Neveen Shlayan

Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering




Sustainable, Mobile, & Agile Connected Communities Lab 

Most major metropolitan cities are vital players in the global race to the development of sustainable smart cities, a key component for thriving economies. Rapid advancements in technology has paved the way for revolutionary concepts that are potentially disruptive to our conventional ideas of what cities, neighborhoods, and transportation systems should look like.  This revolution has been challenging the classical educational model as it pushes, more than ever, the boundaries of multidisciplinary and creative thinking particularly in the face of some of the most pressing issues in our recent global affairs, such as the refugee crisis, global warming and rising political instability. We believe that institutions of higher education can play a major role not only by shedding light, but also by being a part of a global initiative in creating new knowledge that is required of the future workforce in engineering. Therefore, aligned with our institution’s vision, we established the SMAC2 Lab at the Cooper Union as an initiative that facilitates interdisciplinary collaboration and the integration of state-of-the-art technology allowing the development of integrated not only solutions but also creations that reimagine our cities and systems as more economically, environmentally, and socially resilient, hence, sustainable communities. 


BOTH SMAC2 projects "The Cooper Mapper-Autonomous Driving Platform" and "Cooper Hydroponics" WON the COOPER UNION GRANT, April 17, 2019. We are grateful for this support and we look forward to continuing our work on these projects with the Cooper’s Strategic Priorities in mind.

CONGRATULATIONS to the Cooper Mapper Team: Zhekai Jin, Yifei shao, and Minjoon So for winning 1st place in the IEEE Region I, Student Paper Competition, A Multi-sensor Data Fusion Approach for Simultaneous Localization and Mapping, March 10, 2019

NVIDIA DRIVE PX 2 Grant Approved, Nov 13, 2018. This will be used to develop and implement our algorithms that fuse visual and Lidar data for accurate localization using a 16 scan-line Lidar and multiple cameras.



The Cooper Mapper-Autonomous Driving Platform

Cooper Hydroponics 

Tele-existence Robot

Integrated Sensor Platform



Neveen Shlayan 
Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering
The Cooper Union

Dirk Martin (Mark) Luchtenburg 
Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering
The Cooper Union

Mili Shah
Associate Professor of Mathematics
The Cooper Union

Benjamin J. Davis 
Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering 
The Cooper Union

Carl Sable 
Associate Professor of Computer Engineering
The Cooper Union


Undergraduate Students

ZheKai (Scott) Jin (UG 2019, Electrical Engineering)

Simon Shao (UG 2019, Mechanical Engineering)

Dhvanil Shah (UG 2020, Electrical Engineering)

Min Joon So  (UG 2019, Mechanical Engineering)

Yifan (Frank) Zhang (UG 2021, Electrical Engineering)

Liushifeng Chen (UG 2018, Mechanical Engineering)

Jonathan Pedoeem (UG 2019, Electrical Engineering)

Rafi Maueen (UG 2019, General Engineering)


Graduate Students

Denis Shishkov (MS 2020, Electrical Engineering)

Matt Cavallaro (MS 2020, Electrical Engineering)

Tiago Zeitoune (MS 2020, Electrical Engineering)

JiaLun Bao (MS 2019, Electrical Engineering)

William Lim (MS 2018, Mechanical Engineering)



First Robotics Competition Mentorship, The Chapin School All Girls Team.


Projects Descriptions 

The Cooper Mapper-Autonomous Driving Platform

In this project, we are building a full-fledged robot which can perform controlled mapping and fully autonomous driving from a starting point to any designated destination in the map created at 41 Cooper square. Due to the lack of indoor GPS localization in indoor structures, Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) is necessary particularly for applications where the ability to accurately localize without a prior reference is especially crucial. Our goal is to provide the opportunity for university students to learn about and conduct research on autonomous driving technology.

Cooper Hydroponics 

We are working on designing and implementing a hydroponics system capable of growing Salicornia Bigellovi and converting the grown biomass into biojet fuel. Students in the Electrical, Chemical, and General Engineering disciplines are collaborating with Professor Davis and Professor Shlayan to build out a hydroponics system to optimize the growth of Salicornia. In our current stage, we are developing an automated hydroponics system capable of (1) controlling the plant’s light, nutrient, and environmental conditions (2) aggregating sensory and harvest data during the plant’s growth cycle. This system will be able to be interfaced with a dedicated website to allow for remote monitoring. The goal of this current stage is to be able to use the aggregated data to create a "growth recipe” which can be input to the automated hydroponics system to allow for the Salicornia to grow quickly and efficiently. We are using Salicornia because it is an inedible halophyte, meaning that it does not require freshwater to grow and therefore will not disrupt the food ecosystem. 

Tele-existence Robot

This project is an initiative started by mechanical and electrical engineering students in an attempt to make a difference in the way by which elderlies, and anyone with physical disabilities, interact with the world.  This project integrates various technologies such as virtual reality, live 3D video streaming, data stream network and gesture tracking into a single product to achieve telepresence. We are developing a completely mobile robot that can be remotely controlled to interact with objects in its surrounding. A screen or VR headset will display video from the robot's camera to the user. The mobile robot also tracks head rotations and has a robotic arm controlled by gestures performed by the user.

Integrated Sensor Platform

We are currently developing an integrated sensor platform IoT (internet of things) –based network for detection of population flow and assessment of local environmental and structural health. In addition, we plan to utilize the existing sensor infrastructure and open data projects that are commonly available in metropolitan cities in order to make informed decisions about engineering and architectural design and construction with regards to livability and resource accessibility of underprivileged communities through the development of data-based models. We will be addressing issues related to making use of space, energy dependency, access to resources, and space esthetics.