About Us

Skip Navigation LinksAbout Us > History

About SUNY Polytechnic Institute

SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) was officially formed on March 19, 2014, when the State University of New York Board of Trustees unanimously approved SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher’s recommendation to merge the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) in Albany and the SUNY Institute of Technology (SUNYIT) in Utica. The transformative merger was the product of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s pioneering vision and leadership to create an entity rooted in academia and capable of driving significant and sustained industrial and economic growth across the State of New York. As a result, SUNY Poly has emerged as the most dynamic and unique institution in the State University System with more than 7,000 scientists, researchers, engineers, students, faculty, and staff.

SUNY Poly represents a new and necessary paradigm for public and affordable higher education in science, engineering, and technology; one that is cognizant and respectful of the customary academic enterprise, while fostering and enabling the fast evolving culture of discovery and innovation in today’s knowledge-driven global economy.

In addition to developing a revolutionary academic model, SUNY Poly has been a critical cornerstone in Governor Cuomo’s high-tech strategy to establish New York State as a global leader in the nanotechnology-driven economy of the 21st century and serves as a worldwide resource for pioneering research and development, technology deployment, education, and commercialization for the international nanoelectronics industry.

SUNY Poly maintains sites across New York State, anchored by two co-equal academic locations and including several technology innovation hubs.

The history of SUNY Poly’s Utica site dates back to 1966, when Upper Division College at Herkimer/Rome/Utica was founded and began offering graduate programs to students using classrooms at a local elementary school.  In 1971, the college began operating in a former mill building in West Utica, which was gradually remodeled into classrooms, offices, and a library.

With growing enrollment, the institution leased three additional buildings in West Utica and one in Rome, and adopted a new name in 1977: the State University of New York College of Technology at Utica-Rome.

In 1981, construction began on a new campus in Marcy.  The first building, Kunsela Hall, was completed in 1984, and the college operated two campuses during a transitional period. In the 1987 fall semester, entering students attended all classes at the new campus. In 1989, the college name was changed again to the “State University of New York Institute of Technology at Utica-Rome.”  Steady growth and construction has continued over the years, including a $13 million student center, a $20 million field house and athletic fields and a $23.5 million residence hall all completed in 2011.

SUNY Poly’s Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, located at the institution’s Albany Nanotech Complex, began as a combined vision of government, academia and industry. The common goal was to propel New York State to a leadership position in technology and economic development. Four key drivers comprised the strategy: select an overarching discipline (nanotechnology), invest in state-of-the-art infrastructure, focus on world-class, hands-on education and training incorporating the entire supply chain, and leverage public-private partnerships.

The first building at SUNY Poly’s Albany site was NanoFab 200 (also known as the Center for Environmental Sciences and Technology Management, or CESTM) and was completed in June 1997. This 70,000 square foot, $16.5 million facility set the stage for the creation of today’s NanoTech Complex, including the $50 million NanoFab South (2004), the $175 million NanoFab North (2005), the $150 million NanoFab East and NanoFab Central (2009) and the $365 million NanoFab Xtension (2013).  Today, SUNY Poly’s Albany Nanotech Complex is a fully integrated research, development, prototyping, and educational facility spanning 1.65 million square-feet and boasting more than $24B in high-tech investments and over 300 corporate partners on site, including IBM, Intel, GlobalFoundries, SUNY Poly SEMATECH, Samsung, TSMC, Applied Materials, Tokyo Electron, ASML and Lam Research.

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s education-driven economic development strategy has enabled construction projects that continue to add to the landscape at both of SUNY Poly’s academic locations.  The Computer Chip Commercialization Center (Quad-C) in Utica represents the first phase of Governor Cuomo’s $1.5 billion Nano Utica initiative, and the $191 million Zero Energy Nanotechnology (ZEN) building in Albany serves as a living laboratory for clean and renewable energy technologies. Both buildings are enabling new groundbreaking academic programs, as well as cutting-edge employment and workforce training opportunities.

SUNY Poly is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III, the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC), and the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC). The current roster of SUNY Poly varsity sports includes baseball, softball, and men’s and women’s basketball, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, and volleyball. SUNY Poly's athletic nickname is the Wildcats.

SUNY Poly operates the Smart Cities Technology Innovation Center (SCiTI) at Kiernan Plaza in Albany, the Solar Energy Development Center in Halfmoon, the Children’s Museum of Science and Technology (CMOST) in Troy, the Central New York Hub for Emerging Nano Industries in Syracuse, the Smart System Technology and Commercialization Center (STC) in Canandaigua, and the Photovoltaic Manufacturing and Technology Development Facility in Rochester where SUNY Poly also leads the American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics. SUNY Poly founded and manages the $500 million New York Power Electronics Manufacturing Consortium, with nodes in Albany and Rochester, as well as the Buffalo High-Tech Manufacturing Innovation Hub at RiverBend, Buffalo Information Technologies Innovation and Commercialization Hub, and Buffalo Medical Innovation and Commercialization Hub.

With access to world-class facilities and innovative career preparation, SUNY Poly offers unique and expanded opportunities for all its students, at both its Utica and Albany locations. The same commitment to cutting-edge academic and research programs that distinguished both institutions in the past makes SUNY Poly a unique, high-tech global leader in public higher education.