Cooper Union’s First Undergraduate Research Symposium

POSTED ON: December 7, 2022

Group photo after the symposium.

Group photo after the symposium. 

Image of the poster session.

Image of the poster session.

Symposium Awardees

Nada Shetwei ChE'24 (left) and Renata Ashapatov ChE'23 (right) with their awards.

Image of Anna Konvicka.

Image of Anna Konvicka EE'23.

The first Undergraduate Research Symposium organized and facilitated by Cooper Union students was held last Tuesday, November 29, 2022. The symposium which attracted over a hundred students, staff, and faculty, including President Laura Sparks, is the largest student-led research event ever held at Cooper.

The symposium was organized by The Cooper Union Undergraduate Research Club (URC). In Fall 2022, URC was founded by chemical engineering students Sangjoon (Bob) Lee ChE’23, Canying Wang ChE'23, Xiao Lin ChE'23, Naomi Akiyama ChE'23, Davud Sulaymankhil ChE'23, Andre Jiang ChE'23, Wesley Wong ChE'24, Tausif Tamim ChE'25, and Neha Nichakawade ChE'25 through an independent study enrolled in last semester. 

The URC was founded on two missions (1) to promote and communicate current research activities at Cooper Union and (2) to provide a platform for undergraduate students to acquire professional academic presentation experiences within The Cooper Union. While it is a new club, the URC began the semester with the goal of organizing Cooper Union’s first undergraduate research symposium and due to the scale of the event, preparation began months prior and involved various key players in the School of Engineering. To promote academic diversity and support of the event, the URC collaborated and co-hosted the symposium with Cooper Union’s professional student chapters of AlChE, ASME, IEEE, and BMSE.

The symposium was a two-hour event with a full agenda. Barry Shoop, Dean of the Albert Nerken School of Engineering, gave the opening remarks followed by welcome messages from Cooper alumnae and Chair of the AIChE New York Metro Local Section Mary Lynch ChE’82, and URC Advisor and Co-Chair of the American Chemical Society New York Local Section’s Student Activities Committee Dr. Naphtali O'Connor.

After the welcome, the first half of the event featured oral presentations. Four engineering students, Emma Cohen BSE'24, Nada Shetewi ChE'24, Anna Konvicka EE'23, and Jonathan Lerner ME'23 each gave ten-minute presentations on their current research and research that they presented at previous professional conferences. The second half of the event was lunch and a poster session. There was a total of 15 research posters presented at the symposium. The event then concluded with the announcement of two awards (1) Best Presentation Award and (2) Best Poster Award. 

Nada Shetewi ChE'24 was selected to receive the Best Presenter Award and Renata Ashapatov ChE’23 was selected for the Best Poster Award. Awardees were selected by the symposium’s faculty judges: Michelle Rosen, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, Ja-beom Koo, assistant professor of electrical engineering, Ben Davis, professor of chemical engineering, and Ruben Savizky, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, based on a judging rubric provided by the URC.

In Spring 2023, The Cooper Union Undergraduate Research Club has a greater vision. They hope to establish The Cooper Union as one of the leading undergraduate research institutions by attracting student presenters across various academic institutions in New York City. Stay tuned, they are just getting started.

Posters, pamphlets, name cards, socials, and rubrics were created and managed by Renee Ma ChE’25, Kalvin Huang ChE’25, Abigail Lin ChE’26, Kayla Lee ChE’26, Wesley Wong ChE’24, and Tausif Tamim ChE’25. 

Serene Joe EE’23, Sophia Xu ME’23, and the Engineering Dean’s Office Staff for communication and promotion of the symposium. 

Erika Gregory ME’26, Canying Wang ChE’23, Naomi Akiyama ChE’23, and Xiao Lin ChE’23 for assisting with event setup and break-down. 

Funding provided by the Albert Nerken School of Engineering 2022 Educational Innovation Grant program, the AIChE Metro New York Local Section, and Cooper Union JAC.

  • 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.