2023 Election: Robert Buxbaum ChE’76

Robert Buxbaum ChE’76

Running for: Council

Campaign Statement

It would be an honor and a privilege to serve Cooper Union in any way, and serving on the Alumni Council seems particularly wonderful. I was a fan of Peter Cooper many years before attending college there, having read a biography when I was in 5th grade, and his autobiography (twice), along with some presidential speeches. Some months ago I wrote this essay about Peter Cooper. http://www.rebresearch.com/blog/my-hero-peter-cooper-of-new-york-1791-1883/

I thought the school was run exceptionally well during the time I was there. It did an exceptional job for a broad spectrum of very bright, motivated students with a minimal budget (relatively) and minuscule overhead. It did this while charging no tuition, and running an almost balanced budget. To the extent that I could, I would try to see the place run as he would — more or less, as it was run when we were there. To the extent that the alumni council is involved in this, I’d like to help.

For our students, I strongly believe in entrepreneurship, in starting your own company. I started my own company, as did five of my six, Cooper roommates. For a company, or for a student, I believe in financial responsibility, and in the importance of cultivating uniqueness. For engineers, uniqueness involves patents and craftsmanship. It is only this way that you can make money while improving your products and treating your workers well. I also believe in beautiful engineering design. As part of my work on the council, I would be happy to oversee young entrepreneurs, or campus research, or I could teach (occasionally). I have a particular affection for thermodynamics and separations. I’d also be happy to arrange get-togethers in South East Michigan.


After Graduating Cooper in 1976, Chemical Engineering, I went to Princeton University, got a PhD *82, and went to teach at Michigan State University. After ten years teaching and doing research in Chemical Engineering and Physiology, I started an engineering products company, REB Research, specializing in hydrogen purifiers and membrane reactors. I hold 13 patents and have published 73+ reviewed papers including in Science, Nature, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. I live in Oak Park, Michigan, married with 3 children.