Engineering is a versatile branch of science and technology that includes design building and the use of machines. But defining engineering in the 21st century has become more about letting go of the confines of a dictionary definition and much more about innovation. The world’s most famous engineers can not be pigeonholed into the term “engineer” they defy the boundaries. Nikola Tesla was a mechanical engineer and a physicist as well as an electrical engineer. Gustav Eiffel was a civil engineer and an architect who also focused his research on meteorology and aerodynamics – perhaps why his most famous structure seems to reach ever upwards towards the heavens. Leonardo da Vinci studied architecture, literature, painting, and sculpture. Hedy Lamarr was an actress and an inventor, etc. Those who call themselves “engineers” are really today’s greatest thinkers and “engineering” to solve today’s global problems requires decidedly out-of-the-box thinking. It’s no surprise to find that today the world’s best engineering schools utilize an interdisciplinary approach to a great extent. The top engineering schools recognize the level of great importance of their work and are not only working towards solving problems but towards discovering problems we may not even see. This calls for imagination, creativity and innovation. The following are our pick for top 20 schools in the world. All of these schools have world-class faculty, an educational atmosphere that welcomes new thoughts, and a student body that dares to boldly go into new territories for engineering with all of the fundamentals still readily in place. We selected these programs for their diversity represented by international presence, their student-to-faculty ratio which is an indicator of high levels of continued research, their H-Index (measuring quality and quantity of publications), and their academic reputation which in many cases speaks for itself.
- Research Strength (1/4): the relative importance and volume of engineering professor publications at a given school, as measured by their H-Index.
- Academic Reputation (1/4): the prestige of a given institution as reported by peers in the field.
- Student Faculty Ratio (1/4): the relative rank of an institutions student to faculty ratio.
- Percentage of International Students (1/4): the relative rank of a school based on what percentage of their student body are international.
California Institute of Technology (CalTech) is a private science and engineering institute located in Pasadena, California. There are 2,255 students enrolled at CalTech, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 3:1. This is one of the lowest student-to-faculty ratios as CalTech employees over 300 professorial faculty. There are also over 600 research scholars. Academic divisions include Biology and Engineering, Chemistry & Chemical Engineering, Engineering & Applied Science, Geological & Planetary Sciences, Humanities & Social Sciences, and Physics, Mathematics & Astronomy. According to U.S. News CalTech is the 12th best school in the nation tied with Northwestern University and the 5th best school according to their global university ranking. The institute manages the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for NASA and owns and operates large-scale research facilities, astronomical observatories, and regularly launches exploratory probes into space. In 2016 LIGO, located at CalTech, observed gravitational waves for the first time. We selected CalTech for their academic reputation, impact of research, incredible student-to-faculty ratio, and the high percentage of international students.
The world-renowned Division of Engineering at Caltech provides state-of-the-art equipment and of course the best minds in myriad fields of engineering. The departments are: Aerospace, Andrew and Peggy Cherng Department of Medical Engineering, Applied Physics & Materials Science, Computing and Mathematical Sciences, Electrical Engineering, Environmental Science & Engineering, and Mechanical and Civil Engineering. Additionally the division of engineering has close ties with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Each department has unique offerings, and a rich history. The GALCIT Department of Aerospace whose history may be explored in detail here , focuses on fundamentals and advanced diagnosis as well as bio-inspired engineering, space science and technology. In fact, the department takes an interdisciplinary view of mechanics- through fluid solid, and material graduate training. Many other fields at CalTech also use multidisciplinary approaches. The Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences has a long lineage of great minds, incredible research output, and an approach that works with the many facets of engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private research institution located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. There are 11,331 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 3:1. According to U.S. News MIT is ranked as the 7th best school in the nation, 5th best value school, and 2nd according to their global ranking. Founded initially as a response to industrialization in the U.S., MIT adopted a European polytechnic model. Traditionally, MIT is known for research in engineering, physical sciences, and biology among others. In fact, it is ranked number one in the nation for the following fields: undergraduate engineering, aerospace, computer science, mechanics, electrical and communication, and materials. Some of MIT’s most famous discoveries and innovations include the world wide web, cryptography, radar, electronic ink, MIT OpenCourseWare, and several others. Some of the notable alumnus include Buzz Aldrin, Richard Feynman, Daniel Chester French, and Ray and Tom Magliozzi from Car Talk. MIT continues to pioneer and pave new innovative technologies that literally change how we live. Students may select programming from the following five schools: architecture and planning, engineering, humanities arts and social sciences, management, and science.
