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Date: Jun 14, 2012
Simon Ben-Avi Named Founding Dean of Hofstra’s New School of Engineering and Applied Science
University Invests More than Four Million Dollars in New Engineering Facility
Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY-- President Stuart Rabinowitz today announced the appointment of Dr. Simon Ben-Avi, an Acting Dean at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art - one of the nation’s top-ranked engineering schools, as the founding dean of the University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science.
Dr. Ben-Avi, Acting Dean of the Albert Nerken School of Engineering at Cooper Union since 2009, will begin his new duties on August 1. He began his career at The Cooper Union in 1984, as a professor of electrical engineering, and later became an Associate Dean in 1997. He also served as the institution’s C.V. Starr Distinguished Professor of Research for a decade. In addition to his academic expertise, Dr. Ben-Avi has experience as an entrepreneur, a consultant, and has performed clinical trials and research projects with medical institutions, including Lenox Hill Hospital.
The Cooper Union is a small, private institution in New York City that is among the nation’s most selective colleges. Its engineering school is consistently ranked in the top ten nationwide, most recently ranked fourth best in the country by U.S. News & World Report.
“The appointment of Dr. Ben-Avi as the inaugural dean of our School of Engineering and Applied Science signals loudly and clearly Hofstra University’s goal of becoming a leader in science and engineering education, and to act as an incubator for research and development that prepares students for a complex marketplace,” President Rabinowitz said.
“We’ve found a top-flight scholar and researcher who understands and embraces the essential link that must exist between academics and real-world application,” Rabinowitz said. “I am delighted that he will be leading this pioneering effort.”
Before his tenure at The Cooper Union, Dr. Ben-Avi served in several positions at England and Switzerland, including The Queen Victoria University of Manchester, the University of Kingston upon Hull, King’s-Westfield College of The University of London and The Institute for Semantic and Cognitive Studies (Switzerland).
He earned his bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and his master’s degree in Digital Electronics and Computer Engineering from The University of Manchester. He holds a doctorate in Computer Science from The Queen Victoria University of Manchester.
“It is a rare opportunity to create a new educational model, building on the existing strengths of an outstanding national institution of higher education, partnering with other science and art programs,” Dr. Ben-Avi said. “I look forward to the challenge of creating an engineering program and curriculum that connects students to industry and theory to application, encourages research and innovation while making a real difference in our region and our world.”
Hofstra launched its School of Engineering and Applied Science in June 2011, combining and expanding the University’s existing Engineering and Computer Science departments to develop a curriculum that emphasizes high-tech research, practical work experience and interdisciplinary study. One key feature of the new school will be a co-op program in which partnerships with a network of industry leaders will offer students substantial work experience before they graduate.
In conjunction with the new school, Hofstra is investing over $4 million to upgrade facilities for the engineering and applied science school. More than three million dollars of this investment will be used to renovate labs, classrooms and offices. The University is also building a new, $1 million biomedical engineering lab funded by the Empire State Development Corporation and recommended by the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council. The renovations will be complete by the fall, and was funded in part by a New York State grant, ENGine, in which Hofstra and Stony Brook University have partnered to increase the number of engineering students in the region.
The new school makes Hofstra only the third university in the New York metro area to have schools of law, medicine and engineering (the others are Columbia University and New York University).
Hofstra University is a dynamic private institution of higher education where more than 12,000 full and part-time students choose from undergraduate and graduate offerings in liberal arts and sciences, business, communication, education, health and human services, honors studies, a School of Engineering and Applied Science, a School of Law and the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine.