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Explore UW Engineering Departments

As part of a tier-one public research university with a global footprint, the College of Engineering produces world-class research that supports economic development in Washington state and improves lives and communities around the world. With ten distinct but interrelated departments, we share a commitment to excellence in engineering education, discovery, community connections and local and global partnerships.

UNDERGRADUATE LEARNING

Areas of impact

We encourage undergraduate students to explore our academic offerings by thinking about which area of society they would like to impact.

Explore

William E. Boeing Department of
Aeronautics & Astronautics

Students in the William E. Boeing Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics excel in things that move. They develop marine, ground, air and space vehicles, satellites, UAVs and turbines through the lenses of controls, materials and structures, fluid dynamics, propulsion, and systems integration. Our aerospace program provides a well-rounded, interdisciplinary education that produces flexible engineers who understand whole systems involving advanced structures, data science, energy and environment, flight performance and safety, robotics and autonomous systems and space exploration.

Visit the A&A website

General information

Office: 211 Guggenheim Hall
Phone: (206) 543-1950
Chair: Kristi Morgansen
Accreditation: ABET
  Fact sheet
  Department video

 
433

undergraduate and graduate students

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6 sub-disciplines

space systems, controls, fluids, structures, integrated flight sciences, and plasma science

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1918

the start of aeronautics education at the UW

researcher looking at monitors showing planets

A&A research

Every day the future is being expanded in our labs. From the development of advanced unoccupied aerial vehicles to new aerodynamic techniques and unconventional space propulsion concepts, the faculty and students of UW Aero & Astro are honing the cutting edge of tomorrow's technologies.

Research Areas Centers and Laboratories

Alumni spotlight

headshot of Laura J. McGill

Nujoud Merancy (B.S. ’01) is NASA’s Chief of the Exploration Mission Planning Office, responsible for integrating NASA’s human spaceflight missions beyond low earth orbit and ensuring successful human spaceflight operations.

headshot of Airlie Chapman

Airlie Chapman (Ph.D. ’13) is a professor at the University of Melbourne and researches multi-vehicle or swarm robotics. As a member of the SpIRIT mission team, she is helping to advance the Australian space program.

Bioengineering

Bioengineers at UW drive advances in healthcare technology and delivery that improve lives, from regenerative medicine to neuroengineering. Our inclusive and collaborative culture empowers our students and faculty to make a real-world impact through innovative research. We prepare students for leadership in diverse careers. Students may choose to study a range of areas, including tissue and protein engineering, biomaterials, implantable and wearable prosthetics, drug and gene delivery, therapeutic ultrasound, nano- and molecular engineering, microfluidics, computational modeling, synthetic biology, point-of-care diagnostic devices and global health.

Visit the BioE website

General information

Office: 107 W.H. Foege Bioengineering Building
Phone: (206) 685-2000
Chair: Princess Imoukhuede
Accreditation: ABET
  Fact sheet
  Department video

 
430

undergraduate and graduate students

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44+

startups created by faculty and students

 
947

reported inventions

researcher holding a pipette

BioE research

As a joint department in both the UW College of Engineering and the top-ranked UW School of Medicine, our students and faculty partner with fellow world-class researchers and clinicians across UW to solve complex healthcare problems. With a focus on inventive solutions that improve lives, our teams work together across a wide range of research areas, from machine-brain interfaces to protein design and point-of-care diagnostics.

Research themes Research centers

Alumni spotlight

headshot of Joan Greve

Joan Greve (B.S. ’97) is a scientific program manager at the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. She co-authored an investigational new drug filing and designing with the FDA to treat Alzheimer’s disease.

headshot of Arthur Chan

Arthur Chan (Ph.D. ’03) managed the clinical trials, physician training, and premarket approval process that led to the world’s first FDA-approved, image-guided focused ultrasound surgery device.

Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineers at UW design the molecules, materials, and devices that enable us to better treat disease, produce clean energy, and live more sustainably. Our students work with internationally-recognized faculty and receive specialized training in molecular engineering, nanotechnology, data science, and other critical skills for today’s workforce. With an emphasis on project-based learning, entrepreneurship, and a culture of inclusion, we prepare students for leadership in diverse careers.

