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Research

Boldly innovating to impact society and transform the world.

Northeastern University has achieved the prestigious recognition as a top-tier R1 institution for research activity among U.S. colleges and universities by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Our tradition of partnership and engagement guides a use-inspired and interdisciplinary research enterprise that is strategically aligned with three global imperatives: health, security, and sustainability. Our annual Scholarship Report highlights pioneering research and achievements over the past year.


The College of Engineering has over 185 tenured/tenure-track faculty, each bringing complementary areas of research expertise to address pressing global challenges. Their state-of-art-research looks at critical issues in materials, processes, systems, infrastructure, hardware and software at every scale—nano to macro to global—grounded in a translational approach that integrates the values of fundamental and applied research.

Our faculty boldly innovate by collaborating across engineering disciplines and the university, as well as with government, academia, and industry. The College of Engineering has 17 multidisciplinary research centers and institutes with funding from eight federal agencies. Our commitment to conducting transformative research to better the world can be seen by a 139% increase in external research funding from 2014 to 2020, and by an investment in research capabilities such as our 223,000 square foot, six-story Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex.

Government and Industry Partnerships

Industry and government partner with Northeastern for basic and applied research. The reason is simple: they know that at Northeastern, our two guiding principles are interdisciplinary collaboration and engagement with the real world. These principles are reflected in our research programs, which are driven by critical issues in materials, processes, systems and infrastructure. Our research collaborations are a win-win-win: our partners receive knowledge and products tailored to their needs, our researchers validate and extend their work, and our students receive training and experience to become the next generation of effective technologists.


Research At-A-Glance

$86M

External Research Funding (2020)

17

Research Centers and Institutes

95

Young Investigator Awards (as of Dec. 2020)

138

Patents 2014-Aug. 2020


Recent News

Using Natural Materials to Produce Drinkable Water

MIE Associate Professor Yi Zheng is using natural materials like cow manure and hornet nests to create filters that can be used in desalination systems.

Using Magnetic Force During 3D Printing at the Microscale

MIE Associate Professor Randall Erb is using a magnetic field during the 3D printing process to create strong complex ceramic designs that can be used in everything from circuit boards to hypersonic airplanes. How magnets and 3D printers can make materials for hypersonic planes Main photo: Masters student Dan Braconnier, works on researchers in the […]

Herbert Levine

Creating a Global Network to Explore Living Systems

University Distinguished Professor Herbert Levine, physics and bioengineering, in collaboration with Princeton University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, William Marsh Rice University, and Yale University, is leading a $5.5M NSF grant for “International Physics of Living Systems Graduate Research Network.” Abstract Source: NSF The international Physics of Living Systems (iPoLS) graduate research network (GRN) […]

Improving Human Pharmacological Efficacy

ChE Assistant Professor Ryan Koppes received a $1.96M NIH R35 MIRA for Early Stage Investigators for “Engineering multifaceted 3D human organ platforms for toxicity testing”.