, McCormick School of Engineering, Northwestern University

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"At Northwestern, no single thing defines me. I'm a whole-brain engineer."

— Drew Levorsen  Undergraduate, Materials Science

Researchers. scholars. teachers. 

At McCormick, professors conduct cutting-edge research and teach all levels of courses. For example, Wei Chen, Wilson-Cook Professor in Engineering Design and professor of mechanical engineering, develops design methods for use in manufacturing. She leads a graduate-level interdisciplinary design program and teaches undergraduate courses.

Bring your ideas to life.

McCormick students don't just dream up ideas. They build them, test them, and rebuild them until they are successful. Facilities such as the Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center Prototyping Lab provide the resources for ideas to become reality.

we conduct the research that drives tomorrow’s innovations. 

Students at every level conduct research to help solve the world's most pressing problems. Students and faculty work together to ask questions, define problems, and innovate solutions. Together we create the future.

Scroll

"At Northwestern, no single thing defines me. I'm a whole-brain engineer."

— Drew Levorsen  Undergraduate, Materials Science

Researchers. scholars. teachers. 

At McCormick, professors conduct cutting-edge research and teach all levels of courses. For example, Wei Chen, Wilson-Cook Professor in Engineering Design and professor of mechanical engineering, develops design methods for use in manufacturing. She leads a graduate-level interdisciplinary design program and teaches undergraduate courses.

Bring your ideas to life.

McCormick students don't just dream up ideas. They build them, test them, and rebuild them until they are successful. Facilities such as the Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center Prototyping Lab provide the resources for ideas to become reality.

we conduct the research that drives tomorrow’s innovations. 

Students at every level conduct research to help solve the world's most pressing problems. Students and faculty work together to ask questions, define problems, and innovate solutions. Together we create the future.

Think

Whole-Brain Engineering

At McCormick, we do more than educate great engineers. We empower our students to become whole-brain engineers. This means integrating the elements of left-brain thinking - analysis, logic, synthesis, and math - with the kind of high-level right-brain thinking that fosters intuition, metaphorical thought, and creative problem solving. To lead effectively, you must master both.

Just as we empower you with whole-brain thinking, we inspire you to do great things with your life. To change the world for the better in material ways. To influence others to do the same. To lead organizations and communities. To have an impact not only with what you make, but with how you think.

Solid Grounding in Math and Science

Engineering requires the non-negotiable left-brain skills in mathematics, analysis, and rational thinking. Beginning in the first year and continuing through the graduate level, McCormick students are immersed in rigorous courses in topics such as computer programming, physics, engineering mechanics, and differential equations. We arm our students with the technical tools to approach problems methodically.

Leading the charge are our professors: world-class faculty who conduct research in areas like materials, energy, health, complexity, and computer science. These scholars bring their research enterprises to the classroom, where, with our low student/faculty ratio, they know you by name. They provide the toolset. How you use it to change the world is up to you.

Creativity, Imagination, and Invention

Right-brain thinking embraces creativity, intuition, and metaphorical thought. It means looking at a problem through a new lens. Looking beyond the perceived problem to determine the actual problem. Using divergent thinking to create disruptive innovations. To innovate and lead, engineers must learn to be whole-brain.

Three institutes and centers form the pillars of right-brain thinking at Northwestern:

Segal Design Institute

Educates innovators and design thinkers while expanding the research frontiers of human-centered design. Embraces a methodology of problem framing and opportunity finding in order to produce creative, actionable outcomes.

Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Empowers student and faculty to build entrepreneurial, cross-disciplinary ventures. Guides students through the entire innovation/business life cycle—from ideation to prototyping and business plan development.

Center for Leadership

Defines leadership as the process of asking the right questions. Assesses leadership and teamwork abilities through a unique assessment tool.

Collaborate
Across Campus

Design for America, a student initiative that uses design to create social and local impact, brings together students from across campus to work on design projects that make a difference. Projects include a bear to teach children with diabetes how to manage their disease and a device to encourage hand sanitation at hospitals. Founded at Northwestern, DFA has now spread to 21 colleges and universities around the country.

COLLABORATE
ACROSS THE city

Through a partnership with Shedd Aquarium, McCormick students work with different kinds of clients. Penguins that need shoes. Fish that need surgery. And otters who need a new way to stay stimulated and active. Students in the Segal Design Institute created a puzzle that otters need to solve to get a shrimp-filled snack. McCormick partners with museums, institutions, laboratories, and universities across the Chicago area, sharing our minds and resources in pursuit of innovation.

