Facilities

William Eckhardt Research Center
5640 South Ellis Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60637

The Institute for Molecular Engineering is housed in a new state-of-the art facility on the west side of Ellis Avenue between 56th and 57th Streets. Completed in 2015, the William Eckhardt Research Center embodies the spirit of innovation that thrives within its walls.

The building is named for Chicago-based investment manager William Eckhardt, SM’70, in recognition of his gift to support scientific research at the University. Two premier architecture firms teamed up for the project: the global leader HOK and James Carpenter Design Associates, both of which fuse creative inspiration, technical mastery, and commitment to environmental sustainability in their work. The floor plan, featuring 265,000 square feet distributed across seven floors, provides ample space to accommodate IME faculty members, along with students, staff, and affiliated researchers. IME shares Eckhardt Center with colleagues in the Physical Sciences Division and also benefits from the close proximity with the Biological Sciences Division in the Gordon Center for Integrative Science as well as the University of Chicago Medicine to consult and collaborate as partners. Cutting-edge clean rooms and molecular imaging facilities is located on the lower level.

The site, once home to the University’s research institutes, is rich with history and symbolism. Just across the street, outside the glass dome of the Mansueto Library, a Henry Moore sculpture commemorates the spot where Enrico Fermi and his colleagues on the Manhattan Project engineered the first controlled, self-sustaining chain reaction in 1942. That proud legacy of discovery has been strengthened on campus in recent decades. And at the Eckhardt Center, it will continue to flourish for many years to come.

George Herbert Jones Laboratory
5747 South Ellis Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60637

The George Herbert Jones Laboratory houses various IME research groups, including the Park Group. Other offices in the building include the Department of Mathematics and the Department of Chemistry. Room 405 of the building was named a National Historic Landmark in 1967 in honor of the work done there isolating and measuring plutonium as part of the Manhattan Project.

Searle Chemical Laboratory
5735 South Ellis Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637

Searle Chemical Laboratory is the location of various IME research groups, namely the Patel Group, which is located in the basement of the building. In addition, the building is shared with the Department of Chemistry and the Computation Institute, who maintain various administrative offices and labs in the building, including core instrumentation suites for Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and Mass Spectrometry.

The building was recently renovated to accommodate the new labs and to complete needed exterior work and interior reconfiguration. The renovations included numerous features that reduce energy consumption and increase efficiency, which earned the building the University’s first LEED Gold Certification for a research building.

Chicago Innovation Exchange
1452 and 1463 E 53rd Street (IME office at 1463 E 53rd St), 2nd Floor
Chicago, IL 60615

The Chicago Innovation Exchange is the University of Chicago’s center to help scholars and entrepreneurs translate their ideas and new technologies into start-up businesses and products. The CIE provides space for proof-of-concept work, business incubation, collaboration opportunities, and programming for new ventures created by UChicago faculty, students, and staff, as well as local community entrepreneurs.

In 2015, the CIE will open the doors to a new state-of-the-art fabrication and prototyping lab as part of its campus on 53rd Street in Hyde Park. The Fab Lab will include 3D printing, vinyl cutter, laser cutter, computer controlled routers, and other equipment for entrepreneurs. The building will also house offices for Argonne National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and the Institute for Molecular Engineering. The CIE works closely with partners like the Polsky Center and UChicagoTech, as well as Marine Biological Laboratory, University of Chicago Law School, and Chicago Booth. In addition, the CIE manages a $20 million Innovation Fund, which invests in the commercialization of technology developed by UChicago faculty and staff. The team cultivates partnerships to connect emerging entrepreneurs with Chicago’s broader innovation ecosystem and to drive the creation of new businesses, jobs, and economic activity in the city and surrounding region.
 

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