A Message from the Chair

Wei Chen, Professor and Chair of Mechanical Engineering


Welcome to the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern, ranked among the top ten worldwide in mechanical engineering by the 2020 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) and top five nationwide in the most recent ratings by the National Research Council (in 2010).

Our department offers innovative academic programs and ‘whole-brain’ training to our students. Building on the core disciplines of mechanics and materials, design and manufacturing, and robotics and biosystems, our pioneering research is addressing some of the most current and future needs of our society through strategic initiatives in Advanced Manufacturing, AI and Design, Biosystems and Health, Computational Engineering, Energy and Sustainability, Micro/Nanoengineering, and Robotics and Autonomy. Faculty in mechanical engineering have also played leadership roles in a variety of cutting-edge research centers that address national priorities in robotics, future manufacturing, advanced materials, clean water, renewable energy, health and medicine, artificial intelligence, and space technology.

Our achievements as a department have been made possible by the contributions of our outstanding people. In addition to many excellent faculty and staff, our department is the home to seven (7) members of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), three (3) members of the National Academy of Science (NAS), four (4) members of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), as well as eight (8) editors-in-chiefs of premier international journals in the areas of design, mechanics, manufacturing, bioelectronics, and robotics. Our department’s excellence and innovation in teaching has been recognized by more recipients of the Charles Deering McCormick Professorship of Teaching Excellence (the top teaching honor given by the university) than any other department in the university.

Moving into the next decade, the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern will continue to provide the highest quality of education and research in the interdisciplinary mechanical engineering domain. To cultivate a collaborative environment that values diverse backgrounds, approaches, and perspectives, we are also committed to further improving diversity and equity in our department to build a stronger, more inclusive engineering community.

We invite you to stay abreast of the breaking departmental news and to access information about our vibrant student activities. You can also check out our newsletter for highlights, faculty and student spotlights, and our latest events.

Wei Chen

Wilson-Cook Professor in Engineering Design

Chair of Mechanical Engineering