The Energy and Design Research Lab at The Cooper Union, an arts and engineering college in New York City, is probably best known for the Cooper Cooler, which in 1992 became the fastest machine to chill beer, wine, and other beverages: three minutes, from room temperature to frosty cold. It's every college student's dream. And that makes sense, because as it turns out, it was created by students.
Two decades later, the lab's breakout success has positioned it at the center of innovation in a small but important commercial sector—how to make things very cold, very quickly. So what comes next?