Student Research

As an R1 research university, Northeastern offers all students—undergraduate, masters, and PhD—opportunity to participate in a wide range of interdisciplinary research projects, and offers resources and support to encourage innovation. Students can work with faculty in their labs, as part of research centers, on co-op, or conduct individual research. Students can also present their research at university events, and participate in regional, national and global competitions.

View engineering faculty profiles for research focus areas and lab information.

Electrical & Computer Engineering student Spencer Lake Jacobs-Skolik shares his experience leading research, becoming a published author, and earning a Goldwater Scholarship – all as an undergraduate. Learn how Northeastern University’s College of Engineering provides research opportunities you can’t find anywhere else, and how those experiences DEVELOP/PREPARE passionate students for successful careers.

Graduate Students

For graduate students, the College of Engineering offers hundreds of paid research assistantships and fellowships each year. Some research opportunities are posted to the Northeastern Student Employment Job Board.

View a video on the experience of PhD students working alongside faculty on lifesaving cancer research.

In addition to all of the resources available in the College and accomplished faculty with interdisciplinary research focus areas spanning five disciplines, students can take advantage of Northeastern’s university-wide research collaborations and initiatives with the PhD Network.

Xupeng Zhu, electrical engineering graduate student, ME’20, works in the new robotics laboratory on the fifth floor of the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex. The space enables interdisciplinary research in a variety of areas, including manipulation of novel objects, field robotics, aerial robotics, and assistive robotics. With more than 12,000 square feet of space dedicated to robot fabrication, testing, and prototyping, the facility is the home for 16 principal investigators and more than 100 graduate students. It has state-of-the-art robot systems, including collaborative manipulator arms, drones, human support robots and field robots.
Xupeng Zhu, electrical engineering graduate student, ME’20, works in the new robotics laboratory on the fifth floor of the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex. The space enables interdisciplinary research in a variety of areas, including manipulation of novel objects, field robotics, aerial robotics, and assistive robotics. With more than 12,000 square feet of space dedicated to robot fabrication, testing, and prototyping, the facility is the home for 16 principal investigators and more than 100 graduate students. It has state-of-the-art robot systems, including collaborative manipulator arms, drones, human support robots and field robots.

Undergraduate Students

Participating in undergraduate research allows students to enhance their learning experiences while still in school. Using the skills they develop, students will be more successful in their classes. Research also prepares them for an advanced degree or professional employment. Students can conduct their own individual research projects, work with a faculty member, or be part of a group project.

The College of Engineering also offers the UPLIFT Scholars program for highly talented students. Scholars work in their faculty mentor’s lab starting their first semester freshmen year, with further opportunities for research during their later years at Northeastern. Scholars also receive programming and community building opportunities through Northeastern’s Center for STEM Education.

Learn about Kathrine Graham’s experience working at the ALERT research center as a mechanical engineering student, and  Natasha Mundis’ experience doing research as a civil engineering student. Some research opportunities are posted to the Northeastern Student Employment Job Board.

Undergraduate students packed wall-to-wall eagerly engaged with faculty, research scientists, and fellow students representing 30-plus labs to learn about projects covering fields from nanomedicine to environmental health, and magnetic sensing to machine learning.
Undergraduate students at the annual Undergraduate Research Fair eagerly engage with faculty, research scientists, and fellow students representing 30-plus labs to learn about projects covering fields from nanomedicine to environmental health, and magnetic sensing to machine learning.

How to Find Undergraduate Research Opportunities

In addition to attending Northeastern’s annual Undergraduate Research Fair (called SOURCE: Showcase of Opportunities for Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavor) available in early Fall, there are several ways to find a research opportunity that matches your interests.

When looking for a research opportunity, have available the following:

  • Attend the Undergraduate Research Fair in the fall.
  • Check with College of Engineering Research Centers; some Centers are also National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduate (REU) sites.
  • View faculty profiles to identify faculty research focus areas, and then contact individual professors in areas of interest via email or in person to find out who might need assistance.

Visit the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships where you can search for research opportunities, connect with faculty mentors, and find fellowships and scholarships.

    1. Meet a professor that has a research project you can contribute to.
    2. Agree on the # of hours per week.
    3. The professor must email ri.harris@northeastern.edu with the student’s NUID# and the # of hours per week.
    4. The student will be hired and receive an email confirming the arrangement.
    5. Please fill out this form and email it to ri.harris@northeastern.edu
    6. Each week the student works, they fill in their timesheet on Student Employment. As long as they fill in the agreed-upon # of hours, the timesheet will be approved. The professors should notify engineering.research@northeastern.edu if the students are not complying with the agreed-upon hours so that the hours can be renegotiated.

Recent News

WIoT team Wins First Prize at IEEE Advanced Air Mobility – Concepts Innovation Challenge

A team of researchers with the Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things (WIoT) consisting of computer engineering students Matteo Bordin, PhD’26, and Pietro Brach Del Prever, PhD’27, and led by ECE Research Assistant Professor Salvatore D’Oro, won first prize at the IEEE Advanced Air Mobility – Concepts Innovation Challenge, a challenge to engage undergraduate and graduate students across the world in developing novel concepts in unmanned air transportation.

BioE Students Granted Provisional Patent for a Breast Implant Design that Mimics Natural Bodies

Breast implants in the 21st century provoke images of popular culture beauty icons, but their importance surpasses societal status throughout the worlds of biomedical engineering and plastic surgery. Last Spring, an NU Bioengineering student group realized a gap in the market of breast implants. They worked together to create an implant that mimics natural bodies and recently received a provisional patent for the design.

Computer PhD Student Wins SIGHPC Computational and Data Science Fellowship

Computer engineering student Ana Veroneze Solórzano, PhD’26, won a prestigious 2022 ACM Special Interest Group on High Performance Computing (SIGHPC) Computational and Data Science Fellowship.