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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 more than 20 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)

20

Research Centers and Institutes

142

Young Investigator Awards (as of Aug. 2023)

154

Patents 2017-Aug. 2023


Recent News

Prebiotics in Food Are More Certain Source of Health Benefits Than Prebiotic Sodas

While the health benefits of prebiotics in soda are debated, ChE Professor Rebecca Carrier recommends relying on the definitive evidence that food with prebiotics promote a healthy gut and can have overall health benefits.

Combo COVID-19-Flu Shot Could Have Broad Appeal

Bouvé/ChE University Distinguished Professor Mansoor Amiji says the convenience of a combined mRNA COVID-19 and flu shot, which successfully completed a late-stage trial at Moderna, could drive up the percentage of people vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Vincent Harris

$3.97M ONR Award to Improve Navy Ship Power Management

ECE University Distinguished and William Lincoln Smith Professor Vincent Harris is leading a multi-institutional $3.97 million Office of Naval Research award to develop advanced magnetic materials that will operate at higher frequency and power levels, enabling more efficient and cost-effective power usage aboard Navy ships.

How Slope Failures Can Lead to Critical Highway Collapses

CEE Associate Teaching Professor Craig Shillaber says that highway failures like the recently collapsed section of Teton Pass only happen under certain circumstances. These collapses are caused by slope failures, which depend on the stress of loading conditions and the strength of the foundation soil.