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 six 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 groups of mechanics, 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 design, nano/micro-science and technology, biosystems and health, energy and sustainability, and multiscale simulation. 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 systems, and AI.

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 several members of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and the National Academy of Science (NAS), as well as editors-in-chiefs of premier international journals in the areas of design, mechanics, manufacturing, 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