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Research

CRISPR technology. Robotic prosthetics. Renewable water. Drone shipping. AR/VR enhancements. Flying to Mars.

The research happening at the University of Illinois’ Grainger College of Engineering is changing our world and making advances once only dreamed about. The world's brightest minds are here at Grainger Engineering, tackling today’s toughest challenges. And they are building a better, cooler, safer tomorrow.

Deeper Engineering Education and Global Problem Solving

Research at the Grainger College of Engineering is highly collaborative and interdisciplinary, offering students an unrivaled academic experience that features the application and hands-on exploration of in-classroom coursework—truly, an engineering education come to life. Through these experiences in our top-ranked academic programs, our students are challenged to think critically and become leaders with the potential to make a difference.

This enriching academic experience fosters maximum growth for students, and in addition, it also lays the foundation for strides in societal improvements. Touching all aspects of human life, research at Grainger Engineering encompasses medical, atmospheric, cellular, acoustic, renewable energy, and robotic endeavors—among many more.

At the University of Illinois, our students and faculty are dedicated to solving critical challenges on a global scale through research that can be strategically and effectively implemented for widespread societal benefit.

Undergraduate Research

Research doesn’t have to wait until after graduation; it can start the moment a student steps foot on the Grainger College of Engineering campus.

Our faculty and staff guide students in finding best-fit research placements for their goals and mentor them through the experience for maximum learning potential. In fact, 45 percent of undergraduates participate in research, with many opportunities being for credit.

Undergraduate Opportunities

Graduate Research

Graduate-level research takes the academic experience to the next level by providing opportunities for greater specialization in a preferred field of interest. A tight-knit community, students participating in graduate research forge new paths in engineering innovations, driving one another toward goal achievement and discovery.

Top 10
for total research expenditures among Colleges of Engineering (ASEE)

Research is essential, intricate, and synonymous with the Grainger College of Engineering. It is who we are and what we do. Students in all disciplines experience the power of research and how it both deepens their course understanding, increases their professional potential, and also makes an impact on the world around them.

Learn more about our research breakthroughs

Over 1/3
of our Assistant Professors win National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Awards

The Grainger faculty brings experience from all fields of engineering with world renowned credentials and awards that exemplify their expertise in their areas of specialization. Within Grainger’s highly collaborative research environment, these faculty members are also ready to work across fields—with one another and students as well. There is a mutual drive for interdisciplinary research work that can make a difference.

Meet our faculty

Together, We Solve the Greatest Challenges in Engineering

At Illinois, we place immense pride in our interdisciplinary work ethic and collaborative, supportive culture. With top-ranked undergraduate and graduate degree programs across every department and discipline of engineering, we bring together the brightest minds in the world to solve the most pressing global challenges of our time. Our expert, industry-leading faculty and staff share the common goal of providing superior research capabilities in the fundamental engineering sciences in collaboration with industrial and governmental laboratories. Explore more about why we consistently rank among the top engineering programs in the country.

Facts & Departmental Rankings

2,000+
projects underway every semester

The Grainger College of Engineering offers an unmatched breadth and depth of engineering expertise, and our size and reputation has allowed us to form partnerships with industry-leading firms, building a strong network of placement locations for student research.

Each semester, over 2,000 research projects are conducted by students, deepening their knowledge and setting them up for success after graduation. Our tradition of educational excellence is exceptional with graduates going on to groundbreaking endeavors at companies such as Plato, YouTube, and PayPal as well as careers as astronauts, entrepreneurs, city designers, and scientists.

See our strategic research initiatives

60+
state-of-the-art centers, labs, and institutes

Grainger Engineering incubators provide students with superior research capabilities in the fundamental engineering sciences and in collaboration with industrial and governmental laboratories. Expert faculty lead students in their maximization of the world-class research infrastructure and cutting-edge technology available at the University of Illinois. This combination of expertise and access drives fundamental and groundbreaking discoveries that can rapidly transfer to and impact society.

Explore Research Centers & Labs

Groundbreaking Engineering Research at Illinois

The Grainger College of Engineering is always at the forefront of research innovation. Learn more about what our students and faculty are doing.

Study maps landmarks of peripheral artery disease to guide treatment development
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CSL Professor works to reduce fake news dissemination
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Make a World-Changing Discovery

Elevate your education by making a discovery that has the power to change the world through one of  The Grainger College of Engineering’s endless enriching research opportunities.