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Possibly useful qualities/interests:

A predisposition towards technical problems, such as puzzles or machinery. An interest in the nature of how things work, such as the desire to disassemble machinery/gadgetry to unlock its inner workings.

An inventive side; one who uses the parts of other gadgets, to make a new personalised gadget. Interested in high tech gear: gadgetry of all forms.

A capacity to learn processes for oneself e.g. seeing a puzzle solved and then repeating it.

Skills: Technical subjects such as Maths or electronics. Programming is very accessible to anyone with a basic home PC and some internet connection so try it out and see if you like it.

Values: If you value the solving of an intricate, convoluted problem, for it's own sake and find that rewarding, then any engineering job will come easily.

Education: Firm basis in Maths and the sciences. People are hired into engineering positions here from backgrounds such as science and computing primarily.


The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with clever technology. They will often follow the latest developments in their chosen field, and prefer mentally stimulating environments.
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Occupation Details

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Engineer - Nanosystems

Job Zone

Most of these occupations require qualifications at NFQ Levels 7 or 8 (Ordinary / Honours Degrees) but some do not.

Related Experience
A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an engineer must complete four years of college and work for several years in engineering to be considered qualified.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Job Zone Examples
Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, computer programmers, teachers, chemists, environmental engineers, criminal investigators, and financial analysts.

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At a Glance... header image

Designs, develops, or supervises the production of materials, devices, or systems of unique molecular or macromolecular composition.

The Work header image

Nanosystems Engineers conduct research related to a range of nanotechnology topics. They work in laboratories and spend a great deal of time using the computer to design and model nanodevices. They also supervise the work of designing, building, or testing of nanosystem devices.

Nanosystems Engineers can work on the design of nano systems to help with such things as removing pollutants from the air and creating products which reduce the development of bacteria.

Nanosystems Engineers usually work in teams with other engineers to design or engineer nanomaterials using specific software.

Employers of nanosystems engineers are typically corporate research and development laboratories, alternatively engineers in this field conduct their own research laboratories in academic settings.

Work Activities - The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation:

Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Monitor processes, Materials, or surroundings – Monitor and reviewing information from materials, events or the environment, to detect or assess problems.


KnowledgeThe following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation:

Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Biology — Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.

Chemistry — Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.

Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.



Critical Thinking— Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Mathematics:   Using mathematics to solve problems

Speaking— Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Active Listening— Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Writing:   Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Critical Thinking:   Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Science:   Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation


Conduct research related to a range of nanotechnology topics, such as packaging, heat transfer, fluorescence detection, nanoparticle dispersion, hybrid systems, liquid systems, nanocomposites, nanofabrication, optoelectronics, or nanolithography.


Create designs or prototypes for nanosystem applications, such as biomedical delivery systems or atomic force microscopes.


Design or engineer nanomaterials, nanodevices, nano-enabled products, or nanosystems, using three-dimensional computer-aided design (CAD) software.


Coordinate or supervise the work of suppliers or vendors in the designing, building, or testing of nanosystem devices, such as lenses or probes.


Design or conduct tests of new nanotechnology products, processes, or systems.


Engineer production processes for specific nanotechnology applications, such as electroplating, nanofabrication, or epoxy.


Develop processes or identify equipment needed for pilot or commercial nanoscale scale production.


Provide scientific or technical guidance or expertise to scientists, engineers, technologists, technicians, or others, using knowledge of chemical, analytical, or biological processes as applied to micro and nanoscale systems.


Prepare nanotechnology-related invention disclosures or patent applications.


Prepare reports, deliver presentations, or participate in program review activities to communicate engineering results or recommendations.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

To become a nanosystems engineer you must possess excellent attention to detail.

Being a logical thinker is a vital quality for a nanosystems engineer as it is necesassry to take an analytical and methodical approach to your research.

Good observational skills and a knowledge and understanding of the nature of materials.

Strong communication skills both oral and written are also a requirement to correspond the findings of your research.

Entry Routesheader image

Nanosystems Engineers will typically have a degree in science, nanotechnology or a related field such as chemical engineering. A background in the STEM educational disciplines is essential for entry into a career in nanosystems engineering. 

DIT offers a specific course in Science with Nano Technology with entry from a range of Fetac courses accepted for entry also.

TCD also offers a specific course in Nanoscience, Physics and Chemistry of advanced materials.

Last Updated: October, 2014

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: Tyndall National Institute
  Address: Lee Maltings Complex, Dyke Parade, Cork City, Ireland
  Tel: 021 4904177
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here


Organisation: Engineers Ireland
  Address: 22 Clyde Road, Ballsbridge Dublin 4
  Tel: (01) 665 1300
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here


Organisation: Smart Futures
  Address: Discover Science & Engineering, Wilton Park House, Wilton Place, Dublin, 2
  Tel: (01) 607 3171
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here


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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Physical & Mathematical Sciences
Chemical, Biomedical & Pharmaceutical Sciences

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