The MIT School of Engineering (SoE) is the largest school by enrollment at MIT. It has 9 academic departments and 2 interdisciplinary institutes. Undergraduates have an opportunity to build their own course of study from the astronautics, chemical engineering, aeronautics, and mechanical engineering departments. Over 90% of undergrads actually work alongside faculty while making their own discoveries. Graduates are also architects of their own discoveries and have the option to engage in interdisciplinary research through a number of engineering mashup programs like computation design and optimization, computational science and engineering, computational systems biology, social engineering systems, polymers and soft matter, leaders of global operations and others. This makes for astronomical opportunity and always an innovative approach to engineering.
Leland Stanford Junior University (best known as Stanford University) is a private research and teaching university located in Stanford, California. There are 16,770 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 4:1. According to U.S. News Standford University is the 5th best school in the nation, number 1 school in the nation for veterans, and ranked as the 3rd best global university. Life at Stanford means that the “thumb is on the pulse.” As a leading global institution, it’s not surprising that Stanford aims to solve significant problems like climate change, design for people with disabilities, diplomacy, humanity and its place in global change, infectious disease, national security, and so much more. The work of today’s students greatly reflects the vision of the Stanfords when founding the school. Leland and Jane were inspired to create an institution for “cultural and useful citizens” not bound by religious beliefs or gender. We selected Stanford not only for its high quality world-renowned education but also for impact of their research, and diverse international student body. There are 7 academic schools offering comprehensive degrees including the school of business, earth sciences, education, engineering, humanities and sciences, law, and medicine. There are over 6,000 externally sponsored research projects with a budget of $1.6 billion dollars.
For nearly a century, the School of Engineering at Stanford University has set its focus on innovation and as a result has a history of creating momentous technologies that have changed the world. Engineer candidates from Stanford engage with 21st century issues and through training at one of 9 departments. Approaches to engineering research may utilize an interdisciplinary approach from any combination of the 9 departments: aeronautics and astronautics, bioengineering, chemical engineering, civil and environmental engineering, computer science, electrical engineerings, management science and engineering, materials science and engineering, and mechanical engineering. There are numerous institutes labs and centers available to faculty and students.
École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) is a research university located in Lausanne, Switzerland right on the shores of Lake Geneva. There are 9,750 students enrolled at EPFL, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 3:1. U.S. News ranks EPFL as the 40th best global university, and the QS World University Ranking is 14th. Times Higher Education ranks EPFL as the 9th best school in Europe while Leiden ranks it as the 2nd best school in the continent. EPFL offers bachelor’s, master’s, PhD & post-docs to students from over 116 nations. Study programs are offered in engineering, basic sciences, information technology and communication, life sciences, and construction architecture and the environment. There are 13 bachelor’s degrees, and 24 master’s offered in these fields. For doctoral students there are over 350 laboratories and research groups on campus. Off campus EPFL promotes interdisciplinary research involving partnerships with other organizations. Included is EPFL Innovation Park home to over 150 start-ups and leading research centers. We like EPFL for its cosmopolitan faculty and student body, the student-to-faculty ratio and the high quality of classes.
The School of Engineering is the largest school at EPFL and is home to over 100 laboratories in their five major disciplines. The five major disciplines are in micro engineering, mechanical engineering, materials science, electrical engineering, and bioengineering which is part of the School of Life Sciences. Each department offers something distinct like the institute of bioengineering which uses design-oriented research for the life sciences. Like many engineering programs, it does not sit in a tidy box unto itself but reaches across and sits more at the intersection where the School of Life Sciences meets the School of Engineering. Electrical and electronics graduate students may also select a minor in space technology, biomedical engineering, energy, materials science, management of technology or even in contemporary Asian studies. Each department utilizes what we’re seeing as an interdisciplinary approach to solving contemporary issues.
