From The Lab: Current Research at the Cooper Union

This is a research series hosted each semester by the Albert Nerken School of Engineering to highlight the current research. Each event has a short presentation by faculty and students within a research cluster followed by private tours of the research labs where students demo and present their projects.

Spring 2018 Theme: Food Engineering
Wednesday, March 7 6:30PM
RSVP to Crystal Ortiz, 212.353.4269

This spring the Albert Nerken School of Engineering is pleased to present current research by our faculty and students about a topic essential to all of us — food production. With an eye to developing solutions that promote sustainability and high nutrition, our researchers consider the current obstacles to energy- efficient food production and formulate exceptionally innovative ways to meet those challenges. Students will present five exciting projects, and you’ll have a chance to meet with them and their faculty advisors during lab tours to ask questions about the future of food and to learn how Cooper students are devising cutting-edge methods to solve some of the world’s most urgent problems.

Urban and Arctic Alchemy; Sustainable Control Systems Using Waste Municipal and Geothermal Heat to Increase Plant Growth Regions and Enhance Crop Yields
Advisors: Prof. Robert Dell, Founding Director, Center for Innovation and Applied Technology, Prof. Stan Wei
Student: Ashish Pokharel

Fluids: How nature makes art (a new course in Flow Visualization)
Advisor: Prof. Phil Yecko
Students: Yenchia (Amy) Feng and Max Summers

Closed-Loop Urban Food Systems
Advisor: Prof. Toby Cumberbatch
Students: Peter Manos, Sanjeev Menon, Jessica Martinez (Art)

ParaVentral Lighting System for Plant Growth Optimization
Advisor: Prof. Alan Wolf
Student: Nithi Subbaian

Biosynthesis of Beta-carotene in the Cricket Microbiome
Advisor: Profs. Oliver Medvedik & Radmila Janjusevic
Student: Kevin Chen, Seungwoo Ha and Paulo Serodio


Spring 2017 Theme: Energy, Environment & Fuel   [Lab Tour/Project Descriptions] [Invitation]

Fall 2016 Theme: Sustainability   [Lab Tour/Project Descriptions]

Spring 2016 Theme: Bioengineering   [Lab Tour/Project Descriptions] [Web article] [Video]





  • 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.