Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering to offer master of engineering program

The Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME) at the University of Chicago has launched a master of science in molecular engineering (MSME) program, designed to prepare engineers for leadership positions across industries.

The degree was created to complement the school’s undergraduate and PhD programs in molecular engineering—an emerging and fast-growing field that builds on advances in basic science to design technology from the molecular level up.

The Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering is the first school in the nation dedicated to this emerging field. Its research draws on multiple fields of science and engineering, providing pivotal new approaches to fundamental societal challenges.

“In this competitive world, many industry career paths require deep knowledge that intersects both science and engineering and focuses on technological applications,” said Matthew Tirrell, dean of Pritzker Molecular Engineering. “With a master’s degree in one of our specialized tracks—that combines the best education from several disciplines—graduates will have advanced, tailored skills in technical areas and be prepared to help solve difficult problems.”

The new master’s program consists of 11 courses in two tracks: computational materials modeling, or polymer science and engineering. It is designed to be taken full time in one academic year and one quarter, but other options may be considered.

The computational materials modeling track blends molecular engineering, quantum and classical simulation, and data science to provide integrated training for the simulation, design and engineering of materials. Students in this track will take advanced courses in applied mathematics, thermodynamics, transport, quantum engineering, multiscale materials modeling, numerical methods, machine learning and statistical data analysis. Graduates will be prepared to work at the forefront of multiscale materials simulation and design.

The polymer science and engineering track is designed to prepare students to enter diverse fields in the polymer and soft material sciences. Students in this track will study the chemistry, physics, thermophysical properties, modeling, and processing of polymers, as well as other classes of soft materials, including liquid crystals and colloids. Graduates will be prepared for careers in the materials, polymers, chemicals, packaging and coatings, consumer products, biomedical, pharmaceutical, and energy industries.

Electives for the degree may be taken across the University, from the Booth School of Business to the Department of Computer Science and the Division of the Humanities, and more.

In the future, the program may add additional tracks in areas such as sustainable energy and water resources, immuno-engineering and systems bioengineering.

“Our program will provide graduates with the advanced, specialized knowledge and skills they need to make them more competitive candidates in the marketplace, and position them from leadership roles in industry and technology-oriented fields,” said Paul Nealey, the Brady W. Dougan Professor in Molecular Engineering and deputy dean of education and outreach. “This new degree gives students the opportunity to customize their education to their goals and helps them shape their career trajectory.”

The program has begun accepting applications and will enroll its first cohort in Autumn Quarter 2020.

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