Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) is America’s oldest technological research university, located in the city of Troy, New York. It also has two additional campuses, in Hartford, New York, and in Groton, Connecticut.
It was founded by a former New York State Senator, Stephen Van Rensselaer, and the educator and geologist, Amos Eaton, in 1824.
The university offers students over 145 programmes at bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels across schools of Engineering, Science, Architecture, Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, and the Lally School of Management. It also offers an interdisciplinary degree in Information Technology and Web Science.
With the motto ‘Why not change the world?’ RPI fosters a spirit of discovery and innovation. Among the university’s faculty members are National Science Foundation Presidential Faculty Fellows, and members of the National Academy of Engineering, and the National Academy of Sciences.
RPI’s research activity focusses around five key areas: biotechnology and life sciences; computational science and engineering; nanotechnology and advanced materials; energy, the environment, and smart systems; and media, arts, science and technology.
Notable RPI alumni include the engineer George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr., who in 1893 built the first Ferris Wheel for the Chicago World's Columbian Exposition; David L Noble, inventor of the floppy disk; and Washington Roebling, chief engineer of the Brooklyn Bridge.
One of the university’s founding aims was to apply science and technological discoveries to “...the common purposes of life.” It's a philosophy still in evidence today with RPI laying claim to a great many graduates who have gone on to construct canals, roads, bridges and skyscrapers.