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The school’s research is carried out through its departments, institutes, centers, labs and faculty programs.

Through our research, we believe engineering should solve human problems — not just technical ones. As engineers, we look at climate change, overpopulation, network security and many more of the thorniest challenges of the 21st century and ask: What can we do? The answers lie in a multidisciplinary approach that draws upon Stanford’s world-leading expertise in medicine, law, business and public policy.  

Stanford Engineering is comprised of the following departments: 

Aeronautics and Astronautics

The course offerings and research activities in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics cover most aspects of aircraft and spacecraft design, structures, fluid mechanics, dynamics and control, and navigation, with strong emphasis on fundamental principles as well as on systems engineering.


The Department of Bioengineering creates a fusion of engineering and the life sciences to promote biomedical discovery and the development of new technologies and therapies. Bioengineering at Stanford embraces biology as a new engineering paradigm and applies engineering principles to medical problems and biological systems.

Chemical Engineering

The Department of Chemical Engineering uses knowledge of mathematics, chemistry, and other natural sciences to develop economical means of using materials and energy to benefit society.

Civil and Environmental Engineering

The Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering conducts research and provides education to create sustainable solutions for cities, communities, and nature to thrive. The department’s expertise, ranging from civil engineering and urban systems to environmental engineering and energy infrastructure, offers knowledge, methods, and designs for the natural and built environments to sustain people and nature.

Computer Science

Strong research exists in the areas of systems, software, networking, databases, security, graphics, foundations of computer science, artificial intelligence, robotics, and scientific computing. In addition to basic research, interdisciplinary work on applications that stimulate basic research has been undertaken in fields of genetics, biology, linguistics, physics, medicine and various branches of engineering.

Electrical Engineering

Research in Electrical Engineering spans a diverse set of intellectual disciplines and applications. The disciplines can be grouped into three overlapping and interrelated areas: Physical Technology & Science, Information Systems & Science and Hardware/Software Systems. Stanford EE also has a unique culture of entrepreneurship. 

Management Science and Engineering

The Department of Management Science and Engineering aims to promote research and education related to the information-intensive, technology-based economy. The department has great breadth, covering the knowledge, tools and methods required to make decisions and shape policies, configure organizational structures, design engineering systems and solve operational problems. 

Materials Science and Engineering

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering is concerned with the relation between processing, structure, and properties of materials, with the goal of developing new materials and processes through fundamental understanding. It brings together in a unified discipline materials-related developments in physical metallurgy, polymer science, ceramics, biology and the physics and chemistry of solids.

Mechanical Engineering

The programs in the Department of Mechanical Engineering are designed to provide background for a variety of careers. The discipline is very broad, but it is generally understood to include energy and thermal sciences; propulsion; solid mechanics, fluid mechanics and biomechanics; design and manufacturing; sensing, control and robotics; and computational and simulation-based engineering.