Collaborate
Across the Globe

In the Atacama Desert of northern Chile, one of the main sources of fresh water is contaminated by boron and arsenic, leaving communities without access to clean water. The Lluta Watershed Restoration group, formed by Northwestern students and professors, works with local communities to implement a water distillation system that is adapted to their mode of life. McCormick's research and educational initiatives span around the globe. Our Global McCormick office connects faculty and students with opportunities to study abroad, conduct international collaborative research, and participate in life-changing design projects.

Collaborate
Across Campus

Design for America, a student initiative that uses design to create social and local impact, brings together students from across campus to work on design projects that make a difference. Projects include a bear to teach children with diabetes how to manage their disease and a device to encourage hand sanitation at hospitals. Founded at Northwestern, DFA has now spread to 21 colleges and universities around the country.

COLLABORATE
ACROSS THE city

Through a partnership with Shedd Aquarium, McCormick students work with different kinds of clients. Penguins that need shoes. Fish that need surgery. And otters who need a new way to stay stimulated and active. Students in the Segal Design Institute created a puzzle that otters need to solve to get a shrimp-filled snack. McCormick partners with museums, institutions, laboratories, and universities across the Chicago area, sharing our minds and resources in pursuit of innovation.

Collaborate
Across the Globe

In the Atacama Desert of northern Chile, one of the main sources of fresh water is contaminated by boron and arsenic, leaving communities without access to clean water. The Lluta Watershed Restoration group, formed by Northwestern students and professors, works with local communities to implement a water distillation system that is adapted to their mode of life. McCormick's research and educational initiatives span around the globe. Our Global McCormick office connects faculty and students with opportunities to study abroad, conduct international collaborative research, and participate in life-changing design projects.

Engage

Meet Your Community

McCormick students and faculty are constantly expanding the definition of what it means to be a whole-brain engineer. 

Ben Goodman

Ben Goodman

Undergraduate,
Chemical Engineering

Drawn to dance.

Devoted to sustainability.

After performing for five years as a professional ballet dancer, Benjamin Goodman took a leap. He left the dance industry and enrolled in McCormick’s undergraduate chemical engineering program. According to Goodman, the change was not as drastic as it might seem. “I realized that my love of dance was based more on the scientific, technical study of its movement rather than its artistry.”

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Corey Grief

Corey Grief

Undergraduate,
Computer Science

Mind of a scientist.
Heart of a musician.

When choosing where to go for college, Corey Grief found that Northwestern struck just the right note: it’s near Chicago, has an excellent computer science program, and is home to a Big Ten marching band.

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Aliyah Lee

Aliyah Lee

Undergraduate,
Industrial Engineering

Inspired engineer.
An inspiration to others.

Growing up in a family of teachers, Aliyah Lee did not have access to engineers. After joining McCormick, she discovered industrial engineering and quickly fell in love. “When I got here, I didn’t even know what industrial engineering was,” she said. “I love that it’s math applied in a practical way; that clicks for me. I’ve found something really exciting.

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Hayley Belli

Hayley Belli

PhD student,
Biomedical Engineering

Future professor.
Present-day mentor.

Hayley Belli spends her days in the laboratory, studying the mechanics and neurophysiology of rat whiskers. At night, she returns to an undergraduate residential college where she serves as the assistant master. She plans activities for the students who live there, advises them, and delivers fireside talks about her research, job opportunities, or fun topics like food and entertainment. “More than anything, I just want to establish a connection with them,” she said.

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Yamil Colon

Yamil Colon

PhD student,
Chemical and Biological Engineering

Posing Difficult Questions.
Pioneering New Solutions.

Vehicles fueled by hydrogen gas emit few pollutants and could be the clean-energy transportation mode of the future. But there is one enormous challenge: how do you take such a light molecule and pack it densely enough to become a safe and efficient fuel? “You can liquefy the hydrogen, but that’s very energy intensive, which is what we’re trying to avoid,” said Yamil Colon. “Or you can pressurize it, but that’s dangerous.”

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Todd Murphey

Todd Murphey

Associate Professor,
Mechanical Engineering

Building Robots.
Solving Critical Problems.

Todd Murphey has spent the past nine years building lifelike, autonomous marionettes. Suspended from strings held by a small robot, the puppet is manipulated to imitate sophisticated human motion. The end goal is not a performance or the creation of a high-end toy but to shed light on the inner workings of complex and fragile systems.

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Wendy Murray

Wendy Murray

Associate Professor,
Biomedical Engineering

Studying Motion.
Improving Rehabilitation.

A competitive cross-country runner throughout high school and college, Wendy Murray has been an athlete for most of her life. But after enduring several sports injuries, her interests shifted from merely running to better understanding the mechanics at play while in motion. “I started to have a general interest in how we move,” Wendy says. “Movement is such a big part of everything we do, and I have a real appreciation for its complexity.”

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