Molecular engineering is recognized by the National Academy of Engineering as an area of research and education most critical to ensuring the future economic, environmental, and medical health of the U.S. Molecular engineers seek to understand how molecular properties and interactions can be manipulated to design and assemble fundamentally new materials, systems, and processes for a wide-variety of applications, from solar panel materials to drug delivery systems.

Molecular engineering is a broad and evolving field that exists at the intersection of more traditional science and engineering disciplines. The Molecular Engineering & Sciences Institute (MolES) helps to bridge disciplinary silos, catalyzing new collaborations and impactful research aimed at solving real-world problems. Research at the Institute is broadly divided into two areas: biotech and cleantech.