red liquid in jar in lab
Research

Chemical engineering encompasses a broad range of cutting-edge research. The diverse education that chemical engineers receive allows them to work at the intersection of a variety of different fields, including biology, chemistry, energy, physics, materials science, and other engineering disciplines. With a premier location in downtown Boston, the department is perfectly located to take advantage of a wealth of collaborations with other universities, as well as local hospitals, medical centers, and industry.


Since 2017, the department has had 54 Visiting Scholars from all over the world learning, sharing, and collaborating on research.
International research collaborations have been established with the International Materials Research Center with Soochow University, China, and the Center for Nano and Pico Medicine with Wenzhou Institute of Biomaterials and Engineering, China.

Research Areas

Chemical engineering research at Northeastern is supported by two pillars of excellence: Advanced Materials Research and Biological Engineering. Not only will you find any number of fascinating projects in these areas with which you can become involved, but Northeastern is also pushing the limits of possibility at the integration of biological and physical systems by combining expertise from both of our pillars of excellence.

Want to figure out how to grow new cartilage cells that you can use to help eliminate osteoarthritis? How about working on making plant cells produce tough-to-synthesize anti-cancer drugs? Or using fluid mechanics and mass transport theory to develop better ways of dispersing those drugs in the body? Or how to develop materials to meet unprecedented needs in energy without damaging the environment ? All of that is happening now in the department.

Quantum-sized wires to make ultra-small circuitry? Stem cells to heal numerous diseases ? We’re working on that too, as well as new multifunctional materials that will help usher in the next generation of faster, smaller, more capable electronic devices. And ultra-thin polymer coatings that can be functionalized for every purpose, ranging from biocompatible surfaces, to semiconductor applications, to advanced radiation shielding.

Research Centers and Institutes

The College of Engineering is also home to a National Science Foundation Center for High-Rate Nanomanufacturing, as well as numerous other research centers and institutes and multidisciplinary research initiatives to push the boundaries of research.

Additionally, the Chemical Engineering department has established international research collaborations and centers, including:

  • The International Materials Research Center with Soochow University, China
  • Center for Nano and Pico Medicine with Wenzhou Institute of Biomaterials and Engineering, China (learn more)
building complex of glass walls multiple storiesfour photos of the inside of a lab at a university in China

Wenzhou Institute of Biomaterials and Engineering

Recent News

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 […]

Investigating the Defense-Related Responses of Plants

ChE/COS Associate Professor Carolyn Lee-Parsons and BioE Affiliated Faculty member Erin Cram were awarded an $800K NSF grant for creating ” A Novel CRISPR SynBio Tool for Investigating and Reprogramming the Regulation of Alkaloid Biosynthesis in Catharanthus roseus.”

Gallaway Receives NSF CAREER Award

ChE DiPietro Assistant Professor Joshua Gallaway was awarded a $400K NSF CAREER award for “Engineering electrochemical reversibility in disordered materials for high energy density batteries.”

Woolston Received the Jay Bailey Young Investigator Award in Metabolic Engineering

ChE Assistant Professor Benjamin Woolston is the 2020 recipient of the Jay Bailey Young Investigator Award in Metabolic Engineering within the International Metabolic Engineering Society (IMES).