Chemistry and chemical engineering are aligned fields, but day to day activities of each are quite distinct. Chemists focus on developing and applying fundamental principles to increase the understanding of the molecular world and chemical engineers apply chemical knowledge to build systems. Synthetic chemistry over the years has yielded such a rich canon of knowledge such that most synthetic chemists are more molecular designers than they are molecular discoverers. The chemical knowledge base is rich enough to support machine learning tools that can design synthetic routes with expert level capability. My group occupies that unique space between engineering and the basic sciences. Team members have projects that span small molecule design, synthesis, and technology development including the use of machine learning to predict molecular performance. Most of my work involves multiple disciplines and collaborators.

Virginia Commonwealth University