About

Tandon History

A Long History of World-changing Engineering

We were founded in 1854 as Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute, best known as Brooklyn-Poly, and in 2015 we proudly became the NYU Tandon School of Engineering. But no matter what name we’ve gone by, one thing has always remained the same: our promise to harness the power of science and technology for the sake of a better society.

Tandon Seal

The 19th Century

1854

The Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute is founded.

1879

Robert G. Brown (1868) revolutionized communication by combining the receiver and mouthpiece of the phone.

Robert Brown
1883

James J. Wood (1879) was responsible for the machinery that produced the distinctive cables of the Brooklyn Bridge. Arthur V. Abbott (1875) invented the coupling system for the bridge’s cables and a testing machine for the materials used in the construction.

Brooklyn Bridge
1889

Renamed the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn

Polytechnic Brooklyn 1889
1890's

The U.S. Navy began using searchlights developed by Edward R. Knowles (1870)

The 20th Century

1907

The first woman, Anna Erdmann, received a Bachelor's degree from Polytechnic

Charles Ranlett Flint
1911

Charles R. Flint (1868) formed the Computing-Tabulating- Recording Company, which was later renamed IBM

Locks at Panama Canal
1914

Henry C. Goldmark (1874) coengineered the Panama Canal locks. He was later awarded a medal of honor by President Howard Taft for his crucial contribution to the project.

1942

Herman F. Mark, generally known as the Father of Polymer Science, joined the faculty and established the Polymer Research Institute

Herman Mark
1943

Pfizer began using a process developed by Jasper H. Kane (’28) that allowed for the mass production of penicillin.

1945

Professor and President Ernst Weber (‘58-’69) founded the Microwave Research Institute which developed electromagnetic and microwave defense and communication systems

President Ernst Weber
1950

William B. Kouwenhoven (’06, ’07) developed the first closed-chest cardiac defibrillator. He is also credited with discovering the efficacy of cardiac massage, the technique that would become a key to CPR.

1957

Eugene Kleiner (’48) helped found Fairchild Semiconductor, a pioneer in transistor and integrated-circuit manufacturing. Kleiner later co-founded a venture capital firm that provided funding for such now-iconic companies as Amazon, Google and AOL.

Eugene Kleiner
1958

The school officially becomes coed (although many women had attended and graduated during World War II)

Apollo Mission
1961

Thomas Joseph Kelly (’58) led the team that designed and tested NASA’s first Lunar Module used for the Apollo 11 mission

1962

Francis Crick (Postdoctoral fellow with the Protein Structure Project during the ’53-’54 academic year) won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his co-discovery of DNA structure.

DNA
1967

Joseph L. Owades (’44, ’50) hit upon the formula for making the world’s first light beer.

Joseph Owades
1969

After Apollo 11 carried Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, to the Moon, Jay Greene (‘64) manned the Flight Dynamics Console during the descent phase.

1970

Handheld laser barcode scanner invented by Jerome Swartz ‘63, ‘68 and Shelley Harrison ‘66, ‘71

1973

Renamed Polytechnic Institute of New York  (acquired the faculty, programs and students of New York University College of Engineering)

Intel chip
1978

Intel’s 8086 chip was introduced; its chief architect was Stephen Morse (’63).

1984

Eleanor Baum (’64) became the first female dean of an engineering school in the United States, at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and 1995 first woman president for  American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).

Eleanor Baum
1985

Renamed Polytechnic University

1992

Former professor Rudolph Marcus won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his contributions to the theory of electron transfer reactions in chemical systems.

1995

Martin L. Perl (’48) won the Nobel Prize in Physics for his pioneering experimental contributions to lepton physics.

Charles Camarda
1996

Charles Camarda (‘74) was chosen as an astronaut candidate by NASA and ultimately logged over 333 hours in space.

The 21st Century

2003

The American Chemical Society designated the Polymer Research Institute as a National Historic Chemical Landmark

2007

Paolo Angelo Nespoli (’88, ‘89) traveled aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery as a mission specialist.

Paolo Angelo Nespoli
2008

An affiliation is forged between Polytechnic and New York University, creating the Polytechnic Institute of NYU and paving the way for an official merger. 

2009

Ursula Burns (’80) was appointed CEO of Xerox, becoming the first African-American woman ever to head a Fortune 500 company.

Ursula Burns
2011

Judea Pearl ('65) garnered the A. M. Turing Award from the Association for Computing Machinery for his fundamental contributions to artificial intelligence.
 

Judea Pearl
2013

Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Ted Rappaport publishes his seminal paper “Millimeter Wave Mobile Communications for 5G Cellular: It Will Work,” paving the way for next-generation mobile communication.

Ted Rappaport
2013
Noted physicist Katepalli Sreenivasan becomes the dean of the school.
2014

Merger with New York University becomes official - name changes to the NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering

Chandrika and Ranjan Tandon
2015

Chandrika and Ranjan Tandon generously donate $100 million and the school is renamed NYU Tandon School of Engineering

NYU Tandon campus aerial view
2016

CSAW, the world’s biggest student-run cybersecurity event, becomes international with competitions in India, the Middle East and North Africa.
 

CSAW
2018

NYU Tandon's Future Labs (a network of startup business hubs) reports an estimated economic impact on New York City’s economy of $4.06 billion since launching in 2009.