Robert Dell

Director, Center for Innovation and Applied Technology


Prof. Robert Dell is the Founding Director  the Laboratory for Energy Reclamation and Innovation at the Cooper Union, where he is also Adjunct Professor of Mechanical Engineering. His most recent appointment at Cooper Union is Director, Special Project on Select Patent Monetization. Prof. Dell recently was Cooper Union's  Director of the Center for Innovation and Applied Technology, and the Research Fellow  for the C.V. Starr Research Foundation. Other recent appointments include Guest Lecturer with the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in Mexico City, and Advisory Board Member with Borealis GeoPower Inc. in Canada and Visiting Scientist with Iceland's Keilir Institute of Technology.

Over the last 15 years 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 13 completed Masters Theses, and has one current graduate students.

Prof. Dell was the Principal Investigator for numerous research grants from Consolidated Edison, and was 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 given open lectures at MIT, Harvard, Columbia University, the New York Hall of Science,the University of Iceland, the University of Reykjavik  and the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City.

 Prof. Dell is First Inventor on eleven patents that are owned by the Cooper Union. He is the First Author of numerous research papers for venues including the International Conference of Experimental Mechanics, 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 39 years he has been a land use official for the Town of Orangetown (population 50,000) in southern New York State. Prof. Dell served as a Member of the Architecture and Community Appearance  Board of Review (ACABOR) for 21 years and 12 years as its Vice Chairman. For the last 19 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 in 2011, he was a candidate for Town Council.

His sustainable visual art installations are the subject of numerous reviews and articles, including The New York Times, Sculpture, Leonardo, and Iceland Review. Prof. Dell's over 100 Installations and exhibitions include Harvard University,  MIT, Tufts, Lehigh University, New Jersey City University, Yellowstone National Park, museums,  and commercial galleries in the United States. There were additional installations at Iceland's  Great Geysir, the Reykjavik Municipal Art Museum, Seltun Hot Springs, and a permanent installation at Reykjavik's Perlan experience center. Prof Dell's theatrical scenic and set design work from 1985- 2001 includes the Metropolitan Opera, Broadway productions, motion pictures and television, where his work was honored by the Emmy Academy. The Smithsonian Institutionhas established a permanent  archive, "The Robert Dell Papers"for sculptor and engineer Robert Dell,  for his contributions as a "major American artist" and "a progenitor of sustainable art." MIT School of Architecture + Planning's  The MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology (ACT) Archive established the Robert Dell papers as part  their permanent archive.

Prof. Dell received Bachelors and  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., His  other academic appointments include Visiting  Research Fellow with the University of Iceland,  Honorary Research Associate with the New York Botanical Garden. Prof. Dell was Research Fellow and Project Director with the School of Architecture and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Latest News

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology School of Architecture + Planning's  The MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology (ACT) established "Robert Dell Papers" as part of their permanent  archive, 2019
  • IntechOpen , Thermoelectrics for Power GenerationBook Chapter, accepted for publication,Thermoelectric generator using passive cooling, Robert Dell,, Michael Thomas Petralia, Ashish Pokharel, and Runar Unnthorsson,  IntechOpen Limited, London England, hard cover and open source, 2019

  • Smithsonian Institution,  permanent  archive, "Robert Dell Papers" Washington, D.C, Robert Dell drawing acquired,  2019

  • EuraSEM(European Society for Experimental Mechanics), ICEM (International Conference of Experimental Mechanics), Experimental methods in Geothermal Engineering,Session Co-Organizer, Brussels, Belgium,2018

  • University of Iceland,Creativity and Invention: A Systematic Approach to Simple and Elegant Solutions, Open Lecture, Reykjavik, Iceland, 2018

  • GRC (Geothermal Resources Council)  GRC Annual Meeting, 3G Security Camera Network Using a Thermoelectric Generator Powered by a Geothermal Steam Pipe in Iceland, Frist Author, Salt Lake City, Utah,2017
  • National Autonomous University of MexicoInstituto de Ingeniera Invention a Systematic Approach to Simple and Elegant Solutions in Geothermal,  Open Lecture, Mexico City, Mexico, August 2017

  • National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Ciudad Universitaria, Mexico City, Guest Lecturer, 2017
  • Eleventh patent awarded, March, 2017   United States  Patent and Trademark Office US 9,590,160  Thermoelectric Power Generation Device
  • Borealis GeoPower Inc. Valemount, British Columbia, Canada, Advisory Board, 2016 -
  • The Atlantic Magazine,The Atlantic Roundtable Working Summit on Energy, underwritten by NRG Energy and hosted by The Atlantic Magazine; "a gathering of energy thought leaders from all sectors - academia, industry, media, etc- to discuss the future of energy" Participant, March, 2016


  • 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            Canadian Patent   CA 2685530   C 2015/02/24  BIMETALLIC LEAF SPRING AND CLAMPING DEVICE
  • 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 
  • Canadian Patent   CA  2671995   C 2015/02/24  THERMOELECTRIC POWER GENERATION DEVICE

Selected Honors and Awards                                                                                           

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology  (MIT), work acquired for the permanent CAVS Special Collection
  • 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.                                                                                                        
  • Scientific American    Recognized as: "one of the leading professional researchers in the New York City area".