The University of Oxford is a research university located in Oxford, England. Though the founding date is unknown, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1069. Oxford is one of 7 “ancient universities” in the UK. The tradition of excellence at this ancient university can be traced over 800 years. The college “campus” is not a campus as much as there are over 38 colleges dotted throughout the city of Oxford. The Times Higher Education ranks Oxford as the number one university in the world, and U.S. News ranks it 6th according to its global universities ranking. Many of its subject rankings are in the top 5 including #1 for arts and humanities, 4th for mathematics, 4th for microbiology,, 5th for immunology and many more. There are over 23,000 student enrolled who represent over 140 countries and territories. Nearly 10,000 students are citizens of foreign countries, and 41% of the staff are citizens of other countries as well- making Oxford an extraordinarily diverse school. When it comes to research, Oxford has the largest volume of research in England with 70 departments involved in research as well as nearly 2,000 staff and nearly 6,000 students. Some of Oxford’s most famous alumni include John Locke, J.R.R. Tolkien, Stephen Hawking, and Nobel Prize-winning chemist, Dorothy Hodgkin.
The Department of Engineering Science at Oxford University offers accredited courses in all the major branches of engineering. It is also one of the largest departments at the university. Like many great Departments of Engineering Science, University of Oxford utilizes a multi-disciplinary approach where necessary and makes collaborative efforts with all departments including everything from archaeology to zoology and in fact has been part of Oxford’s tradition since 1908. This “door is always open” approach to engineering has kept Oxford at the top of the list and relevant for over 100 years. Today among the ever developing departments of engineering Oxford continues to tweak and reexamine its approaches to engineering through refinement and inclusivity. We are starting to see a huge initiative towards understanding the essential role women have in the field of engineering and Oxford is pulling out in front through several initiatives that aim towards gender balance in the STEM subjects.
Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Established in 1636, Harvard is the nation’s oldest institution of higher education. It is home to the Harvard Library which is the largest academic library in the world and a collection of museums housing nearly 30 millions works. Harvard is one of only 8 Ivy League institutions and enrolls 20,107 students. The student-to-faculty ratio is 7:1. The large majority of classes contain fewer than 15 students- maintaining an intimate and personal learning environment. The New England Association of Schools and Colleges to award undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs. According to U.S. News Harvard ranks as the 2nd best school in the nation and 1st best value school. The global ranking is 1st. According to Times Higher Education (THE) Harvard ranks as the 6th best school in the world. Of the 15 schools, some of Harvard’s highest ranked include Harvard Business School which is ranked number 1 in the nation, Harvard Graduate School for Education which is also ranked number 1 in the nation, the Harvard Law School which is ranked as the 3rd best in the nation, and many others.
John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) has a long history that dates back to 1847. In 2007, recognizing the growing impact of engineering, SEAS (previously DEAS) moved from a division to a school. It continues to use interdisciplinary approaches within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences as many SEAS faculty teach in both. There are a 6 undergraduate concentrations: applied mathematics, biomedical engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, engineering sciences, and mechanical engineering. Graduate programming is completely interdisciplinary in fact there are no traditional academic departments. Students may work towards a degree in the following subjects: applied mathematics, applied physics, computer science, computational science & engineering data science, design engineering, and engineering sciences. Harvard believes that in order to solve complex contemporary issues, SEAS (and other schools along with it) must utilize a multidisciplinary approach.
Princeton University is a private Ivy League research university located in Princeton, New Jersey. Founded in 1746, Princeton is one of the 9 colonial colleges (founded before the American Revolution.) There are 8,138 students enrolled at Princeton University and the student-to-faculty ratio is 5:1. According to U.S. News Princeton University is ranked as the best school in the nation and the 2nd best value school. Its undergraduate education program is number one in the United States. As is expressed in the school motto Dei Sub Numine Viget, Princetonians thrive in situations of servitude which is evinced through all of the areas of study. Students may study everything from African American Studies to biophysics, to engineering to the visual arts. Princeton’s alumni and their work speaks for itself which alum such as Michelle Obama, William P. Ross, Pete Conrad, and Lisa P. Jackson, it seems as though Princeton is not only graduating some of the world’s brightest but also those truly working in servitude for the greater good of humanity. We love Princeton for their intimate classroom settings, high level of professorial research, and the overall value of the education.
