Robert Dell

Director, Center for Innovation and Applied Technology


Prof. Robert Dell is the Founding Director of the Center for Innovation and Applied Technology and the Laboratory for Energy Reclamation and Innovation at The Cooper Union, where he is also Adjunct Professor of Mechanical Engineering.  He is Visiting Scientist with the Keilir Institute of Technology, Visiting Academic with the University of Iceland and the Research Fellow for the C.V. Starr Research Foundation.

Over the last decade at Cooper, Prof. Dell has taught a wide variety of courses including: Senior Capstone Design, Selected Topics in Mechanical Engineering,  Special Research/Summer Study, Drawing and Sketching for Engineers, Selected Advanced Topics in Mechanical Engineering  and Interdisciplinary Research Problem. He has co-advised 7 completed Masters Theses, and has 6 current graduate students.

Prof. Dell was the Principal Investigator for numerous research grants from Consolidated Edison, and is the Project Research Scientist on a New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) grant for regenerative braking in elevators. In 2015, the  United States Department of Energy appointed  Prof. Dell as a Technical Consultant.

He has been a guest speaker and presenter at venues including MIT, Harvard, Columbia University, the New York Hall of Science,the University of Iceland,  the Keilir Institute of Technology, the European Union Education Foundation (CHEER), and the University of Reykjavik  His many previous research appointments include the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) , the New York Botanical Garden, the Cooper Union Research Foundation, and the University of Iceland Research Stations.

 Prof. Dell is First Inventor on twelve patents  that are owned by the Cooper Union and is the First Author of numerous research papers for venues including The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), The Geothermal Resources Council, The Geo-Heat Center at the Oregon Institute of Technology, and the Cooper Union Research Foundation.

For the last 34 years he has been a land use official for the Town of Orangetown (population 47,000) in southern New York State. Prof. Dell  served as a Member of the Architecture and Community Appearence  Board of Review (ACABOR) for 21 years and 12 years as its Vice Chairman. For the last 12 years he has been a Town Planner as a Member of the Planning Board. This service has included 2 years as Planning Board Chairman. After winning the primary, he was a candidate for Town Council.

His sustainable art installations are the subject of numerous reviews and articles, including  venues such as The New York Times, Sculpture, Leonardo, and Iceland Review. Prof. Dell's Installations have occurred from 1990-2001 at Harvard University,  MIT , Tufts, Lehigh University, New Jersey City University, and Yellowstone National Park, in the United States.There were additional instllations at the Great Geysir, the  Reykjavik Municipal Art Museum,  Krisuvik , and a permanent installation at Perlan in Iceland. Prof Dell's theatrical  visual work from 1985- 2001 includes the Metropolitan Opera, broadway productions, moton pictures and television where his work was honored by the Emmy Academy. The Archives of American Art of the Smithsonian Institutionhas established the "Robert Dell Papers"as a permanent  archive for  contibutions as a  "major American artist.."

Prof. Dell has a Bachelors and a Masters degrees from the State University of New York. He is a Member of ASME, the Order of the Engineer, the American Welding Society and the Geothermal Resources Council. Prof. Dell was a McDowell Colony Fellow,  an American Scandinavian Foundation Fellow, and a Fulbright Senior Research Fellow.

Latest News

  • United States Department of Energy, (DOE), SBIR/STTR Phase 0 Assistance Program, Technical Consultant, 2015-
  • Geothermal Resources Council, GRC Annual Meeting, Enhanced Agricultural Production from an Intensive Bottom Heat System Using Waste Geothermal Hot Water and Steam Condensate in Iceland , Robert Dell,  Runar Unthorsson , Stan Wei, William Foley, presented and published, Portland Oregon, 2014                           *awarded:  Outstanding Technical Session Presentation  
  • Geothermal Resources Council, GRC Annual Meeting, Web Accessible Security Camera System Independently Powered by a Point of Use Thermoelectric GeneratorUsing Geothermal Pipes as a Heat Source, Robert Dell, Stan Wei, Runar Unnthorsson, William Foley ,Mitchell Cady, Malcolm Dell, Michael Isakovand, Alex Livermore, Portland Oregon, 2014     
  • ASME IMECE2014-39077, Supercapacitors and Battery Configuration for Utilizing a Thermoelectric Generator to Power a Web-Accessible Robotics Monitoring System,  Robert Dell,  Runar Unthorsson , StanWei, William Foley, presented and published, Montreal, 2014
  • ASMEIMECE2014-38384, Developing a Methodology for Comparing the Energy Efficiency of Differing Elevator Type James Bos ,Robert Dell, Brad Nemeth, Stan Wei, William Foley, presented and published, Montreal, 2014
  • ASME IMECE2014-39066, Repurposing Waste Steam and Hot Water to Accelerate Plant Growth in Heated Green Roofs Robert Dell,  Stan Wei, Raj Parikh, Runar Unthorsson, William Foley, presented and published, Montreal, 2014
  • University of Iceland, "Innovation ", Reykjavik Iceland, open lecture, 2014               

  • Keilir Institute of Technology, "Innovation", and "Heated Ground Agriculture in Iceland open lectures, 2014


  • Bimetallic Leaf Spring and Clamping Device, owned by the Cooper Union,  First Inventor, (with Stan Wei and Tae Young Lee)   European Patent Agency,     EP 2 148 991 B1  International Patent  
     Registered in France, Germany and England                                                                                                         United States  Patent and Trademark Office     US 8,418,342 R2         US Patent
  • Thermoelectric Power Generation Device, owned by The Cooper Union, First Inventor, (with Stan Wei and George Sidebotham)    European Patent Agency,    EP 2 095 440 B1  International Patent 
    Registered in France, Germany and England                                                                                                          United States  Patent and Trademark Office     
    US 8,829,326 B2          US Patent


Recent Honors and Awards                                                                                           

  • Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Art,"Robert Dell Papers",    permanent  archive established for  contibutions as a  "major American artist.." and a  "progenitor of sustainable art", Washington, D.C.,2014                           
  •  2012 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition,                                      Recommended for: Best Paper, journal publication and Honors.                                                                                                 
  • Geothermal Resources Council,  35th GRC Annual Meeting,                                                                                   Awarded: Outstanding Technical Session Presentation                                                                                                                                                                                                               
  • Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design (CUISD),  Awarded: Special Projects Grant                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
  • Scientific American    Recognized as: "one of the leading professional researchers in the New York City area".