Visit the ChemE website

General information

Office: 105 Benson Hall
Phone: (206) 543-2250
Chair: Jim Pfaendtner
Accreditation: ABET
  Fact sheet

 
299

undergraduate and graduate students

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60%

of undergraduates perform research

 
100%

Ph.D. students receive first-year funding

Test tubes in a tray

ChemE research

The skills of chemical engineers are well-suited to creating impactful solutions to a range of complex problems. In UW ChemE, researchers work at the nano and molecular level to develop advanced materials; they collaborate with medical researchers in the design of better therapeutics, medical devices, and diagnostics; and their pioneering data science work is driving innovation in semiconductors, solar cells, materials characterization, and chemical and biological discovery.

Research areas

Alumni spotlight

headshot of Christoph Krumm

Christoph Krumm (B.S. ’11) is co-founder and CEO of Sironix Renewables, where he works to develop greener, safer, and more effective ingredients for cleaning products, as well as agriculture, and personal care products.

headshot of Amanda Levenson

Amanda Levenson (B.S. ’18) has worked in various roles in industry, and is currently at Lucid Motors managing business operations. She has been recognized for her work with SWE with the RIsing Technical Contributor award.

Civil & Environmental Engineering

UW Civil & Environmental Engineering prepares students to address pressing issues that affect the daily lives of people, from earthquakes to water quality to transportation. To ensure sustainable cities and healthy environments, students learn to address the challenges presented by aging national infrastructure and the needs of urban systems and communities around the globe. Specific areas of study include structures, transportation, environmental engineering, geotechnical engineering, construction, and water resources, hydrology and hydraulic systems.

Visit the CEE website

General information

Office: 201 More Hall
Phone: (206) 543-2390
Chair: Laura N. Lowes
Accreditation: ABET
  Fact sheet
  Department video

 
804

undergraduate and graduate students

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20% increase

in demand for civil engineers by 2022

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6

educational program specialty areas

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Two researchers sitting on a boat loaded with research equipment

CEE research

In the department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, both faculty and students conduct innovative research, working on projects that have real-world impact. Their work plays a crucial role in developing new approaches to address the needs of urban systems and communities around the globe. Researchers collaborate with colleagues at partner universities and various agencies and organizations both within the U.S. and abroad.

Research Areas Research Centers Research labs and groups

Alumni spotlight

headshot of Kari Watkins

Kari Watkins (Ph.D. ’11) is an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Georgia Tech. While at the UW, Watkins co-created the multi-platform app OneBusAway to provide real-time transit information.

headshot of Marc Edwards

Marc Edwards (M.S. ’88, Ph.D. ’90) is a nationally recognized expert on water quality, named one of the world’s most 100 influential people by Time Magazine for his work to uncover lead poisoning during the Flint water crisis.

Paul G. Allen School of
Computer Science & Engineering

The Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering (CSE) educates students to become leaders in the design and implementation of the computing systems that touch every aspect of modern society. Our courses cover everything from the mathematical foundations of what computers can and cannot do; to hands-on experiences building software and hardware artifacts with a range of programming languages and tools; to advanced courses in software engineering, human-computer interaction, computer graphics and animation, artificial intelligence, machine learning, large-scale data management, natural language processing, computer networking, computational biology, robotics, computer security and privacy, and much more.

Visit the Allen School website

General information

Office: AC101 Paul G. Allen Center
Phone: (206) 543-1695
Director: Magdalena Balazinska
Accreditation: ABET
  Department video

 
2000

undergraduate and graduate students

 
$39 million

in research grants and contracts in FY2019

 
Top academic institution

for best paper awards in computer science

A person wearing an EEG cap sitting in a lab

Allen School research

The Allen School is committed to expanding our global leadership and impact in computer science and computer engineering research. We offer a supportive environment in which our faculty and students are empowered to pursue the next great advances — whether at the core of the field, or in emerging areas that address humankind’s greatest challenges through the transformative power of computing.

Areas of Expertise

Alumni spotlight

headshot of Yaw Anokwa

Yaw Anokwa (Ph.D. ’12) co-led creation of the Open Data Kit, a suite of mobile tools for data collection and analysis in low-resource settings. His startup, Nafundi, supports ODK deployment in communities around the world.

headshot of Justine Sherry

Justine Sherry (B.S. ’10) joined the faculty of Carnegie Mellon University after earning her Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley. Her research aims to make networks faster, more reliable, more equitable, and more secure.

