Invention Factory

This slideshow is part of: Eric Lima

Invention Factory is an intensive summer program for Cooper Union undergraduate engineering students. This summer, students working in teams of two will conceive an invention, research the prior art (patents and products), build a working prototype, and compete for 1st and 2nd Prizes for Best Invention ($5,000 and $3,000, respectively). At the conclusion of the program, each team files a provisional patent application to help protect their invention for one year.

Previous inventions include the Snip-It Tape Dispenser, the Dual-Flush Easy Toilet Conversion Kit, and the Rapid Packing Container

We are currently seeking guest evaluators for this year. Guest evaluators ask tough questions and help students refine their ideas. In addition, evaluators have an opportunity to guide Cooper students through the process of creating and refining their novel inventions.

Guest evaluators are needed for the following days in 41 Cooper Square (all sessions 5:30PM – 7 PM):

Tuesday, July 19
Thursday, July 21
Tuesday, July 26
Thursday, July 28
Tuesday, August 2
Thursday, August 4
Tuesday, August 9
Thursday, August 11

At each evaluation session, five of the ten teams will present their inventions. Evaluators taking part in the first few weeks of the program will have a strong influence on the early development of projects. Later in the program, evaluators will help students refine their presentations and their more robust prototypes.

We encourage evaluators to listen carefully to each presentation and give the students honest feedback. Evaluation criteria will be provided to help assess the inventions. Light refreshments will be served.

You may participate in up to two sessions (one Tuesday and/or one Thursday) to see and critique the evolving inventions.

You can learn more about the Invention Factory and see inventions from the past four summers at:

Please email Professor Eric Lima at: today to sign up as an evaluator.

  • 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.