The University of Pittsburgh created the Institute of NanoScience and Engineering in December 2002 under the direction of then-Provost James V. Maher.  From the beginning, the mission of the Institute was to coordinate collaboration among faculty from various departments with an interest in nanoscience research, to pursue industrial and commercial relationships, and to foster educational opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students. 

In February of 2006, the Institute received a $5 million endowment gift from alumnus John M. and Gertrude E. Petersen for the purpose of supporting nanoscale research.  On September 29th of the same year the Institute, renamed the Petersen Institute of NanoScience and Engineering (PINSE), completed a $6.1 million renovation in Benedum Hall to include a state-of-the-art Nanoscale Fabrication and Characterization Facility (NFCF).   The original facility comprised a 4,000 square foot clean room with class 100, 1000, and 10000 environments, and the facility has expanded to nearly 6,000 square feet since that time.

PINSE advocates for strong relationships with researchers from outside of the University of Pittsburgh, including commercial companies and external academic institutions.

Work by PINSE researchers range of a broad variety of disciplines, including biology, chemistry, physics, and engineering.  The facility researchers are pushing the frontiers of fundamental knowledge, as well as developing new solutions and new approaches for scientific and techological challenges.  You can explore the research of our members at Pinse Excellence.