Molecular engineering is recognized by the National Academy of Engineering as one of the areas of education and research most critical to ensuring the future economic, environmental and medical health of the U.S. This highly interdisciplinary field emphasizes engineering at the molecular level rather than traditional large-scale process engineering. It encompasses the most exciting and challenging areas for future growth in virtually all the traditional engineering fields, but also requires intimate contact with the latest developments in chemistry, biology, physics and predictive modeling.
Research at the Institute for Molecular Engineering & Sciences will be evolvable and dynamic, focusing initially on the themes of CleanTech and BioTech. These focus areas were identified based on current UW research excellence, potential for impact at UW and in Seattle, and availability of exciting career opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students. They articulate a strong vision for university-led research and education that would have near-term and long-term impacts on societal needs and challenges.
The Institute will take advantage of the UW’s collaborative culture and strengths in molecular science and engineering in order to provide the most cutting edge molecular engineering impact. By integrating directed basic science research with an engineering focus, the Institute will have a strong mechanism for translational development. It will also serve as an organizing structure for other major centers and institutes such as the Advanced Materials for Energy Institute, the Clean Energy Institute, and the Center for Intracellular Delivery of Biologics.