Taha F. Marhaba, Ph.D., P.E,

This past year, the CEE Department lost a true ambassador to civil engineering, Professor Cheng-Tzu Thomas (Tom) Hsu. Born in Taiwan, Tom received a BS in Civil Engineering from Cheng-Kung University (1964), M.S. in Engineering Mechanics from the College of Chinese Culture (1967), M.S. in Civil-Structural Engineering from McGill (1969), M.S. in Applied Mechanics from Yale (1972) and a Ph.D. in Civil-Structural Engineering from McGill (1974). Tom joined our department in 1978. He was instrumental in developing the department's experimental research that had impact on society's infrastructures. For example, he investigated the causes of transverse concrete deck cracking and developed a design solution for new bridge decks. His development of the Maturity Method for the prediction of concrete strength helped gain a better understanding of the interaction of temperature and strength gain in a variety of concrete structures in all seasons. Tom received several US patents with the latest being with his former Ph.D. students, Drs. Sun Punurai and Pedro R. Munoz, a patent entitled "System and Method of Use for Composite Floor" and another one entitled "Composite Floor System Having Shear Force Transfer Member". He was a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and of the American Concrete Institute (ACI), where he significantly contributed to numerous technical committees, including Reinforced Concrete Columns, Experimental Analysis and Deflection of Building Structures. Among his honors and awards is the ASCE Raymond C. Reese Research Prize.  


As we move forward we acknowledge that the achievements of our/your CEE department are fueled by its people, the faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends who work together to engineer a better future for us all. Over the course of the current academic year, CEE students, faculty, staff and alumni have once again distinguished themselves and the department with their outstanding accomplishments on many fronts. I am proud to represent such a talented department that is committed to excellence and service both to the NJIT community and the world beyond our campus borders.  


CEE faculty, staff and students continue to make exciting and significant contributions in key strategic research areas of resilient infrastructure systems, intelligent transportation systems and sustainable environment. Our research centers, such as the Intelligent Transportation System Resource Center (ITSRC) is working with federal and state transportation agencies, the regional academic research community, and the private sector on innovative ways of reducing congestion and improving mobility, safety, and the efficiency of transportation systems in support of sustainable regional growth and economic development. Our externally funded research continues to grow, quadrupling over the last six years. In fiscal year 2014, our research expenditures accounted for approximately one-fifth of the total university's faculty-led research.    


The undergraduate enrollment is at an all-time high of about 550 students. Our current total enrollment in both undergraduate and graduate programs is about 850 students. We have redesigned some of our first-year and senior-year classes to include experiences that give our students the opportunity to interact with representatives from industry, including alumni, and to contribute solutions to real-world problems. Our MSCE online program continues to grow NJIT-CEE ambassadors across the nation.  


We are very proud of our students and their accomplishments in academics, research and service. We continue to support CEE's numerous student chapters as they develop outstanding future leaders.   The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) students again placed first in last year's Metropolitan Region Steel Bridge competition that we hosted and 12th nationally competing against the best teams from across the country. We will host the regional competition on campus again this year on Saturday April 25th, so please join us in supporting our bridge team! Also come out and support the Concrete Canoe team on Sunday, April 26th at Cooks Pond in Denville, New Jersey. Our NJIT Student Chapter of American Water Works Association (AWWA), recently recognized as NCE's Outstanding Student Chapter for this year, is working on community awareness projects embedding sustainability everywhere.  


Please feel free to share any feedback you may have by e-mail to CEE@njit.edu.

As always, I appreciate and welcome your support of CEE, its programs and initiatives, and extend the invitation to all of you to attend our annual Department Graduation and Awards Ceremony, which will be held on May 19th at NJIT. Please rsvp to CEE@njit.edu.











