2022 - The Year in Highlights

2022 was a year to remember, a celebratory time when Columbia Engineering renewed and strengthened our community both on campus and globally. 

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Columbia Engineering Graduates at 2022 Columbia Engineering Class Day

This past summer, the School celebrated its first in-person Class Day and Commencement for students in three years. Members of the Class of 2020 and 2021 also returned from across the globe for a Celebration of Classes. The annual Senior Design Expo resumed, with seniors once again gathering to showcase their capstone projects. We also celebrated the announcement of a new permanent dean, Shih-Fu Chang, to lead the School into our next phase of growth and impact, and in the fall, we welcomed the Class of 2026 and incoming graduate students. 

Awards and Honors

Columbia Engineering Professors and National Academy of Inventors inductees Elizabeth Hillman, Shih-Fu Chang, and Jeannette Wing

Our faculty continues to be recognized with some of the most prestigious awards in science and engineering. Alfred V. Aho, Lawrence Gussman Professor Emeritus of Computer Science, and Toniann Pitassi, Jeffrey L. and Brenda Bleustein Professor of Engineering (computer science), were elected to the National Academy of Sciences; Martin Reiman, professor of industrial engineering and operations research, was elected to the National Academy of Engineering; and Henning Schulzinne, Julian Clarence Levi Professor of Mathematical Methods and Computer Science, won a Lifetime Achievement Award from SIGCOMM. Three faculty members were elected to the National Academy of Inventors:  Elizabeth Hillman, Herbert and Florence Irving Professor at the Zuckerman Institute and professor of biomedical engineering and radiology; Jeannette Wing, executive vice president for research at Columbia University and professor of computer science; and Shih-Fu Chang, Dean of Columbia Engineering and Morris A. and Alma Schapiro Professor. Eight junior faculty members also received NSF Early Career Development (CAREER) Awards.

Research for Impact

A bustling New York City intersection.

Columbia Engineers continued to address some of the most challenging questions of our time with groundbreaking research and the establishment of major centers. A team led by Andrew Smyth, Robert A.W. and Christine S. Carleton Professor of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, won a $26 million dollar NSF Engineering Research Center grant for Smart Streetscapes to make cities more sustainable and livable. Engineering faculty also launched new centers in the neuroscience of decision making and digital finance and technologies. Roboticists created a robot that can build a model of itself without human assistance, and Columbia researchers discovered a potential way to treat obesity by using cationic nanomaterials to target and remodel fat cells. 

Innovation in Education

Three dental students providing treatment to patients.

While research at the intersection of different disciplines is a hallmark of the School, we also actively pursue unique joint programs across Columbia University and with leading schools around the world. This past summer, Columbia Engineering and Columbia Business School launched a new dual-degree program targeting students who wish to advance to leadership roles in technology and business. The program allows students to gain a master of business administration and an executive master of science in engineering and applied science in 20 months. An innovative doctoral program to cultivate a new generation of dental scientists was announced with the College of Dental Medicine and the School also announced global dual degree programs with National Technical University of Athens and Ecole Polytechnique in France, as well as a dual Master’s program focused on data science and business analytics with France’s ESSEC Business School and CentraleSupélec.

Expanding Opportunity

The 2022 Columbia Engineering SURE cohort

Columbia Engineering is also expanding opportunities for students throughout the pipeline, from K-12 to college and beyond. This summer, the School expanded its SURE program in partnership with Amazon, a research program intended to give underserved students research and industry experience, as well as guidance and resources to plan for careers in STEM. Alum and head of Mediacom Rocco B. Commisso ‘71SEAS, ‘75BUS generously gifted the School with a new scholarship to benefit up to 20 students annually.          

As Columbia engineers head into the new year, we have much to celebrate and many more new milestones and opportunities to look forward to.