Two students looking at engineering equipment


New York Tech Joins KEEN Network

May 15, 2023

As a member of KEEN, the College of Engineering and Computing Sciences will have access to tools that faculty can use to develop and implement programs to advance “the three C’s” of an entrepreneurial mindset: curiosity, connections to integrate information from many sources, and creating value.

The College of Engineering and Computing Sciences has become the newest member of KEEN, the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network—a national partnership of engineering faculty focused on developing and promoting innovation in engineering education for the good of society.

KEEN is an expanding network of more than 55 current partner institutions across the United States with a shared vision of equipping engineering students with not only technical skills but an “entrepreneurial mindset” so that when students graduate, they are prepared to create personal, economic, and societal value through a lifetime of meaningful work.

“As a college of engineering and computing sciences that prides itself in educating students to look at the world with an inquisitive and creative mind, developing an entrepreneurial mindset is in line with our mission of delivering to the workplace new generations of doers, makers, inventors, and innovators,” says Dean Babak D. Beheshti, Ph.D.

As a partner in this university network, New York Tech will participate in shared KEEN curriculum resources, develop and implement programs on its two New York campuses in New York City and on Long Island, and commit to advancing “the three C’s” of an entrepreneurial mindset (curiosity, connections to integrate information from many sources, and creating value) to the broader engineering education community.

The partnership with KEEN is spearheaded by Jane Polizzi, assistant dean of administration and operations, and Xun Yu, Ph.D., chair and professor of mechanical engineering.

“We’re excited that New York Tech is joining the national network of KEEN partners to help advance our shared mission,” says Doug Melton, program director at the Kern Family Foundation, which sponsors KEEN. “The curriculum of the College of Engineering and Computing Sciences promotes creative and critical thinking across all programs, helping foster an environment that is conducive to preparing engineers to identify opportunities that create significant, positive societal impact.”

According to Beheshti, several elements are integral to the college’s success. These include faculty dedication to teaching, scholarship, and service; the support of alumni, advisory boards, friends, and employers; and the college’s state-of-the-art facilities, which provide students with a solid foundation for achievement. “Gaining access to tools that will enable faculty to help instill an entrepreneurial mindset in our students will also contribute to our long-term success,” he adds.

“KEEN developed the entrepreneurial mindset framework to supplement the engineering skills that faculty already teach,” says Polizzi. “Engineering colleges typically teach design and technical skills. An entrepreneurial mindset includes the elements of opportunity and impact. The broader approach results in our students being open to opportunity on the front end while considering the impact of their designs on the back end. Including this full scope adds value for the employers of our graduates.”

Being accepted as a member of KEEN is the latest in a long line of important developments for the College of Engineering and Computing Sciences. With an enrollment of approximately 2,200 students, it is the largest of New York Tech’s six schools and colleges, comprising eight undergraduate and nine graduate programs, including two Ph.D. programs added in the past three years. It is among the top 50 undergraduate engineering degree programs nationally, according to the 2022–2023 U.S. News and World Report rankings. It has received more than $2.6 million in research award funding since 2021.