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.

All students from across the university present their research at the annual Research, Innovation and Scholarship Expo (RISE).
All students from across the university present their research at the annual Research, Innovation and Scholarship Expo (RISE).

Graduate Students

For graduate students, the College of Engineering offers hundreds of paid research assistantships and fellowships each year.

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 Center for Research Innovation and 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.

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

Nature Materials Article on PGM-free Catalyst for Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell

Li Jiao, PhD’21, chemical engineering, currently working in Affiliated Faculty Sanjeev Mukerjee’s research group, was published in Nature Materials for “Chemical vapour deposition of Fe–N–C oxygen reduction catalysts with full utilization of dense Fe–N4 sites,” developing a model catalyst with scientific breakthroughs and practical significance.

Zach Rogers

PhD Student Wins Third Alpha Fund Prototype Grant

Zach Rogers, a ChE PhD student in the Bencherif Lab, was recently awarded his third Alpha Fund Prototype Grant for his proposal, “Oxygen-controlling cell culture (OCC) systems”.

Summer 2021 PEAK Experiences Awardees

Congratulations to the COE student recipients of the Summer 2021 PEAK Experiences Awards. The PEAK Experiences Awards are a progressively structured sequence of opportunities designed to support learners as they continue climbing to new heights of achievement in undergraduate research and creative endeavor throughout their Northeastern journeys. BASE CAMP AWARDS Ana Salichs, COE’22, “Colorimetric Assays […]