Design, synthesis, fabrication, characterization and modeling are the pillars for Multi-Functional Infrastructure Materials. Northwestern University is strong in all these areas, having done research ranging from molecules to materials to properties. In addition, there is a strong local industry base for infrastructure design and construction. Infrastructure development is one of the leading economic engines of the Midwest. For example, Chicago area leads the nation in building and architecture, and is home to PCA, the largest trade association of cement manufacturers in the world, and the R&D Center for ArcelorMittal, the largest steel manufacturer in the world. 

Another unique strength is NU's longstanding tradition of collaborations between chemistry and materials science in synthesis and fabrication, and between mechanics and materials science in design, characterization and modeling.  As a leader in mechanics of structural materials, materials sciences and chemistry, and supported by the surrounding industries and national labs, NU is thus uniquely positioned for developing Multi-Functional Infrastructure Materials.

NU faculty perform a wide range of research related to infrastructure and infrastructure material development. Details of their research activities and publications can be found by clicking the links below under each faculty name.


Z. Bazant, R.P.H. Chang, Y.W. Chung, D. Dunand, M.E. Fine, M.C. Hersam, Y. Huang, M.G. Kanatzidis, L.J. Lauhon, W.K. Liu, G.B. Olson, J.Qu, G.C. Schatz, D.N. Seidman, S. Vaynman


L.C. Brinson, R.P.H. Chang, M.C. Hersam, K.A. Gray, M.G. Kanatzidis, T.J. Marks, M.A. Ratner, B.W. Wessels

Fabrication and Processing

S. Barnett, R.P.H. Chang, Y.W. Chung, D.C. Dunand, K.T. Faber, M.E. Fine , K.A. Gray, M.C. Hersam, T.J. Marks, G.B. Olson, M.A. Ratner, B.W. Wessels


J.D. Achenbach, O. Balogun, L.C. Brinson, I.M. Daniel, V.P. Dravid, D.C. Dunand, H.D. Espinosa, S. Krishnaswamy, L.J. Lauhon, D.N. Seidman, S.P. Shah, I. Szleifer, P.W. Voorhees