Skip to main content

Pathways in Molecular Engineering

Oleo Sponge

Molecular engineers tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory have been working to find a solution to oil spills by developing a new type of technology called the “Oleo Sponge.” Check out how the Oleo Sponge can be used not only to soak up oil from water but also to save that oil for later use.

Program(s): Immersion

This course is currently at capacity for students applying in the Extended round. We are admitting students to the waitlist only, and students who currently are on the waitlist will be given priority if places become available.

The emerging field of Molecular Engineering brings together concepts from chemical and mechanical engineering, materials science, physics, and nanotechnology to innovate across a wide range of areas, such as energy storage and harvesting, water purification, and manufacturing electronic, biomedical, and mechanical devices. Molecular engineers may build new materials or objects from the molecule up, or even create new molecules that do not exist in nature. This course will provide an overview of the basic components of engineering -- design principles, modeling, and optimization -- as they can be applied at the molecular level in order to address real-world problems. In addition to lectures, discussions, and labs, students will have the opportunity to use super computers to create models which will inform their optimization efforts. Overall, the program will lead participants beyond the boundaries of traditional scientific disciplines into the intersection of physical, chemical, computational, and engineering sciences – the forefront of technological problem-solving – so that they are able to engage in the lateral, multi-disciplinary thinking that is required to solve some of the most fundamental problems facing society today.

See sample syllabus here.

Remote or Residential

✓ Residential (On-Campus)


Course Overview

Start Date

July 10

End Date

July 26

Current Grade / Education Level

9th Grade
10th Grade
11th Grade



Class Details

Course Code

MENG 10100 94

Class Day(s)

Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri

Class Duration (CST)


3:00 P.M.


Session II

Course Length

3 weeks

HS Orientation Date

July 08
July 09

Primary Instructor

Xiaoying Liu

Secondary Instructor

Aaron Esser-Khan, Shrayesh Patel

Academic Interest

Physical Sciences (e.g., astronomy, physics)