Phillip Eng CE'83


Phillip Eng CE’83

For Phillip Eng, who served as the president of MTA Long Island Railroad from 2018-2022, the role seemed tailor-made for a native Long Islander who dedicated his entire career to transportation engineering. When he took on the post at the country’s busiest commuter railroad, he said that the job was more than solving engineering problems: “It’s a people job,” he told Newsday in 2018, “and we need to keep a focus on our riders and a focus on the communities that live around the railroad.”

Eng, who stepped down from the post last year to work as a transportation consultant, led the LIRR through the Covid-19 pandemic and delivered a historic on-time performance record  by introducing new technologies to modernize the system, including new applications for fare payment and testing new signaling systems.

He began his career at the New York State Department of Transportation where he learned all aspects of the field by working with projects related to design and construction, bridge inspection, structures, and maintenance. He was eventually named Executive Deputy Commissioner of the NYSDOT where he improved methods for executing high-impact projects such as the new Kosciuszko Bridge, the I-81 Environmental Impact Study, and the Rochester Train Station.

  • 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.