The Princeton School of Engineering and Applied Sciences is a world-class engineering school in a liberal arts university. The aim of PU SoE is to make critical connections between multiple fields of engineerings and all other schools to solve today’s important issues related to energy, environment, health, sustainable development, security and privacy through a strong foundations of fundamental science. Undergraduates may study across disciplines and there are 6 departments for study including chemical and biological engineering, civil and environemental engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, mechanical and aerospace engineering, operations research and financial engineering. Graduate programs lead to P D, M.S.E. or a M.Eng. In addition to countless laboratory SoE at Princeton also has a number of interdisciplinary centers: Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, Center for Information Technology Policy, Gigascale Systems Research Center, the Keller Center, Mid-Infrared Technologies for Health and the Environment, and the Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials (PRISM).
Imperial College London is a public research university located in London, England. It was given its Royal Charter in 1907 56 years after the Great Exhibition given in Hyde Park. The Great Exhibition was the first of what we now call the World Fair and inspired Prince Albert, the founder, to create the ‘Imperial Institute’ along with the Royal Albert Hall, Natural History Museum, and the Victoria and Albert Museum. This visionary moment led to one of the best schools in the world today. According to the Times Higher Education (THE) world university ranking, Imperial College London ranks as the 3rd best school in Europe and 8th best in the world. In terms of its status as an international university it ranks 1st in the UK and 5th in the world. We like Imperial College of London for its outstanding academic quality classes, and strong international presence. When it comes to individual programs THE ranks the clinical and pre-clinical programs as 3rd in Europe, computer science as 3rd best in Europe, and engineering and technology as the 3rd best in Europe. Research is central to every school including the school for Engineering, Medicine, Natural Science, and the Imperial College Business School. One of the greatest impacts made by ICL is perhaps the resulting research including DNA Electronics, EVO Electric (hybrid drive trains) and so many more.
The Imperial College of London Faculty of Engineering aims to bring world-class engineering programs through world-class leadership across their high ranking engineering disciplines. The faculty of engineering includes aeronautics, bioengineering, chemical engineering, civil and environmental engineerings, computing, Dyson School of Design Engineering, earth science engineering, electrical and electronic engineering, materials, and mechanical engineering. Like many of the best engineering schools in the world ICL uses a multidisciplinary approach across all 10 of its departments. Some current examples include pioneering synthetic biology, robotic vision research, low carbon technologies, and future vehicles. Students at ICL also have the opportunity to work in a true university setting where they are peers with not only faculty but world-class engineers in London engaging in real-world contemporary issues.
The University of Cambridge is one of the oldest universities in the world founded in 1209 and chartered by King Henry III in 1231. It is a public research university located in Cambridge, England that currently enrolls 18,977 students. 6,625 are international students and 1/4 of the staff are also international. Cambridge offers degree programs from 6 schools, 31 colleges, and 150 departments. The six schools are: Arts and Humanities, Biological Sciences, Clinical Medicine, Humanities and Social Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Technology. Undergraduate students benefit from small group teaching sessions and a wide range of degrees of study including Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic studies, chemical Engineering, Management studies, theology, and veterinary medicine. Graduate students have an incredibly wide range of courses to select from that may be taught, research-based, or some combination of both and range from advanced chemical engineering all the way to zoology. Cambridge is ranked as one of the top schools in the world. In fact U.S. News currently ranks Cambridge as the 7th best school according to their global ranking, and Times Higher Education ranks Cambridge 4th. The notable alumni illustrate the extreme range of students graduating from Cambridge including Charles Darwin, Jane Goodall, Georges Laemaitre. Tilda Swinton, Sylvia Plath, and Ludwig Wittgenstein.
The Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge is just that – one department. Meaning that all branches of engineering are merged to maximize the talents of the staff and students as well as create boundless opportunities to solve contemporary issues across disciplines. For undergraduates, four years of study actually leads to two degrees- a BA with honors and a MEng! Post-graduate programs are either taught (MPhil, and MSt) or research degrees (PhD, MPHil, MRes). There is also a 4 year masters to PhD program that includes 1 year of MPHil and 3 years of research for their PhD. Courses include energy technologies, nuclear energy, engineering and sustainable development, industrial systems, manufacturing and management and research. The engineering department recently received the Athena Swan silver award for their women in engineering initiatives.
Carnegie Mellon University is a private research university founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1900. It is located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. There are 13,648 students enrolled who benefit from small classes and a student-to-faculty ratio of 13:1. According to U.S. News Carnegie Mellon ranks as the 24th best school in the nation, 14th best college for veterans, and 6th most innovative school. The programs of note are the business programs that are ranked 6th in the nation, undergraduate engineering ranked 8th, civil engineering ranked 11th, computer ranked 5th and, environmental and health ranked 9th among several others. The academic colleges are: college of engineering, college of fine arts, college of humanities and social sciences, college of information systems and public policies, college of science, school of computer science, and their school of business. Research is present across disciplines. We selected Carnegie Mellon University for quality of classes and the impact of its research. Currently CMU has made headway in areas of smart mobility, robolearning, 3D printed customized robotics, and smart cities. Some notable alumni include the inventor of Java, James Gosling, Andy Warhol, Judith Resnik, John Forbes Nash Jr., and Kurt Vonnegut.
The Carnegie Mellon University College of Engineering focuses on interdisciplinary global research and education. The college works on practical as well as scientific problems. The focus is on creating. In fact, CMU describes their engineers as “makers” who are both creative and technically strong- ready to take on contemporary issues. Undergraduates and graduates alike achieve success by committing to an integrated approach to engineering that branches across into the sciences, arts, business, and others. There are 23 centers and institutes that aid in making this innovative approach possible. U.S. News ranks the engineering programs for undergraduates as the 8th best in the nation and 5th best for its graduate students.
Columbia University is a private Ivy League University located in Upper Manhattan in New York City. Founded in 1754, Columbia contains the oldest college in the state of New York. There are 26,086 students enrolled who benefit from small classes and as student-to-faculty ratio of 6:1. According to U.S. News Columbia University is the 5th best school in the nation, 6th best value school, and 13th best school for engineering. Their global ranking is 9th. The Times Higher Education ranking is 16th. We selected this program for its student-to-faculty ratio and comprehensive research opportunities. Some areas of note include their Center for Schizophrenia Research, Center for Complicated Grief, the National Center for Disaster Preparedness, and so many more. There are literally hundreds of research opportunities available throughout the city of New York. Some of Columbia University’s notable alumni include Barack Obama, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Langston Hughes, and Kathryn Bigelow.
The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science enrolls about 2000 graduate students and about 1500 undergraduate students. Students may specialize in biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, electrical electronic communications engineering, environmental health, industrial manufacturing/systems engineering, materials engineering, and mechanical engineering. These departments utilize an interdisciplinary approach and collaborate regularly with world-renowned experts and a myriad of other disciplines that shape the future of engineering. Additionally there are dozens of institutes and fully funded laboratories in place at CU to make all of this possible. U.S. News ranks the engineering school as the 13th best in the nation.
