Strategic Plan

The Grainger College of Engineering is one of the top engineering programs in the world, enabling individuals to improve their quality of life through education, research, innovation, entrepreneurship and societal engagement. Our graduates and faculty transform the world for the better.

This plan outlines the College’s strategic priorities for the next five years. Work began on the plan in January 2019 with strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analyses of our education and research enterprises. Also undertaken was a broad discussion on a vision for the College starting with what was most important to the pride and excitement we share about being part of the Grainger Engineering’s rich history and fabric. Then more than 200 faculty, specialized faculty, students, staff, college and department administrators and a select group of key University officials took part in 32 workshops during 2019 to develop this strategic plan. Recruiters, engineering deans at other universities, students and alumni provided further input through discussions and interviews.

In pursuing the strategic directions and initiatives outlined in this plan, The Grainger College of Engineering will continue to redefine engineering education excellence. We will ensure our students have the skills, knowledge, compassion, and aptitude to deliver solutions optimized to address humanity’s greatest needs. Grainger Engineering alumni will continue to have a transformative impact on their communities and the world.

The Grainger College of Engineering is determined to align its resources and energy to boldly address the grand challenges facing humanity, society and our planet. Building on its rich history of discovery and technological invention, ranging from the first web browser to the LED, the College will direct resources in pursuit of a bold research agenda developed by its stellar faculty. Our research, distinguished by its excellence, will range from fundamental innovations to complex interdisciplinary systems that can only be solved through large, diverse and highly collaborative teams. If you want to pursue transformative and revolutionary technological advances, you will be glad to be at Illinois. Grainger Engineering looks forward to a future that continues to be transformed for the better by our technological and scientific discoveries and our engineering innovations.

We are innovators who work at the forefront of science and engineering, leaders who turn the extraordinary into everyday reality, and partners who are trusted to transform the world.

To deliver excellence and innovation in engineering education, in research and scholarship, and in economic development to serve our community, the State of Illinois, the nation and the world.

To turn learners, no matter their origin or circumstances, into tomorrow’s socially responsible, creative and highly skilled engineering and science leaders.

To discover fundamental knowledge and to engineer technological advances that revolutionize humanity’s ability to transform societies, revitalize economies, and solve global challenges.

Members of The Grainger College of Engineering community are driven by the following values and principles. These align with the University of Illinois’ guiding principles and the foundational ideals of a land-grant institution: advancing society through education and knowledge and contributing to the public good.

Aim High
We believe bold ideas must be encouraged and allowed to flourish; creative thinking must prevail over conventional and incremental ideas in order to transform the world.

We seek excellence in everything we do as a global leader in education, research and scholarship, and innovation and translation.

Get Things Done
We take pride in our ability to deliver on commitments across the research spectrum, from fundamental advances to transformative multidisciplinary systems through hard work, persistence, dedication and resilience. We take pride in seeing that our alumni also get things done.

We collaborate with colleagues and partnerships across the college, the university and with external organizations to solve the world’s most complex problems.

Commit to the Illinois Family
We are committed to empowering our students to maximize their potential, to seeing our faculty, staff and alumni to flourish, and to enabling our university to thrive.

Make an Impact on Our Community
We are committed to engaging with our local and global communities and provide leadership in addressing the most pressing issues these communities face; this is central to our mission.

Be Collegial
A vigorous and respectful exchange of ideas and a willingness to support each other are integral to our culture. These contribute to a distinctive and vibrant community.

Be Inclusive
A welcoming and equitable culture in an accessible and inclusive environment allows people with different backgrounds, perspectives and identities to deliver optimally on all aspects of our mission.

Be Worthy of Their Trust
The trust of colleagues, our community and stakeholders is integral to our success and is an essential element of the respect we have for each other and how we treat each other.

Conduct Yourself with Integrity
The manner in which we conduct ourselves must meet the highest standards of integrity.



Overarching Strategic Directions

The Grainger College of Engineering will direct and invest its resources to pursue six overarching strategic directions over the next five years to achieve excellence in pursuit of its mission and vision:

Over the next five years, we will implement an iterative yearly process to identify tasks that need to be completed in the following year under each major initiative. This began with an assessment of our current reality with respect to each major initiative and the identification of desired advances and success indicators. This in turn led to workgroups identifying implementation tasks to be completed in the coming year.  These first year tasks will be reviewed to take into account the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on our plans and priorities.Moving forward, specifying owners (responsible individuals, groups, task forces, committees or units) as well as targets, metrics and completion dates for each implementation task will be specified to operationalize the strategic plan.

The strategic plan is a living web space. While the plan’s strategic directions are not expected to change, major initiatives and implementation tasks under these initiatives will be prioritized and reviewed regularly and adjusted based on resource availability and changes in the environment within which the College operates. In addition, while each implementation task will have its own goals and metrics of success, the dean of Grainger Engineering will oversee the use of well-established quantitative performance measures to assess progress for each of the strategic directions.

View Strategic Plan PDF

Growing our research enterprise and impact through outreach and investments in researcher-driven groundbreaking initiatives – both fundamental and applied.

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Delivering outstanding curricular and co-curricular educational opportunities that reflect individual and programmatic needs and respect diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

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Embracing diversity, equity, access and inclusion as core values for research, education and College life.

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Creating alignment in priorities, advancement and the stewardship of resources using best practices and data.

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Engaging everyone to more boldly communicate our excellence and impact to the world.

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Investing in the continual development, growth and excellence of our faculty, staff, postdocs and students.

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Our work transforms the world.