Mechanical Engineering

Mission Statement

The mission of The Cooper Union’s Department of Mechanical Engineering is to inspire our graduates to solve problems and make positive contributions in their careers and lives. Together with our faculty and staff, our students will develop a commitment toward lifelong interdisciplinary learning, fulfill their potential for responsible, forward-thinking leadership, and embrace collaborative efforts to address the critical challenges and opportunities of our time.

Program Educational Objectives

Within a few years of graduation, our graduates will:

  1. Apply their broad education and acquired technical and professional skills to responsible, forward-thinking problem-solving.
  2. Embrace leadership and collaborative roles that address critical challenges and opportunities in workplace, professional or civic communities.
  3. Engage in lifelong interdisciplinary learning and respond to evolving needs of industry and society.

Student Outcomes

  • An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
  • An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors
  • An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
  • An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts
  • An ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives
  • An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
  • An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.

Program Description

Creativity, problem-solving, and design are all at the heart of Mechanical Engineering, the broadest of the engineering disciplines. Cooper students build a strong foundation and have the flexibility to study an expansive range of theoretical and technological interests, including mechanics and materials, thermo-fluid sciences, combustion, vibrations and acoustics, dynamics and control systems, robotics, design, digital fabrication, CAD/CAM and manufacturing. From building the world-largest Rubik's-style cube to working with doctors to design next-generation surgical instruments, Cooper mechanical engineering students create what seems impossible and use acquired knowledge and skills to improve the world.  Our students learn by doing, using our campus as an energy efficiency testbed, designing novel musical instruments, creating overdose-reversing wearable drug delivery devices, building a Formula-style racecar from scratch, and designing drones to help firefighters. Our Mechanical Engineers are valued for their analytical and problem-solving abilities and go on to prestigious graduate programs and careers in aerospace, automotive, ocean and marine engineering, biomedical engineering, energy, finance, law, and medicine.

Undergraduate Program

The sequences of courses shown in the undergraduate curriculum table emphasize the fundamental engineering sciences as well as their applications in the analysis and solution of contemporary engineering problems. By the selection of electives and of their design and research projects, students have a large degree of flexibility in exploring their own interests.

Graduate Program

Areas of research include computer-aided design/engineering/manufacturing, robotics, biomedical engineering, automotive systems, modern control systems, mechatronics, sustainable building systems, thermoelectric power generation, vibrations and acoustics, combustion and other interdisciplinary areas of engineering.

Program Accreditation

The Mechanical Engineering Program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,, under the commission’s General Criteria and Program Criteria for the Mechanical and Similarly Named Engineering Programs.

  • 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.