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AIMEMS trainees in the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME) held a 5-day Molecular Engineering Bootcamp over the course of two weeks in September of 2022. Trainees Andrea Diaz, Ben Ketter and Aaron Peng developed and delivered the bootcamp, the first of its kind, to provide background information to non-science students about molecular engineering for sustainability and applications of machine learning. The bootcamp was held in the Eckhardt Research Center on the University of Chicago campus.
This free event aimed to inspire graduate students across disciplines to engage in current sustainability challenges. Focusing on accessible language and engaging, conference-style discussion, trainees introduced the motivations, scientific concepts, and active projects in sustainability research being explored in the PME to tackle these challenges, namely energy/energy storage, materials such as plastics, water innovation, and computational methods. The goal was that participants would gain a baseline understanding of molecular engineering and technical challenges PME researchers face to contextualize application within their own fields of expertise, potentially inspiring new and innovative avenues of collaboration and interdisciplinary research.
Although all participants were from STEM programs, they did not all have backgrounds in chemistry, molecular engineering, or materials science. Participant interest in sustainability was very high, which enabled lively discussion and active hands-on demonstrations among the group.
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