The University of California Berkeley (UC Berkeley) is a public research flagship university located in Berkeley, California. There are 38,204 students enrolled who participate in small classes and the student-to-faculty ratio is 17:1. According to U.S. News UC Berkeley is ranked as the 20th best school in the nation, 11th best school for veterans, number 1 best public school, and 23rd most innovative school. Programs that rank highly include management for 2nd best in the nation, real estate for 3rd, engineering for 3rd, chemical engineering 2nd, civil 2nd, computer 3rd, electrical/electronic/communication engineering 3rd, industrial/ manufacturing 4th, mechanical engineering 4th, and materials engineering 3rd. We like this program for its numerous high quality engaging programs, it’s high value, and its high research activity. Some famous discoveries and innovations that came from UC Berkeley include the Polygraph, Flu vaccine, deep sea diving, Project Genie, antimalarial medication, TCL programming language, and dark energy. Berkeley offers over 350 undergraduate and graduate degree programs and is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Berkeley Engineering (BE) is consistently ranked as the top engineering school in the nation and globe according to U.S. News . BE offers hands-on and interdisciplinary education to both its undergraduates and graduates. The motivation is a commitment to social change and so think of themselves as “village of entrepreneurs and collaborators”. Maybe this unique approach is why UC Berkley’s engineering departments are all also ranked among the top 10 in the nation. In fact out of the 21 engineering specializations available to undergraduates and graduates 13 of them rank in the top 3 in the nation. A few notable moments in the history of BE include construction of the Hoover Dam, Golden Gate Bridge as well as the microelectronics that powered Silicon Valley and helped to create the Internet as we know it today.
Cornell is a private Ivy League land sea and space grant research university that was founded in 1865. It is located in Ithaca, New York. There are 21,904 student enrolled who benefit from small classes and a student-to-faculty ratio of 9:1. According to U.S. News Cornell is ranked as the 15th best school in the nation, 6th best college for veterans, and 16th best value school. Programs that rank extremely high include their business programs, and engineering programs. In fact, civil, mechanical, materials, biological/ agricultural, and computer engineering all rank in the top 10. Corenell is also ranked 4th in the world fore graduates who go on toe pursue a PhD in the natural sciences and engineering. Cornell has been apart of a number of missions to Mars including the famous Mars Exploration Rover Mission, Cornell scientists discovered the rings around Uranus, pioneered crash testing, was the location for one of the 5 super computers, built the cyclotron, and much more. We selected Cornell for its top notch quality programming but also for its tremendous global contributions through their research efforts.
Cornell University Department of Engineering (DoE) ranks, according to U.S. News as the 13th best engineering school in the U.S. and enrolls students from myriad backgrounds to create a truly interdisciplinary program which approaches potential solutions for a multiplicity of vantage points. There are 14 academic departments and programs withing the DoE that range from applied engineering and physics to systems engineering. Of course not without the Cornell stamp of innovation- according to Ezra Cornell “[Cornell will be and institution] where any person can find instruction in any study” which is exactly what this unique DoE seeks to achieve.
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich known by the German as Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) is a science, engineering, and mathematics university located in Zurich, Switzerland. There are 18,616 students enrolled where nearly 7,000 students are international. More than half of the academic staff are also international. According to U.S. News ETH ranks as the 5th best school in Europe and number one in Switzerland. The highest ranked academic programs include geosciences, environment/ecology, engineering, mathematics, and physics. Some of the notable alumni from ETH include Albert Einstein and John von Neumann. In recent years ETH has centered their research focus on the world food system, cities of the future, climate change, health, risk research, information processing, new materials, and industrial processes. In addition to great academic programming for undergraduates and graduates, we selected ETH for its important contributions in research relevant to contemporary issues.
The Department of Information Technology and Engineering (DITET) includes 17 research institutes that include integrate systems labs, the institute of electromagnetic fields, computer vision labs, the Institute of Neuroinformatics and many more. DITET also offers a bachelor/master program in electrical engineering and information technology as well as number of masters programs that utilize an interdisciplinary approach including biomedical engineering, energy science and technology, robotics system and control, micro and nanosystems, neural systems and computation and others. There are 16 laboratories at DITET where for research where the four central concentrations are in the following: electronics and photonics, information and communication, energy, and biomedical engineering/ neuroinformatics. Times Higher Education ranks their engineering program as the 9th best in the world with highest marks in international outlook and research.
National University of Singapore (NUS) in a comprehensive research-intense university located in Singapore. There are over 31,000 students enrolled where over 10,000 of those students are international. According to QS World University Rankings NUS ranks as the 15th best school in the world and 2nd best school in Asia. We selected this program for its great international presence of both professorial staff and its students as well as the important areas of research taking place. Some of NUS key areas are in aging specifically at the cellular level, Asian studies, biomedical science, sustainability, materials science including Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, and cybersecurity. One of the most important has been in bioengineering. Students and staff at NUS are looking at bioimaging, tissue engineering and tissue modulation. Some notable alumni include Asia’s world leaders like Goh Chok Tong, Tony tan, and Mahathir Mohamad.
