NYU Tandon’s “Faculty-Engineers in Residence” Program Is Thriving

Faculty members and staff

Faculty members and staff gathered at a reception for the new Faculty-Engineers in Residence (F-EIR), a unique opportunity for faculty to work alongside the NYU Tandon Future Labs.

There are several advantages to being a tenant company in NYU Tandon’s network of Future Labs: office space in the heart of a fast-growing tech hub, access to an exceptionally talented and motivated pool of interns, introductions to new markets and sources of capital ... the list is a long one.

And if you’re a start-up trying to gain a foothold in an ever-evolving tech landscape, one of the most exciting aspects of being affiliated with NYU Tandon becomes apparent as soon as a thorny technical problem arises: the ability to get solid advice from a Faculty-Engineer in Residence.

In the Faculty-Engineer in Residence (F-EIR) program, professors from various disciplines, many of them with extensive entrepreneurial experience of their own, hold regular office hours at the Future Labs, ready to contribute their extensive domain-specific expertise to the success of the tenant companies.

“That’s invaluable to our start-ups,” explains Steve Kuyan, the managing director of the Future Labs. “But our Faculty-Engineers in Residence benefit, as well. Their affiliation with our tenant companies strengthens their connection to New York City’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, gives them an on-the-ground view of which skills are in-demand as their students prepare to enter the workforce, provides them with the impetus to integrate entrepreneurship into their curriculum, and allows them to introduce students to internship opportunities and the chance to apply their classroom learning to real-world problems.”

To lend further support to the professors and their students, the Future Labs provide a generous annual stipend to fund entrepreneurial activities for use by each Faculty-Engineer in Residence, offer generous in-kind resources, and allow a student venture to use flexible incubator space for up to three months.

Vice Dean for Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Kurt Becker is a strong proponent of the program and asserts, “In the modern drive to create technology that will benefit society, there can be no chasm between academic research and real-world industry and entrepreneurship. Faculty-Engineers in Residence are engaged in building bridges between those realms, with all involved cooperating to move innovations from the lab to where they can do the most good. It’s a win-win-win situation — for the companies, the professors and their students, and the world as a whole.”

2018 Faculty-Engineers in Residence

Justin Cappos (Department of Computer Science and Engineering)Justin Cappos, Department of Computer Science and Engineering

“My research and teaching centers on internet privacy and security, and I plan to incorporate more work from the start-ups into my classes.  This will build on our efforts to teach students how to do effective security assessments, by looking at the security of small, real-world companies rather than merely doing academic exercises. It’s a very beneficial level of partnership and engagement for them.”

Ryan Hartman (Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering)Ryan Hartman, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

“I’m happy to be returning to the program for a third year, because it gives my students a chance to be a part of the entrepreneurial scene in Brooklyn, which continues to be the fastest growing tech hub in the nation. We were involved in past years with Alexapath, a startup that’s gone on to great success with a next-generation diagnostic platform that has the potential to greatly improve medical care in the developing world, and my students and I are looking forward to contributing to other new companies making a social impact. We all appreciate the unique opportunity we’re getting to carry out Tandon’s mission of creating technology that benefits the world.”

Oded Nov (Department of Technology Management and Innovation)Oded Nov, Department of Technology Management and Innovation

“This is my first year as a Faculty-Engineer in Residence, and I'm looking forward to working with the Future Labs, involving my students with the start-up companies, and giving them a first-hand taste of what entrepreneurship and innovation are all about in the real world. Some of my research has involved studying social media use, urban noise pollution, and other factors that affect modern life, and I’m excited to forge partnerships that could bring world-changing solutions to market.”

Ivan Selesnick (Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering)Ivan Selesnick, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

“I hope to transfer the latest research in signal processing and data analysis to commercial devices in biotechnology, green energy, and other technology. My goal is to help entrepreneurs with the computational and algorithmic aspects of their innovations.”


Mark Skwarek (Department of Technology, Culture and Society)Mark Skwarek, Department of Technology, Culture and Society

“I work with augmented- and virtual-reality technology, and much of it is still speculative. I’m looking forward to working with Future Labs companies to show my students what’s happening with AR and VR out in the business ecosystem: how it’s being commercialized and what practical applications might be found for their own work once they are ready to move it out of the lab.”

Julian Togelius (Department of Computer Science and Engineering)Julian Togelius, Department of Computer Science and Engineering

“My research focuses on artificial intelligence as it pertains to game design, but AI is a growing field with utility in many different areas. You could even say there’s something of a revolution going on, so I think there will be many companies that can benefit from working with me and my students. And while video games are a perfect test-bed for AI methods, my students and I will benefit from having an expanded range of creative technology from the tenant companies to work with.”

Paul Torrens (Department of Computer Science and Engineering)Paul Torrens, Department of Computer Science and Engineering

“My group at NYU Tandon has always drawn on the latest developments in industry to help us find innovative solutions to the questions that we examine. Increasingly, we are adopting concepts from the startup milieu to advance our work in new ways. We are looking forward to forging formal relationships with the entrepreneurs and companies in the Urban Future Lab to weave even more synergy between academic and commercial research & development.”