Facts and Figures

Setting ourselves apart


national academy memberships

highly cited researchers

Seven faculty rank in the top 1% of citations in materials science and chemistry according to Clarivate Analytics.


ranked graduate program in the United States

according to US News and World Report

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Research Areas

Interdisciplinary research that enables tomorrow’s technologies

For more than 60 years, we have defined the intellectual frontiers of materials research. In the 20th century, advances included metal alloys and ceramics in jet engines that are drivers of globalization, and reliable hard drives that enabled the big data revolution. Our faculty have also laid a foundation for major advances in 21st-century technologies, from batteries and fuel cells for a sustainable energy future to biomaterials that can improve human health and quality of life.


Building strength through internal and external collaborations

Our department collaborates with most other Northwestern engineering and science departments, as well as with Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine and outside institutions, such as the Art Institute of Chicago. We also work closely with national laboratories, including nearby Argonne National Laboratory, home of the Advanced Photon Source and the Center for Nanoscale Materials.


Top-ranked programs, built for success

In our consistently highly-ranked programs, materials science and engineering students learn the scientific principles governing the interrelation among processing, structure, properties, and materials performance. They then learn to integrate these principles in the systematic design of new materials from faculty members who are renowned for their pioneering work. Students at all levels conduct leading research in the field.

Department News

Big Idea


Big Idea: Just How Old is the Moon?

In a study made possible by Northwestern University’s Center for Atom-Probe Tomography, researchers analyzed tiny lunar crystals gathered in 1972 by Apollo 17 astronauts and found that the Moon is actually 4.46 billion years old—40 million years older than previously thought.

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