Dean of Engineering, Cooper Union Engineering school
Inducted in 1996
Eleanor Baum was the first female dean of engineering in the United States when she was appointed the post in 1984 at Pratt Institute. She was also the first female president of the American Society for Engineering Education and is an influential writer and speaker on issues related to women and minority students in higher education and other engineering education issues.
Eleanor served on many advisory committees for universities, corporations, and government. Her positions include: director of Avnet, Inc. and of Allegheny Energy; president of Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET); chair of the New York Academy of Sciences; board member of the New York Building Congress; board member of the United States Trust Co.; and trustee of Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.
Eleanor’s success in supporting student engagement in engineering and education has granted her guest appearances on numerous radio and television programs, and the press frequently quotes her as an authority in these areas.
She has scoured community colleges and high schools in urban centers in the Northeast to find women and minority students with college potential who face obstacles in attending college. Eleanor has convinced large numbers of students that they can attend college and ensures that they complete their courses of study. She has attracted many students to the engineering profession.
Eleanor earned her PhD from Polytechnic University in New York. Union College, Trinity College, Notre Dame University, the Colorado School of Mines, and New Jersey Institute of Technology has awarded her with honorary doctorates.
She is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Society of Women Engineers (SWE), American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), and ABET. Her many awards include the following: the ASEE centennial medal; the Upward Mobility award from SWE; the Steinmetz medal from IEEE; the Townsend Harris medal from City College of New York (CCNY); the Achievement Award from Michigan State University; the Woman of Distinction Award from the National Conference of Student Leaders; the outstanding alumnus awards from CCNY and Polytechnic University. Crain’s New York Business has again named Eleanor to their list of the 100 most influential women. The National Women’s Hall of Fame inducted Eleanor in 2007. Eleanor is the dean of engineering at Cooper Union Engineering School in New York and is the executive director of the Cooper Union Research Foundation.
To Learn More
Women of the Hall