Lance Collins
Lance R. Collins
Message from the Dean

This is a most exciting time to be at Cornell Engineering. Engineers have always been problem solvers, but today’s emphasis on breakthrough thinking that transcends traditional departmental boundaries brings together the best minds from across the disciplines to invent disruptive technologies: Robotic devices that can think, swim, play soccer; wireless sensor networks to monitor and control our environment; living machines small enough to navigate and repair human tissue or dispense drugs; strategies for curing Alzheimer’s and heart disease; chip-sized systems for rapid detection of deadly pathogens.  

At Cornell Engineering, research questions established paradigms as intellectually rebellious students and faculty challenge accepted explanations and inherited habits of mind. Discovery stretches across disciplines to find surprising answers to complex and challenging problems in such fields as nanoscience, biomedical engineering, molecular and cellular biology, advanced materials, and information science.  

The impact of first-rate research on the educational enterprise is immeasurable. Our engineering students, empowered by this atmosphere of discovery, learn from and work with faculty members who are pushing the limits of engineering. Participation in this research-enhanced environment opens a world of possibilities for students and produces inspired individuals: critical thinkers and creative leaders to address the opportunities and challenges of tomorrow.  

Adding to the capabilities of specialized laboratory and research facilities across the Engineering Quad, Cornell Engineering has Duffield Hall, one of the country’s most sophisticated research and teaching facilities for nanoscience and nano-engineering—continuing our preeminent leadership in the field since its inception more than 30 years ago. 

Faculty and students also break the intellectual barriers to finding solutions at the national research centers on campus, including the Center for Nanoscale Systems, the Cornell Center for Materials Research, the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source, the Cornell Nanoscale Facility, the Cornell Theory Center, and the Nanobiotechnology Center-many of which were established and are led by engineering faculty members. Cornell is home to more than 100 interdisciplinary centers, institutes, laboratories and programs that support research and enhance education. 

The forward focus of our college stands on a tradition of innovation; with our roots in the college of mechanic arts—one of the original units of Ezra Cornell’s university—we have a proud history of creativity, integrity, and success. Grounded in more than a century of invention and excellence, Cornell Engineering is committed to breaking from the past to build a better future. This is the calling, the responsibility, and the opportunity in being a Cornell Engineer.  

We invite you to break the mold and sweep aside the barriers to progress. We welcome the opportunity to share with you our community of talented individuals and their commitment to excellence in research, education, and service.