Molly Clay, Chemical Engineering



“There is a real sense of unity and helpfulness, you need that teamwork as an engineer.”
A strong math and science student in high school, Molly was looking for a high-caliber engineering program. At the same time, she wondered, “what if engineering is not for me?” She found her answer at UMass Lowell, where she had meaningful alternatives if she changed her mind.

At UMass Lowell, Molly discovered that engineering was just right. And thanks to support from her professors and peers, she also played competitive Division II field hockey while keeping up with the demands of her major. “There is a real sense of unity and helpfulness, and you need that teamwork as an engineer in the real world,” she says.

Molly worked in a nanotechnology research lab as an undergraduate and loved the experience. Now she’s exploring new sensing techniques for use in health care. “Slight changes in the concentration of biomolecules and related chemicals found in our bodily fluids can signal diseases, cancers and other health concerns,” she explains. Working at the nano-scale increases surface area-to-volume ratios and can help increase the sensitivity of sensors and translate into earlier detection of diseases.” Molly hopes the ideas she is testing on a small scale now will lead to getting new techniques to consumers in the future.

“Companies are looking for UMass Lowell grads,” she says. “The reputation is a plus.”