Press Release

Polytechnic University Appoints Dr. Erich E. Kunhardt as New Provost

Alumnus and Former Faculty Member Returns to the Polytechnic Community


Polytechnic University has appointed Dr. Erich E. Kunhardt, an alumnus and former faculty member, as the new provost. In his new position as provost, Dr. Kunhardt will head up the Polytechnic faculty, helping with the implementation of the school’s new initiatives. Dr. Kunhardt previously served at Polytechnic University, where he was a professor of electrophysics and physics and director of the Weber Research Institute.

Dr. Kunhardt most recently was at Stevens Institute of Technology, where he was dean of the Arthur E. Imperatore School of Sciences and Arts and the George Meade Bond Professor of Physics. Throughout his career, Dr. Kunhardt has served on numerous research and development projects relating to particle and plasma physics. At Stevens, he pioneered the establishment of its Plasma Physics Laboratory and introduced the original concept and term Technogenesis, whereby students, faculty and industry jointly nurture new technologies from concept to marketplace realization.

"Having Dr. Kunhardt join us at Polytechnic is a crucial step to furthering Polytechnic’s position as a leading university for our new age," says Jerry M. Hultin, president of Polytechnic University. "We look forward to having him strengthen out technology platform and move forward with the university’s new initiatives.”

In 1999, Dr. Kunhardt helped create the PlasmaSol Corporation, based upon the Atmospheric Pressure Capillary Discharge Plasma technology he developed while at Stevens with Dr. Kurt Becker. He was named a finalist by Discover Magazine’s Innovation Awards (2001) committee in the Environmental Category for the development of the technology used by PlasmaSol Corporation for environmental remediation.

"I look forward to working with the innovative and hardworking faculty and staff at Polytechnic," Kunhardt says. "I want to increase the pursuit of knowledge in American universities and Polytechnic, with their history of producing great thinkers and inventors, is the perfect leader."

Dr. Kunhardt holds a doctorate in Electrophysics from Polytechnic University and a bachelor’s and master’s degree from New York University. In 1992, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Russian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Electrophysics. He is also the recipient of numerous awards, including the Thomas A. Edison Patent Award and the Halliburton Foundation Excellence in Research Award.