Douglas Cook

  • Assistant Professor of Engineering


Professor Douglas Cook is an engineer with a background in human biomechanics. He holds MS and PhD degrees in mechanical engineering from Purdue University, and has been a professor of engineering at New York University Abu Dhabi since 2009.  Dr. Cook has championed the use of stochastic modeling to incorporate important aspects of biological variation into biomechanical models, and has successfully used this approach to gain insights into the biomechanics of the human voice.

Professor Cook now leads a team of engineering researchers at New York University Abu Dhabi where their research focuses on crop biomechanics, an emerging new area of agricultural innovation. Their group’s work has been recognized by publications in major journals, a research grant from the National Science Foundation, and support from Monsanto.

Utah State University2003

Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering

Purdue University2005

Master of Science, Mechanical Engineering

Purdue University2009

Doctor of Philosophy, Mechanical Engineering

New York University

Faculty Fellow

From: September 2009 to August 2012

Research Interests

My research projects focus on the influence of biological variability affects on accuracy and relevance of computational models of biological systems. Specific topics within this broad umbrella include crop biomechanics, modeling of human phonation (voice), research productivity, computational biomechanics, and crop biomechanics.

For the past two years I have been working in the emerging area of crop biomechanics. My research group's research has been published in top journals such as Crop Science and the American Journal of Botany. We are collaborating with plant scientists to help solve the problem of crop failure, and to develop methods for producing stronger, more resilient crops.

Research Grants

“Addressing Corn Stalk Breakage: An Engineering Approach to an Important Agronomical Problem” National Science Foundation.  Personnel: Douglas Cook (PI), Brian Gardunia (Monsanto Corp). Awarded: $306,156

“Systematic Evaluation of Phonation Modeling Assumptions”, National Science Foundation Award Douglas Cook, Byron Erath, and Matias Zanartu. Awarded: $223,000

“Biomechanical analysis of stalk strength for improved phenotyping of late-season lodging” Monsanto Corporation.  Awarded: $120,000