Kamau Wright

Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Kamau Wright holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics from Drexel University, specializing in thermo-fluids and plasma engineering. He uses electrical energy to generate plasma – the 4th state of matter – as classified by its energetic state compared to solids, liquids, and gases. His technical research interests include application of low temperature plasma (LTP) discharges to liquids and wastewaters; plasma decomposition of carbon dioxide (CO2); fouling mitigation for heat exchangers; oxidation of organic matter in water; and inactivation of pathogens using plasmas. His research activity has been funded in part through award of two NASA Connecticut Space Grant Consortium proposals, which he also used to facilitate undergraduate and graduate students through faculty-mentored research.

Dr. Wright has taught a range of courses, including thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, and plasma engineering. His engineering education research interests encompass data-driven assessment of various pedagogical approaches such as collaborative learning and inquiry-based learning. He is also an active member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), and the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). His publication activity includes numerous peer-reviewed journal and conference publications. 

Wright received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Howard University and an M.S. and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and mechanics from Drexel University. From there, he served as a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology, and as a tenure-track Assistant Professor at the University of Hartford, in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Acoustical Engineering. Wright is a Brooklyn, NY native. Outside of the classroom, when he is not conducting research as part of his Thermo-fluid, Energy and Plasma Lab Group, he hopes to eventually identify good opportunities (when the appropriate pandemic-safe time comes) to play pick-up basketball games in and around New York City.

“I am excited to be a part of the re-imagining of Cooper’s future, rooted in the ideals of its founding, the possibilities of tomorrow, and the hearts and minds of the talented Cooper students, alumni, prospective students, faculty, staff, administrators, and greater New York City community – all those who hold this institution most dear. If you are interested in research related to plasmas, thermo-fluids, and/or energy, feel free to reach out. I look forward to using my teaching, research, and service, to make meaningful contributions as part of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, the Albert Nerken School of Engineering, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, and the greater communities in which we thrive.”

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  • 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.