McCormick Magazine

McCormick Achievements: A Three Year Summary



Northwestern Center for Engineering Education Research
This center, announced in January 2007, is a catalyst to transform engineering education locally, nationally, and globally. NCEER will build a community that conducts leading research on how to best educate engineering students as adaptive experts who can solve and anticipate global technological challenges. NCEER will support interdisciplinary research in engineering education, cultivating relationships within McCormick, across Northwestern, and with other universities with similar aims.

Faculty leadership development course
Business for Scientists and Engineers, a new faculty education class offered in winter 2007-08 through the Kellogg School of Management, taught engineering professors business skills to help them better manage their departments and start businesses.
Read more about the class in this issue of McCormick.

Success in faculty hiring
About 80 percent of McCormick's offers to new faculty were accepted last in 2006, and the acceptance rate was 93 percent in 2007. With these new hires, McCormick will have seen a 16 percent change in faculty over those two years — a process that is accelerating the transformation of the school. Significantly, these new hires are not all junior faculty members; many are distinguished researchers who are well-known in their fields.
Read more about some of McCormick's new faculty in this issue of McCormick.

Increase in dollar value of research proposals
Over the past three years, McCormick has developed a robust research administration operation. Each department now has a specialized research administrator to assist faculty from the development and submission of proposals all the way through the final report. In 2007, Northwestern University's research volume exceeded $400 million for the first time. The McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science received $56.9 million in sponsored research dollars in 2007, an increase of 10.2 percent.

Increase in NSF CAREER Awards
The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is the National Science Foundation's most prestigious award program for new faculty members. The CAREER Award recognizes and supports the early career-development activities of those who are most likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st century. McCormick faculty have received 13 of these awards over the past three years.

Two Medal of Science and one Medal of Technology recipients
Jan D. Achenbach, Walter P. Murphy Professor and Distinguished McCormick School Professor of the Departments of Mechanical Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics, received the 2003 National Medal of Technology for seminal contributions to engineering research and education and for pioneering ultrasonic methods for the detection of cracks and corrosion in aircraft, leading to improved safety for aircraft structures.

The 2005 National Medal of Science was awarded to Jan Achenbach and Tobin Marks, Vladimir N. Ipatieff Research Professor of Chemistry in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and professor of materials science and engineering.


Segal Design Institute
Gordon and Carole Segal, co-founders of Crate and Barrel, made a significant donation in March 2007 to establish a new institute for design at Northwestern University. The new institute builds on McCormick's longstanding commitment to design and fosters curricular development and research in design across all schools at Northwestern.

Undergraduate Architectural Engineering and Design program
The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at McCormick will offer a new concentration in architectural engineering and design beginning in Fall 2008. The program will help prepare engineering students for building industry careers as architects, structural designers, builders, project managers, and developers. It will provide students with a broad understanding of building systems and design, give them the ability to communicate and collaborate with architects, and introduce them to issues in sustainability and green design.
Read more about the Architectural Engineering and Design Program in this issue of McCormick.

Kellogg undergraduate certificate programs
The Undergraduate Certificate Program in Managerial Analytics, a joint program between the Kellogg School of Management and McCormick, builds on the analytical strengths of McCormick undergraduates and provides them with content relevant for careers at the nation's elite management consulting firms and product or service companies.

Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
The Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, which began in 2007, works to evolve engineering beyond the applications of the sciences to the creation of businesses that capitalize on innovations. The center empowers McCormick engineers with the skills to be successful entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs.

Murphy Institute for undergraduate students
The Murphy Institute is a program that enables a select group of McCormick undergraduates to engage in self-directed activities of interest to them, with support from faculty advisors. These activities could include on-campus research, involvement with design projects, or engagement in off-campus scholarly work. A Murphy Institute Scholar may follow an existing curriculum, or the Scholar may design his or her own curriculum with individual interests in mind through the combined studies degree program.

New undergraduate and graduate student leadership organizations
There are new groups in place to act as liaisons between undergraduate and graduate students and the McCormick administration. These groups also help coordinate the activities of special interest student groups.

