Graduate Study
Graduate Specializations
PhD Specialization In Nanotechnology / MEMS


The Department of Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern University has several faculty members actively pursuing graduate level research in this area.

  • Horacio Espinosa: micro and nano mechanics, MEMS, NEMS, biotechnology
  • Chang Liu: sensors and sensing technology, micro and nanofabrication
  • Cheng Sun: micro/nano 3D fabrication technologies, design and manufacturing for metamaterials and devices

Suggested Courses

In addition to the general requirements placed by The Graduate School and the ME department, students specializing in Nanotechnology/MEMS must satisfy the following:

COre Classes (Take any four of these core classes)

  • ME 381: Introduction to MEMS
  • ME 382: Experiments in Micro/Nano Science and Engineering
  • ME 385: Nanotechnology
  • ME 451: Micromachining
  • ME 453: Micro Systems Design
  • ME 495: Advanced Topics in Nanotechnology

Additional Course Options

A. Solid State Physics


  • PHYS 339: Quantum Mechanics
  • PHYS 332: Statistical Mechanics
  • PHYS 422: 1,2,3 Solid-State Physics
  • EECS 388: Microelectronic Technology

Theory and Fabrication

  • EECS 381: Electronic Properties of Materials
  • MSc 355: Electronic Materials
  • EECS 384: Solid State Electronic Devices
  • EECS 401: Fundamentals of Electronic Devices
  • ChBE 367: Fabrication of Microelectronic Devices

B. Fluid Mechanics

Mechanical Engineering

  • ME 420: Micro- and Nanoscale Fluid Dynamics
  • ME 425: Fundamentals of Fluid Dynamics
  • ME 423, ME 424: Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • ME 427: Viscous Fluid Dynamics

Biomedical Engineering (choose one)

  • ME 395: Molecular Machines
  • ME 489: Protein Dynamics
  • BME 477-1,2: Advanced Fluid Mechanics in Engineering and Biology
  • ESAM 426: Flows with Small Inertia

C. Biotechnology & Biotransducers

  • BME 317-0: Biochemical Sensors
  • BME 380-0: Biomedical Transducers and Instrumentation
  • BioSci 301-0: Biochemistry
  • BioSci 309-0: Principles of Biochemistry
  • BioSci 354-0: Biochemistry Laboratory

D. Material and Surface Science

  • MSc 415: Fundamentals of Thin Film Materials
  • MSc 316: 1,2 Microstructural Dynamics
  • MSc 312: Interfaces in Crystalline Solids
  • MSc 361: Crystallography and Diffraction
  • MSc 380: Introduction to Surface Science and Spectroscopy
  • Chem 329: Analytical Chemistry
  • ME 346: Introduction to Tribology
  • CEE 411: Micromechanics

E. Control and Sensors


  • ME 390: Introduction to Dynamics Systems
  • EECS 360: Introduction to Feedback Systems


  • EECS 410: Introduction to Robotics
  • ME 333: Introduction to Mechatronics
  • ME 433: Advanced Mechatronics

F. Computational and Applied Science and Engineering

  • ME 317/318: Molecular Modeling and the Interface to Micromechanics
  • ME 365: Finite Elements for Stress Analysis
  • CHEM 448: Computational Chemistry
  • ChBE 379: Intro to Computational Biology
  • ESAM 495: Interdisciplinary Nonlinear Dynamics
  • ESAM 346: Modeling and Computation in Science and Engineering

G. Project Courses*

  • ME 499-1: MEMS Microfabrication
  • ME 499-2: MEMS/Nano Instrumentation
  • ME 499-3: Nanofabrication Methods I

* Project courses taught by the adviser will consist in a series of activities outlined at the beginning of the quarter. A final report documenting the materials and techniques learned by the student will be required. Upon grading of the final report, the adviser will submit a final grade. Up to three project courses will be taken from the list above and only when activities outside campus will take place. No more than two courses per quarter will be allowed. Approval for taking the courses will be given by the ME Graduate Committee chair on an ad-hoc basis.


Students should register for ME-512 Mechanical Engineering Seminars each quarter and attend all seminars.


Please see your graduate adviser to discuss your program of study. New graduate students without an adviser should see Professor Horacio D. Espinosa to discuss their initial course of study.