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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

Sternad Selected for Fulbright Award in Italy

COS/ECE Professor Dagmar Sternad has been selected for the Fulbright award for the academic year 2021-2022 to work on “Variability and Redundancy in Motor Learning” at the Santa Lucia Foundation at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy.

Investigating Timing and Motor Control

COS/ECE Professor Dagmar Sternad was awarded a $323K NSF grant for “Emergent motor timing influences perceptual timing.”

The Robotic Requirements Needed for a Self-Driving Car

ECE Professor Hanumant Singh’s autonomous field-robotics class incorporates how real-life conditions impact all the robotics required to make things like self-driving cars.

Understanding How the Nervous System Regulates Gut Inflammation

ChE Assistant Professor Abigail Koppes was awarded a $500K NSF CAREER Award for “Defining the regulators of enteric plasticity in engineered microfluidic environments.” Gut Instinct There’s a growing awareness of the connection between the human brain and the intestinal tract, but many questions remain. Why do human neurological disorders, such as anxiety, often manifest themselves […]