Prof. Alex Couzis to lead The Grove School of Engineering as Interim Dean

Prof. Alexander Couzis

Alexander (Alex) Couzis, Professor of Chemical Engineering at CCNY was appointed interim Dean of the Grove School of Engineering effective July 1, 2020. A member of the CCNY faculty since 1994, Alex received his BS from the National Technical University in Athens, Greece and his MS and PhD degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan, all in chemical engineering.   Before joining CCNY, he was a member of the research staff at International Paper developing novel polymeric materials and coatings.

At CCNY, he established an internationally recognized research program focused on the study of the dynamic phenomena at solid-liquid interfaces. The Couzis laboratory has been a vibrant training ground, as he has mentored 19 PhD students to date. Many will recall that from 2008 to 2013, Alex served as chair of the Dept. of ChE at CCNY; his tenure as chair included significant renovations of teaching amd laboratory space in the department, establishment of the CUNY Energy Institute, and hiring of a number of new faculty.  His colleagues recall his upbeat energy and open door policy, was established and housed within the chemical engineering department.  

Talent like Alex Couzis has is always in demand: in January 2013, he took a special leave to take on the role of Chief Technical Officer of Urban Electric Power (UEP), a clean energy start-up company commercializing advanced zinc anode rechargeable battery technology developed at the CUNY Energy. In November 2014 he was also appointed CEO by the board of directors.

In January of 2018, we were very happy that Alex returned full-time to City College, while maintaining an advisory role at UEP.  It did not take long before he was bringing significant new support to the Department, as in September 2019, Alex and colleagues (Profs. Messinger, Biddinger, and Banerjee) were awarded a NASA grant of $3 million over three years.  

As he took over from our former Dean Gilda Barabino as Interim Dean of the Grove School, Alex noted the difficulties we face in the COVID pandemic and emphasized his commitment to the CCNY mission “I am honored and humbled to be appointed interim dean of the Grove School of Engineering at the City College of New York, during so perilous a moment in our city’s history. … Great obstacles lie ahead, yet … we will persevere and reaffirm our shared mission and values.”  He continued, “I want to thank Dean Gilda Barabino for her thoughtful leadership... under Dean Barabino’s leadership enrollment reached at an all-time high even as CCNY has been forced to make do with budget cuts. …

As interim dean, my goal is to build on that momentum and use our collective talents to navigate through a new reality for engineering education in a post-COVID-19 world.”  Alex closed his remarks on taking helm as Interim Dean with a bit of his indomitable energy and spirit: “I look forward to working with each of you as we continue to navigate the many challenges with an unwavering spirit of practicality, innovation, and optimism. There will be challenges ahead, but our work at the Grove School of Engineering is now more critical than ever. I am inspired by this opportunity, and I hope you’ll share your thoughts, insights, and recommendations in the days to come.”