Electrical & Computer Engineering

Students design and build hardware and software for a variety of electronic devices with a wide range of applications. Areas of study include computer architecture, computing, control systems, machine learning, embedded systems, microelectronics and nanotechnology, neurotechnology, photonics, sensing and communication, VLSI and sustainable energy systems.

Visit the ECE website

General information

Office: AE100R Paul G. Allen Center
Phone: (206) 221-5270
Chair: Eric Klavins
Accreditation: ABET
  Department video

 
1163

undergraduate and graduate students

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#1

startup generator department in the UW

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100%

Ph.D. students receive 4-year funding

Two researchers looking at an electronic device

ECE research

UW ECE’s world-class resources and facilities offer the perfect platform for active collaboration. Together we’re redefining possibilities in robotics, nanotechnology, electromagnetics, data science, computers and energy. Our ongoing work continues to push the boundaries of modern science and helps to direct the future of hardware and integrated systems.

Research areas Research Centers Research Labs

Alumni spotlight

headshot of Keith Rattie

Keith Rattie (B.S. ’76) has a 40-year career in the oil and gas industry, serving as CEO of Questar Corp. and general manager of Chevron’s international gas unit. He has helped shape utility, power and energy legislation at congressional hearings.

headshot of Dr. Gabriela A. Gonzalez

Dr. Gabriela A. Gonzalez (B.S. ’92) is the deputy director of the Intel Foundation, focused on K-12 STEM education for underserved communities. At Intel Labs, she steered program development at research universities around the world.

Human Centered Design & Engineering

Putting people first, HCDE students and faculty research, design, and engineer interactions between humans and technology. HCDE faculty and students are advancing design knowledge by using innovative techniques to study human activity and then translating that knowledge into meaningful information and system designs.

Visit the HCDE website

General information

Office: 428 Sieg Building
Phone: (206) 543-2567
Chair: Julie Kientz
  Fact sheet
  Department video

 
587

undergraduate and graduate students

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100%

of students participate in directed research

 
69%

women-identifying students

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researchers writing on a whiteboard

HCDE research

HCDE is internationally known for its cutting-edge research. As part of a major research (R1) university, HCDE students and faculty collaborate across disciplines, across campus, and externally, to magnify the breadth and potential impact of our discoveries.

Research Areas Research Labs and Centers

Alumni spotlight

headshot of Jasmine Lawrence

Jasmine Lawrence (M.S. ’17) currently serves as a product manager at X, the moonshot factory on the Everyday Robot Project. At the age of 13, Lawrence founded EDEN BodyWorks, a body care products company that sells at stores nationwide.

headshot of Ona Anicello

Ona Anicello (M.S. ’13) is the director of design and research for Alaska Airline's guest digital experience. She serves as president of UXPA Seattle and currently is teaching a usability testing course in the HCDE department.

Industrial & Systems Engineering

UW ISE students learn to use mathematical tools to extract meaning from a sea of data and find the keys to unlocking a system's true potential. Industrial and systems engineers integrate people, materials, information, equipment, and energy to design, implement, and improve systems. ISE's focus on the big picture makes industrial engineering one of the most people-oriented engineering disciplines. ISE students study system productivity improvement, experiment design, linear and stochastic optimization, modeling, statistical quality control, reliability, simulation, human factors, scheduling and inventory control, and supply chain systems.

Visit the ISE website

General information

Office: G10 Mechanical Engineering Building
Phone: (206) 543-1427
Chair: Linda Ng Boyle
Accreditation: ABET
  Fact sheet
  Department video

 
219

undergraduate and graduate students

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#22

graduate program in the nation*

*2021 UW News and world report

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6

research areas and applications

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Researchers in a lab

ISE research

UW ISE is committed to research with impact. We are finding solutions in an increasingly diverse, dynamic, and technological world. Our faculty and students use data, statistics and mathematical models to understand and improve the interaction of humans with technology.

