Robert Cohen — a three-time alumnus at New Jersey Institute of Technology and longtime member of the College of Engineering’s board of visitors and the school’s alumni association — has been named chair of the school’s board of trustees, it announced Friday.
A Basking Ridge resident, Cohen earned both a B.S. and M.S. in mechanical engineering (’83, ’84) and an M.S. in engineering management (’87) at NJIT.
Cohen’s connection to the school made him an ideal choice, the school said. He has been an influential member of the university’s leadership, offering strategic guidance through his service on NJIT’s board since 2018.
“Without question, it is a privilege and honor to serve my alma mater in this capacity, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to help lead the college into the future,” he said. “As the new chair of NJIT’s board of trustees, I commit to you that my fellow board members’ and my efforts always will be guided by the greatest interests of NJIT’s students, alumni, faculty and staff.”
Cohen is president of digital, robotics and enabling technologies at Stryker Corp. — one of the world’s leading health care technology companies, with more than 40,000 employees distributed across 11 countries. This position includes the driving of Stryker’s enterprisewide digital health care strategy, accelerating innovation on new surgical robotics and enabling technology platforms and applications, and utilizing high-speed connectivity to benefit operating rooms of the future.
As an engineer, Cohen’s contributions to the growth and success of NJIT are joined by his decorated 35-year-plus career in the medtech industry. He holds more than 25 patents and is noted for developing novel biomaterials for implantable medical device use, innovating orthopedic protheses designs using metal 3D printing, bringing bone-cutting surgical robotics into hospitals for total joint procedures, and leveraging digital health clinical data to assist in improving patient outcomes.
Cohen has led numerous collaborations with NJIT faculty in the research & development and commercialization of medical devices and equipment to advance robotics-assisted joint surgery, while also playing an integral role with Stryker in currently employing more than 100 NJIT alumni throughout the Fortune 500 company’s New Jersey-based facilities.
Among his many professional distinctions, Cohen is a fellow to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering; a Research and Development Council of New Jersey board member; and a Stryker R&D Fellow.
In addition, he was recently named a “Champion of the C-Suite” by ROI-NJ, which is awarded to executives of companies in New Jersey who are influencers, trailblazers, innovators and exemplary leaders creating a better tomorrow for the Garden State’s business community.
Cohen also has been a strong advocate in championing diversity and inclusion programs at Stryker and advancing STEM education, especially in New Jersey. Stryker has partnered with the NJIT Center for Pre-College Programs in an effort to get more high school students interested in a technical career path. Cohen has served the Newark community with STEM education opportunities locally through a Stryker-NJIT-Newark partnership that sponsors Malcolm X Shabazz High School’s new Engineering Academy.
Cohen succeeds Stephen P. DePalma ’72, who stepped down after a distinguished seven-year term that included many new buildings and a major overhaul of the campus, including the building of the Wellness and Events Center.