Message from the Chair

This year we are once again reminded in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering of the many opportunities and challenges that need to be addressed. At Northeastern University, the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) is educating our students for professional and technical excellence, to perform research to advance the science and practice of engineering, to engage in service activities that advance the department, the university, and the profession, and to instill in ourselves and our students habits and attitudes that promote ethical behavior, professional responsibility and careers that advance the well-being of society. Our faculty are also recognized global leaders in their fields, and the department continues to leverage these strengths to address societal needs through engineering in an evolving and complicated world.

Addressing engineering challenges, such as climate change, data science, supply chains, rethinking/reshaping cities, sustainable manufacturing, refining health, and well-being, and identifying new energy resources, in the coming decade is profoundly important. To this end, the MIE department has identified key collaborative research areas, including Socio-Technical Systems, Supply Chain Resiliency, Intelligent, and Advanced Manufacturing, Computationally Intensive Research, AI, as well as Multi-Agent and Human-Centered Systems. Our department is comprised of over 70 tenured/tenure-track and teaching faculty, where more than 30 percent of the MIE tenured/tenure-track faculty have received prestigious Young Investigator Awards. This speaks to the quality of our faculty and research.

Faculty research efforts are broad, interdisciplinary, and current. Some of these research areas include the transformation and modernization of manufacturing to remain competitive globally, development of modeling tools for healthcare to help hospitals produce projections and consider possible shortage scenarios, origami-inspired engineering, prevention of opioid addiction, combating human trafficking, and the development of robots able to learn and adaptively execute autonomous behaviors.

This past academic year the MIE department has also seen continual growth in our program offerings, with the addition of a combined BS degree in Mechanical Engineering and History, a minor in Aerospace, as well as MS in Advanced and Intelligent Manufacturing. These new programs bring together our disciplinary concentrations of mechanics, materials, mechatronics, and industrial engineering. MIE is the largest disciplinary department within Northeastern’s College of Engineering, with a total student enrollment of over 2,800 in the fall of 2020. These new programs and degrees join our over 20 MIE programs at the BS, MS, and PhD levels.