Ironically, Switzerland can thank one of its traditional industries – watch-making – for helping it to move ahead in one of today’s hottest sciences: nano- and microtechnology. The technical know-how involved in the precise measurements and materials science needed for making watch movements gave the Swiss a head-start that they have simply taken to an infinitely smaller level. One of the key instruments used in nanotechnology, the scanning tunneling microscope, was invented in Zurich in 1981 by Heinrich Rohrer and Gerd K. Binnig; their work was rewarded with the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1986. This recognition also helped focus Swiss public support and funding on microtechnology. Today, Swiss pre-eminence in micro-nanotechnology and precision engineering is surpassed only by the USA, Germany and Japan.
According to the OECD, Switzerland is at the forefront of developing knowledge-based industries and is in the leading group of nations for acquiring the new skills needed by the industries of the future.
To maintain this lead, the University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland (hepia / Hes-so) has joined forces with Switzerland’s other high technology educational institutions. “Switzerland needs a pool of highly trained technicians. The Master of Advanced Studies is specially designed for engineers already active in the fields of microtechnology, chemistry or life sciences,” explains Dr. Marc Jobin, professor of engineering at hepia, and one of the founders of a new national post-graduate program in nanotechnology and microtechnology.
"International competition in this field is fierce and will get fiercer. The Master of Advanced Studies is specially designed for engineers already active in the fields of microtechnology, chemistry or life sciences."
Prof. Marc Jobin, founder of the post-graduate program in nanotechnology and microtechnology, hepia