interior of building with spiral staircase
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

Robotic arm attached to Peter Whitney's arm.

Advancing Remote Robotic Technology

MIE Assistant Professor Peter Whitney has been working to design lightweight nimble robotic arms that could be capable of remote surgery or other situations where safety might be a factor. Nimble robotic arms that perform delicate surgery may be one step closer to reality Main photo: Robotics researchers at Northeastern are advancing a technology to […]

Microscopy images depicting the ability of O2-cryogels to restore OT-1 (red, T cells) cytotoxic activity and kill B16-OVA tumor cells (green) under immunosuppressive hypoxic conditions (~1% O2).

Bencherif Publishes “Oxygen-Generating Cryogels Restore T Cell Mediated Cytotoxicity in Hypoxic Tumors” in Advanced Functional Materials

ChE Postdoctoral Research Associate Thibault Colombani (lead author), Loek Eggermont, Stephen Hatfield, Zachary Rogers, PhD’23, Mahboobeh Rezaeeyazdi, PhD’19, Adnan Memic, Michail Sitkovsky, and Assistant Professor Sidi A. Bencherif) published their article Oxygen-Generating Cryogels Restore T Cell Mediated Cytotoxicity in Hypoxic Tumors in the Advanced Functional Materials journal.

aron-stubbuns

Assessing the Plastic-Carbon Concentrations at the Ocean’s Surface

MES/COS/CEE Associate Professor Aron Stubbins is leading a $300K NSF EAGER grant, in collaboration with Jason Guo from the Barnett Institute, Kara Lavender Law from the Sea Education Association, and Valier Galy from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, for “Assessing the contribution of plastics to marine particulate organic carbon.”

Mark Patteron holds the Trident ROV robot.

Patterson Receives Fulbright Award to Chart Kelp Forests

MES/CEE Professor Mark Patterson was selected for a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award where he will be mapping uncharted kelp forests at the Université Laval in Quebec City.