NEWT Graduate Program




All NEWT graduate students are part of a traditional graduate program at ASU, Rice, UTEP or Yale.  Additionally, by becoming part of NEWT, the students have the opportunity to significantly broaden their knowledge in the science behind nanotechnology-based water treatment, network with top researchers in the field, interact with NEWT’s industrial partners, and have access to multiple professional development opportunities.


Specifically, the NEWT graduate education program aims to produce graduates who will:


  • Have research experience in the synthesis and application of advanced materials for efficient and safe modular water treatment,

  • Display an increased systems-understanding of their research,

  • Be familiar with industrial and entrepreneurship practice, and

  • Have improved professional skills.


In order to achieve these outcomes, the graduate students are expected to conduct research that is relevant to the objectives of NEWT, to collaborate in the creation of a center culture, and to take advantage of the unique activities offered by the center, including the core course and a series of professional development activities. The core course
and some of the activities are required; the rest are optional and they are intended to focus on the student’s main career interests. 

Required activities:


  • Memorandum of Understanding (MOU): Every graduate student is required to attend an orientation session and sign a faculty/student memorandum of understanding when they join the center.  Additionally, the MOU has to be reviewed and signed every academic year as part of the individual development plan discussion between the student and advisor (see below).

  • NEWT Core Course: All NEWT graduate students must take this seminar-style course, preferably in their first or second year of graduate school.  The objectives of this two-semester-long course are to develop a basic understanding of the concepts at the core of NEWT’s mission and a common language for NEWT members, to address different topics considered relevant by NEWT faculty and students, and to foster the creation of a NEWT culture.  The course is taught in modules by NEWT faculty members and staff, and it meets for one hour every two weeks via teleconference. The spring semester focuses on scientific topics core to NEWT’s mission, such as properties and synthesis of nanomaterials, surface chemistry, fundamentals of reactor engineering, low energy desalination, and membranes.  The fall semester includes topics such as sustainability, ethics, social acceptance of new technologies, diversity and inclusion, leadership and social entrepreneurship.

  • NEWT Service: Participate in the Student Leadership Council leadership, SLC outreach activities and/or mentor NEWT interns (Young Scholars, RET, REU, undergraduate students). The SLC acts as the main liaison between NEWT students and the center administration, collaborates in the creation of NEWT’s educational programs and outreach activities, and offers students the opportunity to develop leadership skills

  • NEWT Science Seminar and Thrust Meetings: An opportunity to network with fellow graduate students and faculty, present their research to the NEWT community, and learn about other research being conducted at the center.

  • Individual Development Plan : Prepare an Individual Development Plan (IDP) in collaboration with their advisor to help set career goals, and to plan and track the acquisition of the skill set necessary for their career plans.



NEWT also offers professional development activities such as workshops on topics such as effective mentoring and engineering leadership, preparation for academic, industrial, or public service careers, internships with industry partners, and entrepreneurship and innovation training experiences.


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NEWT is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) award #EEC-1449500
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