Charles E. Schaffner, CE’41 and PDE’52

Schaffner-Charles-1Charles Schaffner, CE’41, was a professional engineer and industry leader. He graduated from Night School of Engineering in 1941.  He later returned to The Cooper Union for the Professional Engineering Degree. He also received a MSCE degree from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn and a BSSE degree from the University of Illinois. He was a committee chairman in the Building Research and Advisory Board, (BRAB). He was President and Director Emeritus of the Building Congress. He contributed enormously to the betterment of New York City, where he spent his entire career, and to the design, construction and real estate community.

Charles was the writer of New York City’s Building Code in the 1960’s and led the drafting of the NYC Fire Code which has been widely copied by other cities.  He was a strong advocate of adding energy conservation requirements to the building code. He gave the opening remarks at the  Energy Conservation and Fire Safety in Buildings Conference held in Washington, DC on June 10 and 11, 1981. He served as Chair of the Building Research Advisory Board.  He was the Executive Vice President and Director of Syska and Hennessy, Inc. in New York City.  Before joining Syska and Hennessy, he was a professor of Civil Engineering at Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn.

He served as president of The Cooper Union’s Alumni Association and he served on The Cooper Union Board of Trustees.

He passed away in July 12, 2002.

He won several of The Cooper Union’s highest honors, including the Presidential Citation (1966), Alumnus of the Year (1973) and Gano Dunn Medal (1982).  He was inducted into The Cooper Union Hall of Fame in 2009.



Proceedings of the Conference on Energy Conservation and Fire Safety, 1981

Stationary Diesel Engines For use with Generators to Supply Electric Power, National Academy of Sciences, 1977

Solar Heating and Cooling of Buildings, The National Research Council, 1977

National Academy of Sciences, Annual Report, 1976-77