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Edwin A. Cowen



Cowen joined the Cornell faculty in November 1997. He did his undergraduate work at Brown University and received his B.S. in Civil Engineering with an emphasis in structures in 1987. He worked for three years at a Stamford, CT based consulting firm, Redniss and Mead, that specialized in site planning/engineering. It was at Redniss and Mead that he got a taste for hydrology, hydraulics and fluid mechanics. Cowen went back to school at Stanford University in 1990 to get an M.S. (1991) and Ph.D. (1997). At Stanford he focused on laboratory based experimental environmental fluid mechanics. He continued on at Stanford as a Postdoctoral Scholar where he turned his attention to field based experimental environmental fluid mechanics before joining the faculty at Cornell in November of 1997. Upon arrival at Cornell Cowen was named the Director of the DeFrees Hydraulics Laboratory, a position he continues to hold. Since 2011 Cowen has become increasingly interested in the multidisciplinary aspects of energy - first motivated by hydrokinetic energy harvesting, which rapidly spread to modern smart energy systems. In July 2013 Cowen was appointed the Faculty Director for Energy at the David R. Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future at Cornell, a position endowed by Kathy Dwyer Marble and Curt Marble in 2016 that he continues to hold.

Selected Publications

Selected Awards and Honors

  • James and Mary Tien, Excellence in Teaching Award (The College of Engineering) 2013
  • Award for Excellence in the Teaching, Advising, and Mentoring of Graduate and Professional Students (The Graduate and Professional Student Assembly) 2012
  • Chi Epsilon Professor of the Year (Cornell University Chapter of Chi Epsilon) 2010
  • John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow (John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation) 2004
  • Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award (National Science Foundation) 2001


  • BS (Civil Engineering), Brown University, 1987
  • MS (Civil Engineering), Stanford University, 1991
  • Ph D (Civil Engineering), Stanford University, 1997