On Wednesday, April 6, 2016, IME experts presented their innovative work at the intersection of science and engineering with the public at “Future Science: Small Scale, Big Impact.” The event was part of the UChicago Discovery Series, a speaker series that allows the public to learn about recent breakthroughs in research from the University’s world-renowned faculty. The performance hall at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts was filled with over 150 attendees of all ages.
Introducing the event was the host Donald H. Levy, the Albert A. Michelson Distinguished Service Professor in Chemistry and Vice President for Research and for National Laboratories at the University. Levy gave a special welcome to students and parents from Maroon Kids, a program organized by alumni and friends of the IME aimed at introducing children in grades 6-12 to topics in science and engineering.
Matthew Tirrell, the Dean and Pritzker Director of the IME, moderated the event, remarking that “engineering is about taking science into society,” as well as comparing the IME to a start-up entering its adolescence. IME scientists David Awschalom, Supratik Guha, Paul Nealey, and Melody Swartz each gave 15-minute talks about their cutting-edge research in, respectively: quantum engineering, materials science, nanotechnology, and immunoengineering. The talks were followed by a lively 30-minute question and answer session, which involved conversation about the future of artificial intelligence, the challenges of clinical trials, and the role of nanotechnology in improving sensors.
Perhaps the spirit of the event was best captured by a question posed by a middle school student in the third row of the audience: “How much do your fields interact?” The scientists all enthused about the opportunities at the IME to solve novel challenges by collaborating with their colleagues across disciplines.
Story by Stephanie Bi