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Impact Engines Spring Update


This spring has been a busy season for Impact Engines. Starting in January, Vice Provost for Global Impact, Amy Carroll, has led the integration of learners and innovators across our global system to come together and solve the world’s greatest challenges through Impact Engines.

With 48 activated and in the pipeline, our Impact Engines have already made great strides in solving complex, interdisciplinary and global challenges. Currently, our Impact Engines address concerns such as translating research into clinical practice, air pollution prediction technology, AI-enabled healthcare, increasing degree completion in underrepresented populations, AI for socially aware product design, and more.

Impact Engines galvanize and organize interdisciplinary learning, research, and partnerships around solving a challenge or set of challenges, with the goal of maximum impact. Impact Engines span disciplines, colleges, campuses, and industry sectors, connecting diverse communities of problem-solvers around creating measurable change. They are a key pillar of the university’s academic plan, and a means for Northeastern to claim leadership as an institution with broad societal impact.

Below are highlights from the ongoing interdisciplinary research happening through some of our activated Impact Engines.

Advanced Design Automation (ADA)

The ADA team recently launched a 6-month testing arrangement with a global company, who will be using the ADA demonstration platform to assess its effectiveness in evaluating and generating new product designs and concepts.

Healthier Air and People: Intelligent Solutions to Urban Pollution for Equity and Resilience (iSUPER)

Nail Bashan and Qi “Ryan” Wang from iSUPER presented at the 2023 Northeastern RISE Expo (the Research and Creative Endeavor, Innovation, Scholarship and Entrepreneurship Expo). Their poster was “Network Synchronization Reveals the Dynamics of Fine Particulate Matter in San Francisco.” Additionally, their Summer 2023 research data will be part of a NOAA-led nationwide effort to collect air pollution data.

Experiential Associate to Master’s (eA2M)

The Miami Experiential Associate to Master’s program was initiated on February 28 and is currently open for applications. This fall will be especially exciting since eA2M will be expecting the inaugural class on the Miami campus. The Experiential Associate to Master’s builds upon Northeastern’s already successful A2M model and aligns learners with sectors that provide strong career trajectories and have high demand for skilled workers.

Community to Community: Policy Equity for All (C2C)

Community to Community (C2C), formerly City to City, has launched a new initiative to support the City of Boston’s Summer Youth Employment Program and provide educational opportunities for school-aged youth. The Learn and Earn Post-Secondary Exploration track allows Boston high school students to explore surrounding colleges and universities. To help with this effort, departments at Northeastern have committed to host at least two youth interns this summer. Recently, they were highlighted in a Northeastern Global News article, for receiving Northeastern’s inaugural Global Network Accelerator Award.

Additionally, C2C is offering numerous funding opportunities and training for the Northeastern community. They have launched a research seed grant of up to $5,000 to conduct research with the goal of using research evidence to change a policy or practice. Faculty can also apply for the Policy Fellow Program to receive support for projects that engage in research-practice partnerships. Lastly, C2C is offering training on the Boston and Oakland campuses to faculty seeking to collaborate with city agencies, state departments, or community-based organizations.

Cradle-to-Prison Pipeline (C2P)

C2P recently held a conference connecting advocates and policymakers, bringing together individuals from the Governor’s Office, the AG’s Office, and advocacy organizations to discuss the issues and define their data needs. The conference, “Data Democratization: Building Strategies to Disrupt and Dismantle the Cradle-to-Prison Pipeline,” was so well attended they had to set up an overflow room. Learn more on the conference site.

If you want to learn more about the Impact Engines and the proposal process, explore the Impact Engines site.

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