2016 Young Alumna of the Year, Kelly Smolar CE ’07 / ME’11.
Kelly Smolar graduated from Cooper Union in 2007 with a Mechanical Engineering degree. Upon graduation she worked for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey while pursuing her master’s degree at Cooper Union. She then passed her Professional Engineering license in 2012. She is an avid member of the ACE mentoring program as well as Engineers without Borders where she has worked on water services in both Kenya and Ghana since 2012.
Kelly Smolar is currently a Project Manager for Skanska Buildings USA managing the site wide MEPS systems for the redevelopment of LaGuardia Airport. Previously she worked for Tishman Construction and Zubatkin Owner’s Representation where she worked on projects including the construction of One Riverside Park, the Sugar Hill project in Harlem, NY designed by David Adjaye and the 9/11 Memorial Museum. She is married to Chris Gerne, an Art 2007 graduate and currently lives in Brooklyn NY.
She has been active in the Cooper Union Alumni Association since her graduation from The Cooper Union. She began by participating in the annual phonathons and later by participating in the Communications, Nominating and Tellers committees of the CUAA. In 2015, she was elected chair of the Nominating committee and oversaw the nominating process for the special election held in the fall of 2015 for additional Alumni Trustees. She worked passionately on the 1859 campaign launched in 2014. She has consistently advocated for initiatives that support full merit scholarships for Cooper Union Students and has been an advocate for CUAA projects that benefit current students, such as the end-of year pizza parties, and modifying the CUAA constitution to allow CU Seniors to vote in the CUAA elections.It is her long term goal to get the Cooper Union a few seats in the NYC marathon as a mechanism to promote our wonderful institution and merge her two passions of marathon running and fundraising for her alma mater.