Alan Wolf Appointed Acting Dean

July 26, 2012

I am pleased to announce that Professor Alan N. Wolf will succeed Simon Ben-Avi as Acting Dean of the Albert Nerken School of Engineering, effective August 1, 2012 until a new dean takes office.

With Dean Ben-Avi’s retirement from The Cooper Union and appointment as the Founding Dean of Engineering at Hofstra University, I have initiated an important conversation with the faculty about leadership and vision for the School of Engineering at The Cooper Union. As previously announced, this fall we will reactivate a search for a Dean of Engineering. Earlier this month, I invited the engineering faculty and staff to share their thoughts with me concerning the future of the School.

As the Chair of the Dean of Engineering Search Committee, Professor Wolf’s appointment as Acting Dean is in accord with our governance. The other members of the search committee are Cosmos Tzavelis, Civil Engineering; Andrea Newmark, Chemistry; Fred Fontaine, Electrical Engineering; Stan Wei, Mechanical Engineering; Irv Brazinsky, Chemical Engineering, and Om Agrawal, Mathematics.

Professor Wolf will continue to serve as Chairman of the Department of Physics and as Campus-wide Safety Coordinator, as he assumes new duties as Acting Dean. Professor Wolf’s connection to The Cooper Union is deep and spans four decades. He entered The Cooper Union in 1974 as a Physics major and transferred to the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1976, when the institution announced the end of its Bachelor of Sciences degree program in Physics due to budget concerns. He earned his Master’s and Ph. D. at the University of Texas at Austin before returning to The Cooper Union in 1984 as an Assistant Professor; he was promoted to full Professor in 1999. Professor Wolf also earned a J.D. degree Magna Cum Laude in 1994 from the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University. He was admitted to the New York Bar and has served as a law clerk and scientific advisor to a number of federal judges. He is a registered patent attorney, and has taught patent law and other subjects at Cardozo as an Adjunct Professor from 1997-2008.

Professor Wolf has asked Professor George Delagrammatikas to serve as Acting Associate Dean to assist in day-to-day management of the School of Engineering. Professor Delagrammatikas joined Cooper Union’s Mechanical Engineering Department in September 2005 after earning a Master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. He first fostered his ‘hands-on’ approach to solving engineering challenges as an undergraduate at MIT, where he helped design and fabricate and race solar cars. He is currently the faculty advisor for the Cooper Motorsports Club which designs and builds racecars for the FormulaSAE competition. Professor Delagrammatikas also served on Cooper Union’s Presidential Search Committee as well as the Revenue Task Force.

I am grateful to Professors Wolf and Delagrammatikas for accepting these positions at a critical time in the history of The Cooper Union. Please congratulate them and offer your support and encouragement.

Jamshed Bharucha

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.