Co-op & Experiential Learning
Combining rigorous academics with a variety of experiential learning opportunities
Northeastern’s approach to education combines rigorous academics with experiential learning anchored by our world-renowned cooperative education program. Experiential learning encompasses our co-op program as well as research, global experiences, service learning, and student organizations.
Co-op affords students the chance to work in engineering practice prior to graduation. Through this program, undergraduate and graduate students gain hands-on, professional experience as well as a chance to build personal connections and contacts within their field of interest.
Undergraduate students can complete up to three co-op work experiences throughout their Northeastern career. As a result, students will develop an increasingly strong range of skill levels and aptitudes as they gain more knowledge and work experience. Co-op is offered to graduate students as well who participate in the second year of their program.
“As a small chemical technology and design engineering firm, our staff must be ready and able to execute a wide variety of engineering and design activities both within and outside their own disciplines. The chemical engineering Co-op students we employ from Northeastern University fit perfectly with our dynamic operational model. They are integral to our project teams and make valuable contributions to our daily engineering, design and project management objectives.”
— John Doring, Engineering Manager
“Over the past few years, I have found the Chemical Engineering Co-op program to be an excellent resource. The coordination staff makes establishing a new program within an organization a breeze and ensures that a steady stream of interested students are lined up ready to help. The effect that a co-op student can have within a department can be significant – their energy and enthusiasm have helped move many programs/projects forward.”
— Kyle B. Haraldsen, Executive Director, Technical Operations
Research is an integral part of our experiential learning portfolio in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Northeastern. Our undergraduate and graduate students are gaining real-world experience by working with our faculty to uncover innovative solutions to solve today’s pressing global challenges.
There are a wide range of opportunities for students from co-op and study abroad experiences, to working alongside faculty in their labs, as well as part of our research centers, such as international centers at the International Material Research Center with Soochow University and the Center for Nano and Pico Medicine with Wenzhou Institute of Biomaterials and Engineering.
Chemical Engineering Research Co-op in Switzerland
Chemical Engineering student Hannah Boyce shares her unique experience conducting research abroad at ETH Zurich, one of Europe’s leading biotech institutions.
Co-op Experience Identifies BioTech Passion
Bradley Priem, BS, chemical engineering, had two co-ops that gave him the ability to delve into a particular industry. At Synlogic he was a bioanalytical chemist and bacterial engineer creating e-coli strains, and at bluebird bio he was an upstream process development engineer for gene production. He now knows he wants to go into the biotech industry and is interested in graduate school too.
Journey to Medical School
Jordan Harris, E'17, chemical engineering, started at Northeastern working early on in research in the Advanced Drug Delivery Lab under Professor Rebecca Carrier, chemical engineering. At the time, he thought he’d like to wind up in a PhD program related to tissue engineering or molecular biology. His three co-ops, though, helped him realize a tremendous interest in medical research and immunology. As a result, he’s now at the University of Pennsylvania earning a dual MD/PhD degree.
Student Clubs and Global Experiences
Northeastern's student chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) was named an Outstanding Student Chapter for the 2017–2018 school year. The College of Engineering has over 50 student organizations including honor societies, competitions, professional societies, and affinity groups.
Chemical Engineering Assistant Teaching Professor Courtney Pfluger led a Dialogue of Civilizations in summer of 2019 where students traveled to Brazil to learn about Sustainable Energy. The College offers a wide variety of global experiences including Dialogue of Civilizations, study abroad, research experiences, and global co-op, among others.
Rachel Joseph, E’23, chemical engineering, is on a mission to ensure that everyone—regardless of their income, address, or race—has access to clean, affordable, and renewable energy. Joseph’s focus on solving the problem of “energy poverty” is part of a journey that began in summer research programs she participated in following her sophomore and junior years […]
Chemical Engineering Master’s Student Works Toward Better Electric Vehicles with Battery Materials on Co-op
As electric vehicles become more prominent, accessible, and convenient, it is imperative that research continues to push the reliability of their batteries further. That’s what Haroon Bukhari, a chemical engineering master’s student explores each day as an employee on co-op at Rogers Corporation which is based onsite on Northeastern’s Innovation Campus in Burlington, Massachusetts.
Hannah Boyce, E’22, chemical engineering, and president of Northeastern’s chapter of the AIChE, is researching potential new methods of biological drug delivery.
Cameron Young, E’22, chemical engineering and biochemistry, wants to see medical research translate directly to personalized treatments. He has carried this mission through both of his co-op experiences and through his research under Assistant Professor Ambika Bajpayee. “A lot of times there’s a disconnect between academic research that goes on in the lab and …really […]