The Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience (NCMN) was founded by the Board of Regents in 1988 to serve as the focal point of interdisciplinary research in materials in the College of Arts and Sciences and College of Engineering. The overall goal of NCMN is to provide for the State of Nebraska and the University of Nebraska a nationally recognized center of excellence in materials research science and engineering, nanoscience, and nanotechnology. In 1988 there were about 40 faculty in NCMN with about $1.0 million in annual research expenditures. By 2013 these numbers had grown to about 80 and $20 million, respectively. This huge growth in external research funding and the related graduate education is the most notable achievement of NCMN faculty.
The Center is strengthened by a rather broad research purview, with participation by a wide variety of faculty from UNL Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Chemistry, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Physics, UNO Chemistry, UNO Physics, UNMC, and UNK Chemistry. On average, about 70% of the total external funding obtained in the participating departments is associated with NCMN faculty. Since 1988 some 34 materials research faculty have been hired, many of them receiving significant setup funding from NCMN. At present about 148 graduate students, 20 undergraduate students, 20 postdocs or visiting scientists, and 10 technical staff are involved in research in the Center.