Mihail C. Roco is the founding chair of the US National Science and Technology Council subcommittee on Nanoscale Science, Engineering and Technology (NSET), and is Senior Advisor for Science and Engineering, including Nanotechnology, at the National Science Foundation. He is also the editor in chief of the Journal of Nanoparticle Research.
Prior to joining National Science Foundation, he obtained a doctorate from the Polytechnic University of Bucharest (1976), he was Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Kentucky (1981–1995), and held visiting professorships at the California Institute of Technology (1988–1989), Johns Hopkins University (1993–1995), Tohoku University (1989), and Delft University of Technology (1997–98). He has played a leadership role in the National Nanotechnology Initiative and in developing perspectives on the societal implications of nanotechnology. He pioneered converge science, identifying basic theories, principles and methods for convergence, and applied it to various platforms such as convergence of nanotechnology with bio-, cognition-, digital- and other fields for various goals, in what is sometimes called converging and emerging technologies. He conducted research, teaching, consulting to industry in the Americas, Europe, Japan, and Australia. Dr. Roco is credited with thirteen patents and has contributed over two hundred articles and twenty books on mass transfer, rotating machinery, multiphase systems, computer simulations, nanoparticles and nanosystems, trends in emerging technologies, knowledge convergence and societal implications. Dr. Roco coordinated the preparation of the U.S. National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) reports on "Nanotechnology Research Directions" (NSTC, 1999) and the "National Nanotechnology Initiative" (NSTC, 2000). Under his stewardship the nanotechnology federal investment has increased from about $3 million in 1991 at NSF to $1.4 billion in 2006. The cumulative National Nanotechnology Initiative investment in research and development is about $24 billion in 2017. Dr. Roco is a Correspondent Member of the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences, Honorary Member of the Romanian Academy, Fellow of American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME), Fellow of American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), and Fellow of Institute of Physics. He served as associate editor for Journal of Fluids Engineering and Journal of Measurement Science and Technology. In 2002, he co-organised the Euro-American workshop "Nanotechnology: Revolutionary Opportunities and Societal Implications", editing the proceedings with Renzo Tomellini of the European Commission.
He was declared engineer of the year in 1999 and 2004 by NSF and the U.S. National Society of Professional Engineers.
He was honored as recipient of the Carl Duisberg Award in Germany, “Burgers Professorship Award” in Netherlands and the “University Research Professorship” award in U.S. He was named the “Engineer of the Year” in 1999 and again in 2004 by the U.S. National Society of Professional Engineers and NSF. In 2002, he received the “Best of Small Tech Awards” (“Leader of the American nanotech revolution”). Forbes magazine recognized him in 2003 as the first among “Nanotechnology’s Power Brokers” and Scientific American named him one of 2004’s top 50 Technology Leaders. Dr. Roco received the inaugural Sustainable Nanotechnology Organization (SNO) Award in December 2012. The award recognized outstanding contributions to nanotechnology as it relates to sustainability. Dr. Roco is the 2005 recipient of the AIChE Forum Award "for leadership and service to the national science and engineering community through initiating and bringing to fruition the National Nanotechnology Initiative". He received the National Materials Advancement Award from the Federation of Materials Societies at the National Press Club in 2007 for NNI leadership and “as the individual most responsible for support and investment in nanotechnology by government, industry, and academia worldwide”. On Sep. 7th, 2011, he received the ChinaNANO Award, Chinese Academy of Science (CAS), Beijing, China. He was named “Eminent American Society of Mechanical Engineers FED engineer” for lifelong outstanding contributions to fluid engineering, July 10, 2016, Washington, D.C. Dr. Roco received the inaugural award of the International Union of Materials Research Societies "Global Leadership and Service Award" at the European Union Parliament in February 25, 2015 for "vision and dedicated leadership ...that has made major impact to all citizens around the world."
- Shook, C.A. and M.C. Roco, "Principle and Practice of Slurry Flow", Butterworth Publ., Boston, 334 p., 1991 and 2015.
- Roco, M.C. (ed.), Particulate Two-phase Flow, Butterworth, 1992
- Roco, M.C., R.S. Williams and P. Alivisatos, Eds., “Nanotechnology Research Directions”, U.S. National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), White House (WH), 230 pages, Washington, D.C., 1999; also Springer (former Kluwer), Boston and Dordrecht, 2000, 316p (available on http://www.wtec.org/loyola/nano/IWGN.Research.Directions/)
- Roco, Mihail C. (May 2013). "Rise of the nano machines". How to Make the Next Big Thing. Scientific American. 308 (5): 34–35.
- Roco, M.C., Converging science and technology at the nanoscale: opportunities for education and training, Nature Biotechnology, 2003
- Roco, M.C., C.A. Mirkin and M.C. Hersam, “Nanotechnology Research Directions for Societal Needs in 2020”, Springer, 2011, 600p. Available on http://www.wtec.org/nano2/Nanotechnology_Research_Directions_to_2020/
- Roco, Mihail C., W.S. Bainbridge, B. Tonn, and G. Whitesides, "Convergence of Knowledge, Technology and Society", Springer, 2013, 560p. Available on http://www.wtec.org/NBIC2-Report/
- "Dr. Mihail C. Roco". National Science Foundation. Retrieved 2009-08-11.
- "The Nanotech Future: A Conversation with Mihail Roco". The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies. 9 November 2007. Retrieved 2009-08-11.]
- "Mihail C. Roco Lecture: New Frontiers for Nanotechnology". University at Buffalo. 2007. Retrieved 2009-08-11.
- "Mihail C. Roco and Renzo Tomellini: Nanotechnology: Revolutionary Opportunities and Societal Implications" (PDF). European Commission. 2002. Retrieved 2015-08-31.
- "Mihail Roco, U.S. nanotechnology leader, receives national materials advancement award" (PDF) (Press release). National Science Foundation. 27 September 2007. Retrieved 2009-08-11.
- Scientific American often changes the title of a print article when it is published online. This article is titled "Atomic Toolbox: Manufacturing at the Nanoscale" online.