Engineering & Medicine

Leveraging the power of engineering to improve patient care.


Grainger Engineers are using artificial intelligence (AI), bio- and soft-materials, imaging technologies, next-generation computing and processing tools, robotics and more to find faster, safer and more accurate solutions to a wide spectrum of medical challenges.

By detecting diseases, enhancing the patient experience, and managing vast amounts of data produced by healthcare applications, Grainger Engineering is bringing exciting advances to healthcare and medical technology.  

Rashid Bashir

Grainger Engineers remain dedicated to answering the most pertinent and powerful questions of our time, which means that the bioengineering research we deliver will alter our future for the better. We are also uniquely positioned to succeed in this effort at the intersection of engineering and medicine through entities such as the Carle Illinois College of Medicine, HCESC, the Cancer Center at Illinois and much more. In these spaces, we compassionately consider how to best innovate upon medical treatments and practices, execute precisely upon these innovative ideas, and consistently connect those ideas to the people who will benefit most from that change.

— Dean Rashid Bashir

Partners, Programs & Initiatives

The Health Care Engineering Systems Center fosters collaboration and interdisciplinary research between engineers and physicians with the goal of improving healthcare for all. HCESC researchers are experts in simulation technologies, smart health systems, data analytics, human factors and medical robotics.

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Jump Applied Research in Community Health through Engineering and Simulation (ARCHES) is an endowment partnership between Jump Simulation and Education Center at OSF HealthCare and The Grainger College of Engineering to provide direct access and competitive grants to engineers and physicians working together to combat problems in the realm of health care. 

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The Health Data Analytics Initiative is a central hub that connects clinical investigators with engineers, data scientists, and artificial intelligence experts from across the university.

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The Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology supports a community of scholars and provides a physical space that fosters interdisciplinary collaboration. The Beckman Institute was founded to reduce barriers between traditional science and technology disciplines to yield scientific advances that otherwise would not occur.  

Focused research themes at Beckman include Biologically Informed Artificial Intelligence.

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The Carle Illinois College of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is the world’s first engineering-based medical school. The curriculum is built at the intersection of engineering and medicine, with most courses designed by a team composed of a basic scientist, clinician, and engineer. There is high value placed on patient-centered care, systems-based delivery, innovation and research, and early clinical exposure.

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The Cancer Center at Illinois unites world-class faculty who uncover fundamental knowledge, innovate new technologies, and enable cancer-free lives. Their interdisciplinary expertise in science and engineering, exceptional facilities, and novel educational experiences are changing the way we take on cancer.

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Neural Engineering

New for Fall 2023, the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Neural Engineering (NE) seeks to provide rigorous training at the intersection of neuroscience and engineering. 

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Featured Research Projects

After the COVID-19 pandemic started, Grainger Engineering scientists and engineers used every resource available to develop the SHIELD test and enable the UIUC campus to reopen. Our researchers have since continued to use these resources, including AI technologies, to improve medical research, testing, diagnostics and many more healthcare-focused projects. Here are some researchers who are dedicated to finding answers and improving the healthcare experience for all: patients, caregivers, and practitioners. 

AI-powered brain tumor segmentation

Zhi-Pei Liang (Electrical and Computer Engineering) is working with OSF HealthCare to create brain atlases for AI-powered brain image analysis and tools for automated tumor detection and segmentation.

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Genomic user privacy

To protect data and user privacy with genomic companies like 23andMe, Carl Gunter (Computer Science) is working on a computational system that will protect privacy while providing useful information.

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Algorithms to improve patient care

Ravi Iyer (Electrical and Computer Engineering) is working with Mayo Clinic to combine omics and data to build predictive and diagnostic algorithms for patient care.

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Research at the world's first engineering-focused college of medicine

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