Albert Nerken School of Engineering 2014 Faculty Hiring Initiative

The Albert Nerken School of Engineering at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art seeks outstanding candidates for four tenured / tenure­track faculty positions. The Nerken School is perennially ranked among the best undergraduate engineering schools in the nation, with degree-granting departments of Electrical, Mechanical, Civil, and Chemical Engineering as well as departments of Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics. The School is distinguished by a curriculum that is rigorous, analytical, and design-oriented and a student body that is highly gifted.

The School is at an historic juncture, reaffirming its commitment to Excellence, Access, and Merit while embarking on exciting enhancements through new initiatives related to computing, entrepreneurship, design, undergraduate research, global partnerships, graduate programs, and teaching innovation. The School seeks faculty candidates who are driven, creative, and passionate about engineering education; who have strong interpersonal, communication, and organizational skills; and who have the ability to work collaboratively within Engineering and across the faculties of Art, Architecture, Humanities and Social Sciences.

Education: New faculty will enhance the school’s foundational strength in engineering education. This includes a project-based undergraduate curriculum, emphasis on design, and linking of virtual and physical design. New faculty will develop curriculum in areas related to research to enhance the offering of interdisciplinary graduate certificate programs. Preference will be given to candidates with a demonstrated record of teaching innovation.

Research: Preferred candidates will have established records of funded research, collaboration across disciplines, and the ability to involve undergraduate engineering students in applied research and technology transfer. Preference will be given to candidates whose research areas complement our four engineering departments and Cooper Union research centers, including the Maurice Kanbar Center for Biomedical Engineering; the Institute for Sustainable Design; the Center for Signal Processing, Communications and Computer Engineering Research; and the Center for Innovation and Applied Technology.

Computer Science: The successful candidate will lead development of computing and entrepreneurship curriculum by leveraging online content and the New York City tech startup community. This new initiative will coalesce and build upon related Cooper initiatives, including Invention Factory and Cooper Union Entrepreneurial Society. Preferred candidates will have successful track record of research funding and technology transfer in areas related to design (e.g., user experience, HCI, virtual environments, web and app design).  Nominations and questions may be sent to NerkenSchool@gmail.com.

Electrical Engineering: The successful candidate will teach undergraduate EE courses, particularly in the electronics track, and will also teach and conduct research with undergraduate and master’s students that relate cutting edge developments in electronic materials and devices (e.g., low-voltage and low-power design, high speed and mixed signal circuits, novel sensors and transducers) to interdisciplinary application areas such as computation and information processing, biomedical engineering, nano/microscale technologies, and sustainable engineering. Nominations and questions may be sent to fredf88cooper@gmail.com.

Physics: The successful candidate will teach required physics courses to undergraduate engineering students (e.g., Modern Physics), but will also be expected to teach and conduct research with undergraduate and master’s students in interdisciplinary areas (e.g., computational fluid dynamics, finite element analysis, and computer simulations in the areas of materials science, biomedical engineering, biophysics, solid state physics). Nominations and questions may be sent to awolf.physics@gmail.com.

Chemistry: The successful candidate will demonstrate a proven track record of obtaining funding for collaborative research (in areas such as, but not limited to, environmental, nanotechnology or biomedical applications) and will also have experience in teaching high-quality undergraduate courses (particularly courses in general chemistry, instrumental analysis and/or organic chemistry). Preferred candidates will have postdoctoral experience and will posses strong knowledge of AA, GC-MS, HPLC, UV/Vis, Fluorescence, IR and/or NMR spectroscopies. Nominations and questions may be sent to cooperchemistry@gmail.com.

How to Apply: A PhD in a relevant area is required. Please submit a single pdf file that includes a C.V., statements of teaching and research, and contact information of at least three references to hr@cooper.edu. Submissions must clearly state which position is targeted by applicant. Application review has begun with intent to fill positions by Fall 2014.

These positions are unionized; benefits and work terms are negotiated through the Cooper Union Federation of College Teachers (CUFCT) bargaining unit. The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art is an AA/EOE by choice. Women and individuals from underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.

The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

The Cooper Union is led by its 12th president, Dr. Jamshed Bharucha, a cognitive neuroscientist who served in academic leadership positions at Dartmouth College and Tufts University.

Founded in 1859, in the heart of Manhattan, by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper, the College offers an unparalleled education in architecture, art and engineering, the creative disciplines that undergird great civilizations. One of America's most selective institutions of higher education, The Cooper Union typically admits between seven and ten percent of applicants, and has a yield that is among the nation’s highest, at approximately 80 percent. The Cooper Union is currently ranked number one among Baccalaureate Colleges in the northeast in the U.S. News & World Report college rankings, and its Albert Nerken School of Engineering is perennially ranked among the nation’s top undergraduate engineering schools.

The Cooper Union is comprised of four academic divisions: the Albert Nerken School of Engineering; the School of Art; the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture; and, the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. It employs approximately 130 full-time equivalent faculty. The institution has exchange programs and other collaborations with more than 20 institutions abroad. Enrollment in the degree programs at The Cooper Union is about 1,000 students: 950 undergraduates and 50 Master’s degree students, yielding a student-faculty ratio of about 8.5/1. Approximately 40 percent of Cooper Union graduates are admitted to graduate programs directly upon graduation, and two-thirds of all alumni earn advanced degrees. The institution is among the nation’s top producers of Fulbright Scholars, National Science Foundation Fellowships and recipients of other prestigious awards.

