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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 Annual Report highlights pioneering research and achievements over the past year.


The College of Engineering has over 235 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 18 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 101% increase in external research funding from FY2017 to FY2023, and by an investment in research capabilities such as our 223,000 square foot, six-story Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex and 367,000 square foot, eight-story EXP facility for teaching and research.

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

$118M

External Research Funding (FY2023)

18

Research Centers and Institutes

142

Young Investigator Awards (as of Aug. 2023)

154

Patents 2017-Aug. 2023


Recent News

Research Partnership Between Northeastern and University College Dublin Flourishes

ChE Professor Rebecca Carrier is part of one of several new research projects in collaboration with University College Dublin.

Fending Off Cyberthreats in the Wake of Natural Disasters

CEE Distinguished Professor Auroop Ganguly and his interdisciplinary team are researching new ways to adapt to climate change and security challenges to improve recovery after natural disasters.

Using Ultra-Efficient Ising Machines for Complex Problem Solving

Research on “parametric frequency divider based Ising machines” conducted by electrical engineering student Nicolas Casilli, E’21, MS’21, PhD’26, in Associate Professor Cristian Cassella’s lab, was accepted for publication in Physical Review Letters.

New Research Questions How Connective Tissues Are Formed

BioE Professor Jeffrey Ruberti’s new research suggests that connective tissues in the human body are more likely formed by cells pulling apart than coming together.