Research areas Research Labs and Centers

Alumni spotlight

headshot of Susie Lu

Susie Lu (B.S. ’10) is a data visualization engineer at Netflix where she makes custom data visualization applications and dashboards to help the business look at the data they collect more effectively.

headshot of Kali Bader

Kali Bader (B.S. ‘96) is an adjunct professor at Portland State University and vice president at Rembold Companies, a real estate company focused on acquisition, financing and development management.

Materials Science & Engineering

UW MSE students develop new materials, process methods, equipment, and material uses. Subjects include biomimetics and biomaterials; ceramic properties; composite materials; electronic, optical and magnetic materials; materials characterization, chemistry, modelling; metals & alloys; and polymers.

Visit the MSE website

General information

Office: 302F Roberts Hall
Phone: (206) 685-8272
Interim Chair: Lilo Pozzo
Accreditation: ABET
  Fact sheet
  Department video

 
270

undergraduate and graduate students

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25,000+

square feet of research and lab space

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12

research areas

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Lab equipment

MSE research

Our students and faculty conduct research in a variety of areas. Many of the research topics are interdisciplinary and involve participation from other engineering, basic science and medical disciplines.

Research areas Research Centers Facilities & Labs

Alumni spotlight

headshot of Bonnie J. Dunbar

Bonnie J. Dunbar (B.S. ‘71, M.S. ‘75) flew aboard the space shuttles Atlantis, Challenger, Columbia and Endeavor. She served as president and CEO of the Museum of Flight and as director of higher education at The Boeing Company.

headshot of Aaron Feaver

Aaron Feaver (Ph.D. ‘17) co-founded EnerG2, a clean technology company spun out from UW research, that was acquired by BASF in 2019. He is currently the director of WSU’s public research center focused on reducing consumption of rare-earth materials and increasing clean energy in the transportation industry.

Mechanical Engineering

UW ME students explore fundamental principles of mechanical engineering and their application to modern technological problems. Students collaborate on interdisciplinary work where they research, design, prototype and manufacture devices and systems that provide creative solutions to these problems. ME is a broad discipline, and the curriculum focuses on the study of dynamics, controls and robotics; manufacturing processes and advanced materials; energy and environmentally-friendly, "green" engineering; and engineering for health with biotechnologies and biomechanics.

Visit the ME website

General information

Office: 143 Mechanical Engineering Building
Phone: (206) 543-5090
Chair: Alberto Aliseda
Accreditation: ABET
  Fact sheet
  Department video

 
816

undergraduate and graduate students

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#1

mechanical engineering program in the Pacific Northwest

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2X

national average female undergraduates

two researchers in lab coats and one points at a laptop monitor

ME research

Engineering is not just about problem-solving; it’s about problem-solving and taking action. In UW ME, we’re proud of our commitment to impact. Our faculty and students are developing solutions to key challenges in health care, energy and manufacturing, and we’re improving people’s lives through our leadership in research and innovation.

Research Areas Research Centers Research Labs

Alumni spotlight

headshot of Sally Jewell

Sally Jewell (B.S ’78) served as U.S. Secretary of the Interior under President Barack Obama from 2013-2017. She previously served as the CEO of REI, the nation’s largest consumer cooperative, from 2005-2013.

headshot of Billy Price

Billy Price (B.S. ’02) co-founded BILLY Footwear, a company inspired by his experience with mobility impairment, to create adaptive shoes that are functional, fashionable and inclusive for everyone.

Affiliated Programs
Bioresource Science & Engineering

The major is designed for students seeking training in chemical and physical sciences, and chemical engineering as applied to manufacturing fiber products, fuels and chemicals from biomass resources. It emphasizes the application of mathematics, chemistry and engineering to paper and related bioresource-based industries, and our students learn the fundamental science and engineering of biomass and conversion processes.

Visit the BSE website

General information

Office: 116/130 Anderson Hall
Phone: (206) 543-7081
Director and Professor: Dan Brown
Accreditation: ABET
 FAQs

a student conducting research in a forest

BSE research

The School of Environmental and Forest Sciences is committed to producing new disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge to advance our understanding and management of environmental and natural resource issues. Our faculty use engineering and natural and social science in their work, which is aimed at developing renewable forest products, stewarding forest and landscape ecosystems for a range of functions and services and understanding the social, economic and environmental consequences of stewardship and production choices.

Research Centers, Programs and Partnerships