Beyond its internationally renowned academic programs, The Cooper Union plays an important role in the cultural and civic life of New York City, offering a rich array of public programs, exhibitions and forums covering the full spectrum of academic disciplines and intellectual themes, and with a particular focus on critical contemporary social and political issues. Its historic Great Hall has provided a platform for leading thinkers, world leaders—including many American presidents, from Abraham Lincoln to Barack Obama—and major social reformers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including Susan B. Anthony and the NAACP. The Institution also operates outreach programs for high school students.

The Cooper Union is rooted in Founder Peter Cooper’s ideals of shared learning and innovation, as well as its commitment to preparing undergraduates for enlightened civic engagement locally, nationally and globally.

The Students

The Cooper Union student body personifies the spirit of Peter Cooper himself—intelligent, innovative, intense, hard working, humanistic, driven to create—and selected on the basis of merit alone. Admissions to Cooper Union are need-blind. All admitted freshman are awarded a four-year merit scholarship that covers 50% of the cost of tuition as well as need-based aid.

Cooper Union students are as diverse as the population of the city it calls home: 42 percent self-identify as Caucasian, 25 percent as Asian American, Filipinos or from the Pacific Islands, six percent as African American or Caribbean American, nine percent as Hispanic or Latino, one percent as American Indian and 17 percent consider themselves other. Sixty five percent of our students are male and 35 percent are female. Forty one percent of students are from New York City and the remaining 59 percent represent 43 states and The District of Columbia. Student accomplishments, both during and after Cooper, rival those of students at many other top schools. The institution has celebrated 32 Fulbright scholars since 2001 and 13 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships since 2004. Awards won by Cooper alumni include 12 Rome Prizes, 21 Guggenheim Fellowships, three MacArthur Fellowships, a Nobel Prize in Physics, nine Chrysler Design Awards, three Thomas Jefferson Awards for Public Architecture and one inaugural Jane Jacobs Medal.

While students remain very dedicated academically, they also take part in other activities, such as a vibrant athletic program that includes teams in men’s and women’s cross country, tennis, basketball, volleyball and men’s soccer. Students also participate in activities such as student government, literary and performance groups, Greek organizations, professional and honor societies, religious clubs, ethnic organizations, and recreational sports clubs.

The Albert Nerken School of Engineering

The Albert Nerken School of Engineering is led by Dr. Teresa A. Dahlberg, who joined the College in August 2013. Dr. Dahlberg was formerly an engineering and computer science researcher, educator and administrator at the University of North Carolina (UNC) Charlotte. A national leader in innovative undergraduate education, she co-founded the STARS Computing Corps, a National Science Foundation (NSF) alliance for broadening participation, and directed it’s growth to 50 college and university members. Dr. Dahlberg founded and led the Diversity in Information Technology Institute and the Networking Research Lab at UNC Charlotte; attracted over $20 million in grants; was employed as an Expert by the NSF Computer Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Directorate; and now serves as a Member of the NSF CISE Advisory Committee.

One of the nation’s premiere undergraduate engineering schools, the Albert Nerken School of Engineering is comprised of seven departments and offers bachelors and masters degrees in engineering. It offers ABET accredited Bachelor of Engineering (BE) programs in Chemical, Civil, Electrical, and Mechanical Engineering and the Master of Engineering degree. The goal is to prepare students for leadership and entrepreneurial roles in a world that faces complex challenges politically, socially and environmentally. 

Since September 2009, all of the approximate 500 students have been housed in a new state­of-the-art academic building, designed by Pritzker Prize winning architect, Thom Mayne. The building is part of the college’s historic urban campus in Manhattan and brings together the faculties of art, architecture, engineering, humanities and social sciences.

The academic programs in the School of Engineering embody the unique student ethos of Excellence and Intimacy that defines Cooper Union. A rigorous foundation develops analytical, theoretical and critical thinking skills. A project-based curriculum emphasizes the translation of thinking into making.  Following a cohort pedagogy, freshmen enter their majors as a cohort and take all required major courses with their cohorts over four years. This, combined with the low student-faculty ratio, creates an intimate atmosphere of collaboration and high achievement.

Classroom study is augmented with experiential learning. Programs include internships, research experiences for undergraduates (REU), study abroad, and competitions. Engineering students often win the latter, e.g., as they did in the 2013 IEEE ComSoc Student Competition. Study abroad opportunities include Cooper Union’s most recent international partnership with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay. 

Experiential programs also echo Cooper Union’s atmosphere of innovation and connect students to New York City industries and startup companies.  For example, student winners of the 2013 Invention Factory, an intense six-week summer program, are featured on a video that went viral, over 3 million hits within weeks of release. Other initiatives include create@cooper, the Cooper Union Entrepreneurial Society, HackCooper, and Entrepreneur Factory.

The School is at an historic juncture. The Cooper Union has modified its basis for awarding scholarships by reducing the 4-year merit scholarships awarded to all incoming freshman from 100% to 50% of tuition costs and augmenting with financial need-based scholarships. With this change, Cooper Union reaffirms its commitment to Excellence, Access and Merit, and the Engineering school embarks upon exciting new initiatives that support these values. Initiatives include: new interdisciplinary graduate certificate programs to augment both graduate and undergraduate programs; a computer science degree program and entrepreneurship initiatives relevant to the NYC tech community; an undergraduate research scholars program; new international partnerships; expanded STEM outreach; and expanded collaboration between Art, Architecture and Engineering at the intersection of design.

Albert Nerken School of Engineering faculty are driven, creative, and passionate about engineering education, research, and innovation.

Notable alumni from the School of Engineering include Thomas Edison, Samuel R. Scottron, Charles Schaffner, George Fox, Kevin Burke, Nobel Laureate Russell Hulse, Stanley Lapidus, Albert Carnesale, Michael B. Sisti, Bruce Pasternack, Alexis Ohanian, and Jeremy Wertheimer. 

  • 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.