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Nanotechnology is the study and manipulation of materials at the atomic and molecular scale. A nanometre is one billionth of a metre with chemical, biological and structural properties at this level of study.

It is interesting to note that there is scientific evidence of nano-level technology in nature. For instance, the elements in chlorophyll: carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen and magnesium, work together to help plants convert sunlight to energy.


Your options to study Engineering, no matter the specialization is generally the same. Find out more here: Academic qualifications to study Engineering in Malaysia.


  • English
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Biology
  • Additional Mathematics


  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Calculus
  • Computer Science and Programming
Personality Type

Have you always wanted to be an engineer who solves problems and makes things using technology and machinery at the nano or microscopic level? Perhaps you want to be a nanotechnologist.

These personality type codes serve ONLY as a guideline and can be taken with a pinch of salt. Always consult with your school counsellor or ask our experts for further guidance!

Myers-Briggs: ISTJ, ESTJ, INTP, ENTJ

These types all share the Thinking preference (T), or a preference for objective decision making as opposed to taking into account personal values in making decisions.

Find your Myers-Briggs personality type here.

Holland Vocational Code: RIE (Realistic, Investigative, Enterprising)

Find where you belong in the RIASEC model here.

Career Info

Work Environment:

Nanotechnology engineers generally work indoors in laboratoriums.


Nanotechnology graduates that work with legal and law services earn considerably higher on the scale whereas graduates in developing countries like Malaysia and countries in the Middle East, Asia and Eastern Europe earn lower. This is because nanotechnology is still a relatively unknown area of expertise. However, nanotechnology has potential for growth in the future, especially with the demand for better technologies and professionals.


RM 2,000 to 3,000


MYR 4,000 to 6,000 (5 – 10 years of experience).

Job Demand

The possibilities of creating new materials at the nano level are endless and some of the technology created over the past three decades since the emergence of nanotechnology is already in use. The more notable nanotechnology creations include computer chips and organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) technology used in modern displays (iPods, flat screen TVs and cell phones). Scientists are already creating nano-objects, like quantum dots and gold nanoshells – devices that can be injected into patients’ bodies for virus detection and self-healing.

In Malaysia:

Malaysia knows the impact of R&D on economic prosperity exemplified by our highly successful rubber and oil palm industries. To reach new heights, the country now needs to expand its economic base beyond such primary commodities into emerging, knowledge-intensive sciences, like biotechnology and nanotechnology.

The country lacks critical mass of qualified scientists, engineers and related professionals that are much needed to drive this industry. In 2004, Malaysia had only 21 research scientists and engineers for every 10,000 workforce. The target is to achieve 50 specialists per 10,000 workforce.

Malaysia aspires to be in the top 10 of nanotechnology nations that will create new sources of economic growth for future generations. Since early 2000, the country has started its own microtechology and nanotechnology; still there is a scarcity of research in this area.

The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) oversees the nanotechnology development in Malaysia, particularly to develop policies, initiatives and strategic plans for nanotechnology in the Third Industrial Master Plan (IMP3) that will span a 15-6ear period (2005-2020) nanotechnology is recognised as the new emerging field with allocation of RM868 million to be provided by MOSTI for R&D. The focus will be on biotechnology, nanotechnology, advanced manufacturing, advanced materials, ICT and alternative source of energy.


So far the United States and Japan lead in investments on nanotechnology.

In 2007, Malaysia became a member of The Washington Accord, which recognises experienced professional engineers represented by responsible bodies. The Washington Accord is a small group of signatories that have agreed to mutually recognise accredited engineering programmes. Members of The Washington Accord are Hong Kong, South Africa, Japan, Singapore, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, UK, Ireland, Taipei, Korea, Malaysia and Turkey.

Click this link to view the list of accredited engineering programmes in Malaysia.

Becoming Professional

Becoming a professional:

The Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM), The Institution of Engineers Malaysia (IEM) and Association of Consulting Engineers Malaysia (ACEM) develop and use the EMF Register as a secure benchmark that allows a professional engineer to be recognised or exempted from licensing or registration in other countries (other than that in which they first gained recognition).

Eligibility for admission to EMF International Register of Professional Engineers Register is limited only to engineers who have completed an accredited or recognised engineering programme, registered with the Board of Engineers Malaysia and is a corporate member of the IEM who is capable of independent practice.

To qualify for the registration, a candidate must:

  • be a Professional Engineer registered with the Board of Engineers Malaysia and/or a Corporate Member with the Institution of Engineers Malaysia.
  • have seven years experience after graduation in a recognised engineering discipline.
  • have two years experience in responsible charge of significant work (may be obtained within the seven years experience).
  • have maintained their continuing professional development at a satisfactory level.

Useful links:

International Association of Nanotechnology (IANANO)
Society of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (SNN)
Nanotechnology Industries Association (NIA)
National Nanotechnology Initiative

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