National University of Singapore Engineering (NUS Engineering) places not limitations on the capabilities of engineers. Recognizing that engineering is used in a vast range of fields and across disciplines, NUS Engineering makes it their mission to “address global challenges through research, innovation, inspiration and influence.” They achieve this partially thorough their innovative and design-centric pathway that is available for visionary students who wish to create new ideas and proposals that translate into “technopreneurship” Undergraduates are welcome to study everything from biomedical engineering to mechanical engineering where graduate students may focus on either research-based programs or coursework-based programs. Coursework-based programs include programming in chemical engineering, civil, electrical, hydraulic, environmental, industrial systems, and more. Times Higher Education ranks NUS Engineering as the 7th best engineering program in the world.
The University of Michigan (UM) is a public research university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It is a land sea and space granting university. There are 43,651 students enrolled who benefit from small classes and a student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1. According to U.S. News UM ranks as the 27th best school in the nation, 9th most innovative school, and 4th best public school. Programs that rank as some of the best in the nation are endless, but some of the top 10, in the nation include their programming in marketing, production/operation management, management, undergraduate engineering, aerospace engineering, biomedical and civil engineering, finance, and mechanical engineering among several others. UM is considered by many to be a “Public Ivy” as it is one of the few public schools in the nation that provide education on par with some of the greatest schools in the world. Some notable alum from UM include Arthur Miller, Michael Phelps, James Earl Jones, and former U.S. president Gerald Ford. As one of the founding members of the Association of American Universities, it’s no wonder that research is one of the top reasons UM made it to our list- UM manages one of the largest research budgets of any school in the US currently over 1 billion dollars. Some of its key contributions include virtual memory, EKG, gastroscopes, location of one of the world’s bioreserves, optics, wireless integrated microsystems, and the ISR.
According to U.S. News Michigan Engineering ranks as the 5th best engineering school in the nation. Its nuclear engineering program is #1 in the nation and all other programs rank in the top 10- industrial manufacturing/ systems engineering ranks as 2nd in the nation. Michigan aims to foster diversity and creativity in their engineering programs for undergraduates and graduates through group projects, arts inclusion, continual exploration, and faculty/facilities equipped to solve the complex problems. Michigan graduates are highly marketable and are known to graduate with a bachelor’s and start with salaries that range from $60,000 to $95,000 where graduate students report a starting salary that ranges from $67,000 to $105,000. Current research news at Michigan includes 2-D visualization of gamma ray imaging, and a recent breakthrough in large scale computing.
University College London (UCL) is a public research institution that was founded in 1826. It is the third university established in England after Oxford and Cambridge. There are 11 academic divisions including those in the arts and humanities, brain sciences, engineering, education, medical sciences, and more. Currently, there are 28,705 students enrolled where over 13,000 are international (47%). The student-to-faculty ratio is 10:1. According to U.S. News UCL ranks as the 23rd best global university. Times Higher Education (The) ranks UCL as the 15th best school in the world. In addition to a high world rank and a high international presence, UCL made it to our list because of the highly important research it engages with and has engaged with over the years. Currently UCL focuses on what it calls the four “Grand Challenges” which are: global health, sustainable cities, intercultural interaction, and human wellbeing. In terms of research output SCImago Research Group ranks UCL 12th in the world and 1st in Europe.
Engineering Sciences at UCL includes eleven academic departments that undertake research and training across a great range of disciplines at the global level. Scientists and engineers make discoveries from life sciences, mathematics, psychology and many other areas, merge these disciplines, add their unique innovative contributions and produce solutions ready to meet the world’s needs. Undergraduates engage with the Integrated Engineering Program that combines industry-specific curricula and innovative teaching models that allow students the opportunity to practice engineering through an interdisciplinary model. These skills then transfer more readily to the real world. This means students are equipped to recognize their individual skills and talents and bring them into the fields of biochemical engineering, chemical engineering, and more. Graduate taught programs include 60 disciplines in 11 departments and research programs include center for doctoral training which may cross into a wide range of areas.
