects this year, says

Pechenik. He will illustrate his talk with examples from the fields

of nanoelectronics, nanophotonics, optoelectronics, nanomechanics,

and biology.

— Barbara Fox

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Looking into Hunterdon’s Future

The Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce holds "A

Futurist Conference: Examining Infrastructure, Business, and Lifestyle

in Hunterdon County in 2012" on Wednesday, October 9, at 8 a.m.

Merck hosts the event at its Whitehouse Station corporate campus.

Cost: $100. Call 908-735-5955.

There will be three panels, beginning with infrastructure. Martin

Matthews of RE/MAX Flemington moderates. John Kellogg of

the Hunterdon Planning Board speaks on smart growth; James Fox,

New Jersey’s Commissioner of Transportation, addresses transportation

issues; and Robert Morrill of Sprint discusses the future of


Jim Hyman of the Hopewell Valley Community Bank moderates the

second panel, which takes a look at the face of business 10 years

in the future. Saralee Pindar of the New Jersey Technology Council

speaks on emerging industries; State Senator Leonard Lance addresses

the business tax structure; and Melanie Willoughby of the New

Jersey Retail Merchants Association gives her take on the future of

the area’s retail environment.

Leading a panel on quality of life is Nancy Scott. Jeremiah

Ryan of Raritan Valley Community College speaks on education; Robert

Wise of Hunterdon Health Systems addresses healthcare; Gabrielle

Bolarakis, Hunterdon Education Services Commissioner, discusses

recreation and the arts; and Alison Mitchell of the New Jersey

Conservation Foundation looks at the future of open space and farmland


While it is not on the agenda, the conference telegraphs a change

corporate workers throughout the state may well see within the decade.

A brochure advertising the event reads: Please be advised that the

Merck & Co. Inc. campus is an entirely smoke-free environment.

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