Rensselaer Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Michael O’Rourke Is a Snow Load Expert

Troy, N.Y. — With numerous winter storms impacting multiple portions of the country, there is much concern regarding roof collapses due to snow loads. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute professor of civil and environmental engineering Michael O’Rourke wrote the book that is critical for preventing roofs from caving in under the weight of snow. Snow Loads was published by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) in 2010.

"Radio-Genetics" Triggers Gene Expression with Magnetic Field

Troy, N.Y. — It’s the most basic of ways to find out what something does, whether it’s an unmarked circuit breaker or an unidentified gene — flip its switch and see what happens. New remote-control technology may offer biologists a powerful way to do this with cells and genes. A team at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Rockefeller University is developing a system that would make it possible to remotely control biological targets in living animals — rapidly, without wires, implants, or drugs.

21st Century Technological Education

Rensselaer’s School of Engineering is committed to educating engineers prepared to solve society’s grand technical challenges with integrity and excellence.

Our mission is to educate leaders of tomorrow for technology-based careers; to celebrate discovery, and the responsible application of technology; to create knowledge and global prosperity.

Global Challenge-Linked Research

Research at Rensselaer's School of Engineering

In 2024 Rensselaer will be celebrating 200th anniversary! Throughout our history, we have been guided by our founders’ vision – “applying science to the common purposes of life” – a vision that defines what engineers do: understand and harness science and mathematics to solve the grand challenges facing the world.


The School of Engineering faculty members are committed to undergraduate and graduate education, and all hold the highest attainable degree in their fields. They are active in highly impactful and pioneering engineering research and act as key consultants to industry and the government.

Awards & Recognition

Rensselaer's School of Engineering faculty are regularly recognized for contributions to their fields.  

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Design Lab - About Us

Mission Statement

The O.T. Swanson Multidisciplinary Design Laboratory (a.k.a. the Design Lab) at Rensselaer provides clinical real world experiences for students that build confidence and teaches integration of discipline-specific knowledge with practice on challenging multidisciplinary design projects. As educators, we strive to meet the needs of today's young as they become engineers. We show students what it means to be an engineer and how engineers help people and contribute to society.