NYU commits to Tandon expansion with new billion-dollar investment

NYU announced that it will spend $1 billion on the Tandon School of Engineering in an effort to compete with top engineering schools nationwide.

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Samson Tu

The NYU Jacobs Academic Building is located at 6 MetroTech Center. (Samson Tu for WSN)

Yezen Saadah, Deputy News Editor

NYU president Andrew Hamilton announced a long-term $1 billion investment in the Tandon School of Engineering on Wednesday, Nov. 30, weeks after the university’s September purchase of 3 MetroTech Center, a 350,000-square-foot building adjacent to preexisting academic buildings at its Brooklyn campus. It will support this investment by employing 40 new full-time tenure-track faculty members and expanding new research spaces. 

“Engineering is absolutely vital to solving so many of society’s current challenges, from climate change to a secure and equitable digital ecosystem to treatment of cancer and other debilitating conditions,” Hamilton said in a statement about the investment. “Advancing our engineering program requires space, and 3 MetroTech is perfectly situated to help support our ambitions for progress and expansion at Tandon’s Downtown Brooklyn campus.”

The billion-dollar investment comprises $600 million in past funding and an additional $400 million in new facilities. Tandon dean Jelena Kovačević stressed that the funding will help to expand opportunities among its graduates and develop research facilities and interdisciplinary areas of study. She said this includes a new sustainable engineering initiative, which will pursue innovations in sustainability, transportation and pollution. 

According to The New York Times, Kovačević also said that the investment will not lead to higher tuition fees, but will assist in separating Tandon from engineering schools in terms of prestige and international status. 

Tandon has steadily risen in prestige in the past decade, which NYU has suggested is due to a $100 million donation to the school by Indian American entrepreneur Ranjan Tandon and his wife, Chandrika, in 2015, before which the school was known as the Polytechnic School of Engineering. Chandrika Tandon, who sits on NYU’s board of trustees, posted online on Wednesday that the latest funding commitment would continue the school’s  “stunning upward trajectory.”

“Planning for the specific uses for 3 MetroTech is in its earliest stages, but will build on additional plans for renovating 6 MetroTech — Rogers Hall — and lab spaces in the medical corridor in Manhattan, all of which will enable expansion of new interdisciplinary, collaborative lab and research spaces for robotics, biomedical engineering, chemical and biomolecular engineering, and nanofabrication as well as space to accommodate large growth in experiential learning opportunities,” the announcement said.

NYU has recently expanded in other ways to advance its science and technology programming and influence. In September, the university announced a partnership with the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, a top-ranked science university. The two schools will collaborate on research and establish a joint campus by 2025.

Contact Yezen Saadah at [email protected]