Graduate Study
Simulation-Driven Specialization


SdX program, where X represents industry-specific specializations with an appeal to students preparing for structural, geotechnical, mechanical, design, manufacturing, and aerospace engineering careers. This program aims to prepare students and professionals to apply simulation-driven approach in engineering design and investigation.

The SdX program leverages Northwestern's highly ranked mechanics program to address emerging needs in the civil infrastructures, aerospace, and mechanical areas. Each of these areas is enjoying a resurgence of interest. There is renewed interest in ultra high-rise buildings, especially abroad. Analyzing remaining life of our deteriorating infrastructure can minimize catastrophic failures.

Concepts & Applications

Both fundamental concepts and applications in mechanical, design, manufacturing, structural, geotechnical and aerospace engineering are the thrust of this specialization. For students interested in the structural and geotechnical area, the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering offers the option for them to pursue this new specialization.

Prospective Students

This program is designed for students finishing a BS in engineering or those engineering professional who have a desire to move into the cutting-edge field of simulation-driven engineering. Dedicated, intensive and hands-on courses and projects provide thorough training and preparation for exciting jobs or career advancement.

Students in this program will acquire highly marketable skills that are of great demand in several industry sectors.

Additional Information

Simulation methods, such as the finite element method, meshfree, discrete and particle methods, and thermal/fluid dynamics, are powerful tools that are used extensively throughout all engineering disciplines to design and investigate, and reduce time and cost by performing “virtual testing” on the computer before the design is finalized or to identify most likely cause of failure.

Contact Information

  • Karen Chou, assistant chair of civil and environmental engineering, clinical professor of civil and environmental engineering
  • Manohar Kulkarni, clinical full professor and assistant chairperson of mechanical engineering
  • Wing Kam Liu, Walter P. Murphy professor of mechanical engineering

Curriculum Plans

Download the geotechnical curriculum plan

Download the structural engineering curriculum plan