What Is Computational Engineering?

photo of students and faculty discussing computational engineering images in visualization lab

Computational engineering is a new and rapidly growing multidisciplinary field that applies advanced computational methods and analysis to engineering practice.

Computational engineers will have extensive education in fundamental engineering and science, and advanced knowledge of mathematics, algorithms and computer languages. Because of the breadth and depth covered in the curriculum, computational engineers are capable of developing computational models in a variety of fields, capable of pursuing careers in a variety of fields, including energy, manufacturing, aerospace, health care, microelectronics and more.

How is computational engineering different from computer science and computer engineering?

  • The computer engineer designs a new computer.
  • The computer scientist develops the operating system and networking software for the computer.
  • The computational engineer uses computers and devises algorithms to solve mathematical models for complex systems, simulate behaviors and analyze simulation output.

Computer science explores the science and theory of how computers work, formulating algorithms and designing programming languages. Computer engineering takes the foundation of electrical engineering and applies it specifically to computers, focusing on the design of hardware and software components. Computational engineering uses computers to solve engineering design problems important to a variety of industries.