Albert Nerken School of Engineering
With an average enrollment of about 550 students, The Albert Nerken School of Engineering is the largest of Cooper Union's schools. The Nerken School maintains small class and laboratory enrollment to ensure personal attention. Top-ranked in undergraduate engineering, the Nerken School offers degree programs in civil, chemical, mechanical and electrical engineering, which are individually accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.
Graduates are recruited regularly by companies nationwide. Alumni are found in the top management and research leadership of many American corporations, hold key positions in federal, state and city agencies, and distinguish themselves on university faculties and administrations nationwide. Through their many and varied professional accomplishments, they exemplify Cooper Union's reputation for excellence.
Degree programs are designed to allow students to enter the profession immediately after graduation or to pursue graduate study. The integrated master's program offers the opportunity to earn both a bachelor's and a master's degree in four or five years. An extraordinary number of Cooper Union graduates have gone on to earn Ph.D. degrees at the nation's most prestigious graduate schools.
Like Cooper Union's other schools, the Albert Nerken School of Engineering is intimately involved with the New York metropolitan area. The School draws on the region's abundant talent and resources, including the outstanding array of engineers and scientists employed at major corporations, governmental agencies and consulting firms in the New York region. The School also calls on physicians, lawyers and other specialists to give unique insights into contemporary problems and social issues confronting modern engineers.
Students benefit from close contact with faculty and the School's devoted alumni, who are pleased to share their experiences and insights with students and in serving as role models. Many undergraduate students also work on significant research projects with faculty, an unusual feature in most undergraduate programs.
The curriculum focuses around three basic values: technological and scientific competence, balance between theory and practice, and consideration of the societal and holistic aspects of engineering. First-year students, regardless of major, take the same core curriculum in the fundamentals of mathematics, chemistry, physics and computer-aided design, as well as liberal arts courses. The first-year program features a unique design course in which students work in groups toward solving urban problems, such as traffic gridlock and solid waste disposal.
In the second year, students begin engineering course work. Third and fourth-year students take part in individual and team design projects in state-of-the-art laboratories. They also take advanced courses offered in four major disciplines: civil, chemical, electrical and mechanical engineering, as well as courses in engineering science and interdisciplinary engineering. All students—undergraduate and graduate—have open access to extensive computer facilities and laboratories.
The School of Engineering offers master's degree programs in each of the traditional disciplines. Interdisciplinary studies are encouraged in a number of areas, such as computer systems, robotics, biomedical topics, environmental issues, and materials.
The faculty are committed teachers. Many carry out advanced research for government agencies and industry through the C.V. Starr Research Foundation at The Cooper Union. With an annual budget of more than $1 million, The Foundation employs undergraduate and graduate students in a wide array of research projects that have been funded by such agencies as NASA, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, Consolidated Edison and the federal departments of commerce and energy. This research has led to an alternative technology to recover energy from sewage sludge; a pollution-control computer model to eliminate odors in urban harbors; a dolphin-shaped robot to inspect the inside of pipelines for structural defects; a computer model to predict the performance of gasification plants that synthesize fuels from coal; a nonsmudging newsprint ink and a better adhering asphalt for road repair.