Careers in Computational Engineering


The Computational Science and Engineering program at Illinois has over 20 years experience providing crucial training to our students through interdisciplinary graduate certificates.  We currently have over 200 students enrolled in the undergraduate and graduate certificate programs.

Computation is widely considered as the “third pillar” of science, alongside theory and experiment. The heart of computational science engineering is to develop innovative ways of solving engineering and scientific problems using computation as a tool.  This new form of science compresses the development pipeline by eliminating laborious, costly, and lengthy trial-and-error experiments. This field is inherently interdisciplinary since the broad goal of a computational scientist is to model the physical world using a computer.

Career paths can be found in areas such as: computational mechanics and aerospace engineering (e.g., designing aircraft, vehicles, modern buildings, etc.), computational fluid dynamics (e.g., modeling blood flow, internal jet flow, etc.), computational electronics (e.g., modeling semiconductor charge and heat transport in devices and chips), computational biology and medicine (e.g., modeling viruses, DNA sequencing, and protein folding), financial engineering, software engineering, data science, and other disciplines requiring the use of computational models to predict physical phenomena.  As such, a background in computational engineering provides a functional array of career options and job prospects.

Students will learn to develop virtual experiments that mimic physical phenomena, first abstracting the physical phenomenon to a conceptual model, and then translating this into a validated computational model. The M.Eng. in Computational Engineering navigates the steep learning curve by introducing professionally-oriented students to a systematic curriculum that builds upon existing course work offered at the university. The curriculum presented here has been designed to impart students with solid Computational Engineering foundational knowledge and skills, and includes technical specialization courses that enhance the student’s domain expertise.