About Me

I am a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Union College in Schenectady, New York.

I am also the Faculty Mentor for our NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Team, the 2014 NCAA National Champions, participants in 5 NCAA tournaments, 2 NCAA Frozen Fours and winners of 4 regular season Cleary Cups and 3 playoff championship Whitelaw Cups in ECAC Hockey.


I have had various other roles at Union College including being the first Director of Engineering, a founder, the first Director of the Bioengineering major degree program and the Chair of the Engineering Division.

I used to be on the faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Mechanics and Engineering Science and, after a forced merger, Mechanical Engineering, at the University of Florida; I also had secondary appointments in Biomedical Engineering and Small Animal Clinical Sciences.  During this time, I was once a Faculty Fellow at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.  Previous to all that, I earned my Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in Madison with a major in Mechanical Engineering, but the vast majority of my coursework was in Engineering Mechanics and my advisors and lab were in Orthopedic Surgery and Rehabilitation.  Way back in the day, I was a Senior Engineer in Structural Research for McDonnell Aircraft (MCAIR) in St. Louis, Missouri.  I earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Missouri in Columbia.  While working as a Design Engineer at MCAIR, I earned my M.S. in Engineering Mechanics from the University of Missouri at Rolla (now, the Missouri University of Science and Technology).

You can reach me at rapoff@union.edu or stop by my office 218B Steinmetz Hall.

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