McCormick Graduate Leadership Council

McCormick Student Advisory Board

Increase in undergraduate applications and SAT scores
The quality of our undergraduates continues to improve. Undergraduate applications have increased over the past three years, as has the selectivity percentage (the percent of applicants we admit). The mean combined SAT has risen significantly.

Increase in MS students
McCormick has improved the process for undergraduate students to continue their education and earn a master's degree. Students may earn a degree in their own department, or diversify their experience with a degree in another discipline. The number of students participating in this program is on the rise.

Major student-run conferences
McCormick students groups have taken an active role in their national organizations. Recently, the McCormick section of the Society of Women Engineers hosted the largest regional conference in their region's history. Other student groups are in the process of planning to host their national and regional conferences.


Increased media presence
The McCormick school has made it a priority to distribute information on the latest research and developments in the school. McCormick's presence in local, national, and international media has increased significantly over the past three years.

New branding
In April 2007, McCormick launched a new graphic identity. The identity, which is used in all print and electronic communication, is designed to better identify McCormick as the engineering school of Northwestern University.

2009 centennial plan development
McCormick has formed a centennial planning committee to begin planning for the 100th anniversary of the school in 2009.

Increased giving and more major donors
Donations to the McCormick School have risen, as have the number of individual donors. Significant recent gifts have funded the Segal Design Institute and the Architectural Engineering and Design Program.

Dean's seminar series
The McCormick School of Engineering Dean's Seminar Series has brought in speakers such as Mark Mills, co-founder and chairman of the board of ICx Technologies Inc. and co-founding partner in the tech venture fund Digital Power Capital, and Bruce Mau, the creative director of Bruce Mau Design, Inc. The lectures are open to students and faculty.

Design:Chicago™ Conference
The second annual Design:Chicago conference will take place on May 6. The event, hosted by the Segal Design Institute, is an opportunity for design experts from throughout the Chicago area to gather and discuss the increasing prominence of design in our region. Design professionals from Bruce Mau Design, Herbst Lazar Bell, IDEO, Institute of Design/IIT, Jerome Caruso Design, Motorola, Northwestern University, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the University of Illinois at Chicago will be on hand to present and discuss their ideas.


Engineering Life Science Facility
A five-story addition to the Technological Institute will be built to house engineering life sciences programs at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science. The facility will occupy space on the north side of the Technological Institute between the B and C wings and will be a multidisciplinary center of research excellence designed to retain and attract the best faculty in the field of engineering life sciences. The ground floor of the new building along with some adjoining space in the Technological Institute will be used for the Integrated Molecular Structure Education and Research Center, an improved and expanded version of the existing Analytical Services Laboratory, a facility that provides essential shared instrumentation for the analysis of molecules and materials.

Silverman Hall
The Richard and Barbara Silverman Hall for Molecular Therapeutics & Diagnostics will bring together chemists, biologists and engineers to advance biomedical research through the development of new medicines and diagnostics. When completed, Silverman Hall will house 16 research groups in chemistry, biology and engineering -- about 245 faculty, staff and research assistants. Each of the five floors will have state-of-the-art research laboratories and students offices; faculty offices will be located on the third and fourth floors. Construction began in March 2007.

Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center
The Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center opened in October 2005. The state-of-the-art building, received silver level certification from the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System. The building's design provides natural daylight to more than 75 percent of the building's interior spaces, and many of the materials used to construct the building, such as steel, glass, concrete with recycled "fly-ash" content, carpeting and ceiling tile materials, have recycled content. It is home to the Segal Design Institute and Engineering Design and Communication (EDC), a key program that provides hands-on design work for first-year students.

McCormick leadership changes
Richard Lueptow, professor of mechanical engineering and co-director of the Master of Program Development program, was appointed senior associate dean for research. Former senior associate dean Joseph T. Walsh, Jr. was appointed vice president for research for Northwestern.

Best business practices developed
Several of McCormick's business practices have been selected as "best practices" for an upcoming Northwestern workshop. Addition efforts are underway to document best practices across the departments and programs.