Peking University (PKU) is a Chinese research university located in Beijing. It is a member of C9- a consortium of elite universities located in mainland China. There are 42,977 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 9:1. According to U.S. News PKU ranks as the 53rd best school in the world, 3rd best global university in Asia, and 1st best global university in China. Some of its highest ranked programs include chemistry, materials science, engineering, physics, and geosciences. PKU consists of 30 academic colleges, 12 departments and 93 undergraduate, 200 master’s, and 173 special areas for doctoral candidates. This enormous university is making a tremendous impact in areas of research. In fact, there are 14 major research centers that focus on mathematical research, astronomy and astrophysics, quantum materials, statistical science, energy-efficient computing and applications, institute of social science survey, biodynamic optical imaging, quantitative biology, molecular medicine, biomedicine and more.
The College of Engineering at Peking University was founded in 1910 and then reestablished in 2005 and uses an interdisciplinary approach. Departments include: Aeronautics & Astronautics, Biomedical Engineering, Energy & Resources Engineering, Industrial Engineering & Management, Materials Science & Engineering, Mechanics & Engineering Science. There are 6 bachelor’s programs and 12 master’s and doctoral programs. Research takes place across departments and includes aerodynamics and propulsion systems, molecular medical imaging, solid waste reuse, wind energy, aircraft and space vehicle materials and dozens more. Currently the college of engineering enrolls a total of 365 students and there are 120 faculty meaning the student-to-faculty ratio is just 3:1.
École Polytechnique is a public research institute of higher education located in Palaiseau a suburb of Paris, France. It was established in 1794 during the French Revolution. It is also a founding member of ParisTech which is a collection of Parisian engineering colleges. There are 2,669 students enrolled where the student-to-faculty ratio is 5:1. As École Polytechnique dates back over 200 years its academic presence and importance has ranged from providing military support during the 1st and 2nd world war as well as providing medical attention. Today École Polytechnique shines for its engineering program which requires much more training than other typical French topics and may require 7 years of postgraduate education for completion. The result is the aware of Diplome d’Ingenieur- a title so prestigious it is actually protected by the French government.
École Polytechnique is a technical school that offers interdisciplinary degrees that cover a vast range of fields. The bachelor program is for top-level French and international students and focuses on multidisciplinary scientific programming. There is also a 4-year program known as the Ingenieur Polytechnicien and that includes basic sciences, engineering sciences, social economics. Year one starts with the core curriculum, year two focuses on multidisciplinary scientific studies including humanities and social sciences, year three student may select to study from 1 of 13 concentration tracks, and the final year may include an end-of-studies internship. This interdisciplinary program is 4 years in length and equivalent to a bachelor’s and a master’s degree.
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKST) is a public research university located in Clear Water Bay Peninsula, Hong Kong. There are 11,960 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 27:1. The school’s states mission statement is to “advance learning and knowledge through teaching and research” which is why we selected HKST. Not for the motto, but for its actual research output. One of the highlights of its unique programming is that is focuses on an interdisciplinary approach- the research reflects this as the focus is on “collaboration and innovation” meaning that those involved in research in engineering may also work along side those in business and management or even in the humanities and social sciences. The philosophy behind interdisciplinary research is that it takes diverse minds to solve global problems. Some of the current impact cases include wi-fi access in harsh environments, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and its quantitative role in healing the modern world, and eco-friendly sewage treatment among others.
The School of Engineering (SENG) is the largest of the 5 schools at HKST. It enrolls 40% of the student body. There are 6 departments: chemical and biomolecular engineering, civil and environmental engineering, computer science and engineering, Electronic and Computer Engineering (ECE), Industrial Engineering and Logistics Management (IELM), and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE). The Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering is the only one in Hong Kong. There are over 40 programs available to bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral students that are both disciplinary and interdisciplinary and collaborates with other top engineering schools in the world to also offer joint degree programs. Times Higher Education ranks SENG as the 19th best engineering school in the world and their Computer Science program 14th.