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


The College of Engineering has over 215 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 80% increase in external research funding from 2016 to 2022, 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

$92.5M

External Research Funding (2022)

18

Research Centers and Institutes

116

Young Investigator Awards (as of Aug. 2022)

158

Patents 2016-Aug. 2022


Recent News

hongli zhu

Wearable Gas Sensor for Disease Detection

MIE Associate Professor Hongli (Julie) Zhu, in collaboration with Vox Biomedical, LLC and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, was awarded a $154K grant for biosensors.

hongli zhu

Sensable, Manageable, Adaptable, Reusable Tooling for Lightweight Composite Automotive Components

MIE Associate Professor Hongli (Julie) Zhu was awarded a $220K DOE grant, in collaboration with the University of Delaware, for the manufacturing of lightweight automotive components.

purnima ratilal makris

Hydrophone Array System for Real-Time Oceanic Acoustic Monitoring

ECE Professor Purnima Ratilal-Makris was awarded a $1.28M NSF grant for “Large-aperture 160-element coherent hydrophone array system upgrades and operational readiness testing for real-time continental-shelf scale ocean acoustic monitoring.”

Laura Lewis

Lewis Elevated to IEEE Fellow

Distinguished University and Cabot Professor Laura Lewis, ChE/MIE, was elevated to an IEEE Fellow for contributions to the design of magneto-functional materials.