Faculty committee recommends a formal program in molecular engineering
A faculty committee, chaired by Prof. Steven J. Sibener and convened by Chancellor Robert J. Zimmer and then-Provost Thomas F. Rosenbaum, finds multiple compelling reasons for the creation of a molecular engineering program.
University Senate, Board of Trustees endorse creation of Institute for Molecular Engineering
After two ad hoc committees chaired by Prof. Sibener and one external committee chaired by Robert Langer, David H. Koch Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, endorse a molecular engineering program, the Council of the University Senate votes to create the then-Institute for Molecular Engineering (IME) and the Board of Trustees endorses the vote.
Matthew Tirrell, a pioneering researcher in the fields of biomolecular engineering and nanotechnology, joins then-IME as its founding director, forging the way for a new kind of engineering program.
Collaboration with Argonne National Laboratory advances research
David Awschalom, Juan de Pablo, Paul Nealey, and Matthew Tirrell establish Department of Energy-supported research programs at Argonne National Laboratory, furthering a partnership that enhances both institutions.
The University of Chicago offers an engineering PhD for the first time, combining the standard disciplines of engineering into an exciting new endeavor with a focus on solving global issues with molecular-level science.
The College at the University of Chicago begins offering a minor in molecular engineering to undergraduates, opening an opportunity for more students to learn the approaches and tools of molecular engineers.
UChicago announces the construction of the Pritzker Nanofabrication Facility, a 12,000 square foot ISO Class 5 cleanroom designed to put cutting-edge tools in the hands of researchers and support molecular engineering projects.
Paulina Rincon-Delgadillo receives the first PhD in molecular engineering from the University after a distinctive path in graduate school that took her from Wisconsin to Belgium, and finally, to Chicago.
The University establishes a major in molecular engineering, the first engineering major in its history. The new curriculum offers students a comprehensive foundation in the fundamental sciences to build practical systems from the molecular level up.
The molecular engineering program gains its first permanent home with the opening of the William Eckhardt Research Center, a facility with state-of-the-art equipment that is designed to foster new partnerships and interactions.
MICCoM (Midwest Integrated Center for Computational Materials) is established at Argonne National Laboratory and led by Prof. Giulia Galli, with a mission to develop open-source advanced software tools for the scientific community.
New faculty members are appointed
Over the first five years, the number of faculty members grows to 15, with expertise in fields such as bioengineering and systems biology, molecular immunology, and materials science.
In collaboration with Argonne National Laboratory and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, the University of Chicago launches an intellectual hub to foster advancement in quantum information. The center is led by Prof. David Awschalom and housed at PME.
The first cohort of undergraduate molecular engineering majors – thirteen in total – graduate from the College.
The University appoints Prof. Juan de Pablo to lead its stewardship of two U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories—Argonne National Laboratory and Fermilab. In 2020, the role is expanded to the newly-created position of Vice President for National Laboratories, Science Strategy, Innovation and Global Initiatives.
A $100 million dollar gift from the Pritzker Foundation supports the new Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME) at the University of Chicago, creating the nation’s first school dedicated to the emerging, fast-growing field of molecular engineering and the first new school at the University in three decades.
Pritzker Molecular Engineering establishes a master of science in molecular engineering, designed to prepare engineers for leadership positions across industries.
Based at PME and led by Profs. Jeffrey Hubbell and Melody Swartz, the Chicago Immunoengineering Innovation Center (CIIC) launches with a focus on developing new technologies to combat diseases such as cancer, allergies, and autoimmune disorders.
Department of Energy selects Argonne, Fermilab to lead two multi-million-dollar national quantum research centers
The U.S. Department of Energy establishes new research centers with Argonne National Laboratory and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, both affiliated with the University of Chicago.
Faculty members total over 40
Faculty members with expertise in fields such as chemical engineering, regenerative tissue engineering, and machine learning join PME, bringing the total number of faculty above 40.
2021 and Beyond
PME continues to grow and address complex issues
As PME grows, it plans to not only build on existing research themes, but also expand into additional areas that have a significant impact on humanity and quality of life, such as artificial intelligence, data science, educational innovation, and more.