Advisory Board




The CEE Industrial Advisory Board represents a diverse cross-section of civil and environmental engineering professionals, including design consultants, construction managers, contractors and attorneys.
Jerome F. Gallagher, Jr., Esq. '80 Chair
Norris, McLaughlin, Marcus, PA
Ted Cassera, PE, '72
Omland Engineering Associates
David Good, PE, '78, '92
Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers

Andre Grebenstein, LEED AP '95

The Martin Group

Gregory Kelly, PE
Parsons Brinckerhoff

Rocco Palmieri, PE, PP, PLS '72, '77
Partner Engineering and Science

Joseph Stanley, PE, PP, '78, '85 Hatch Mott MacDonald
Wei Wang, PE, '95
Urban Tech
Michael Wright, PE, PP, PMP '79 Arora and Associates, P.C.

Wednesday, April 15 | Deadline for 2015 CEE Awards Nominations for both students and alumni

Saturday, April 25
| ASCE Steel Bridge Competition

Campus Center Ballroom, NJIT 

Sunday, April 26 | ASCE Concrete Canoe Competition
Cooks Pond. Denville, New Jersey 

Thursday, April 30 | Adjunct Professor Reception for anyone interested in teaching in the CEE Department

5:30pm - 8:00pm, 112 Eberhardt Hall, NJIT

* RSVP TO:  cee@njit.edu by April 22nd

Tuesday, May 19 |CEE Graduation & Awards Ceremony

1:00pm, *RSVP to cee@njit.edu by April 22nd



2014 Student Scholarships Recipients


John A. Reif, Jr. Scholarship  

Dillion Collins


Jenny Endowed Scholarship  

Sally Peterson


CEE Campaign Scholarship  

Sylvain McGregor


Robert Medina '74 Family Scholarship

Gladis Oseguera


Schoor DePalma Scholarship  

Brian VanNortwick


Hunter Memorial Scholarship  

Ara Gharibian


CEE Annual Scholarship  

Eugene Listwan


Turner Construction Company Scholarship

Andrew Speight

Rita Exposito

Jadier Adams-Beltran

James Farkas



2014 Construction Industry Advancement Program Scholarship

Leo Caminiti

Vishal Patel

Yolima Montanez

Alexis Espinoza       

Timothy Mathews

Rajeet Das

Jeyson Flores

Wayne Van Orden 



2015 Scholarships


Jenny Endowed Scholarship

Catherin Simpson


John A Reif, Jr. Scholarship 

Dillion Collins

Marcos Sosa

Marco Pacheco

Ismael Mercado

Tiaja Harley

Richard Peters

Alan Viera

Johanna Khemraj

Cesar Alvarado

Gerardo Valle

Oscar Chaves


CEE Campaign Scholarship  

Joseph Byrne  

Claudia Roldan


Turner Construction Company Scholarship

Sherif Kishk

Kristina Espineli

Ed Ricciardi

Hella Talas

Zachary Jordan


Turner Construction Company Construction Management Scholarship  

Stephanie Pacifico

Michael Amodio

Juan Cordova


Robert Medina '74 Family Scholarship

Mario Barahona


Schoor DePalma Scholarship

Besim Tonuzi


Hunter Memorial Scholarship  

Alexis Espinoza 


CEE is now on Twitter! Follow Us!

Talina Knox
Tracey Regan

Johanna Moroch
Adaoha Uzoho

Special Thanks:
NJIT Office of Strategic Communications
NJIT Office of Alumni Relations
CEE faculty/staff, students & alumni

CEE Students Recognized at the 17th Annual NCE Salute to Engineering Excellence Awards


In recognition of their exceptional academic performance, leadership and service to the NJIT community, the Newark College of Engineering (NCE) each year bestows awards on outstanding engineering students, clubs, faculty, alumni and staff.  The 2015 honorees include three Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) students, a student group and an alumnus. Congratulations are extended to:


Anthony Calvano
Anthony Calvano 
A senior from Milltown, Anthony received two of NCE's highest honors.  He has been named the Outstanding Senior in CEE and he is also NCE's Outstanding Senior for the year.  Anthony credits his interest in civil engineering to his frequent car trips on the New Jersey Turnpike.  "My family would often attend New York Jets games and on our drives on the turnpike to and from the stadium, along with the great view of New York and Newark, I would look out the window at the highways and bridges."  It was during these rides that he realized he wanted to work on the basic infrastructure that forms the backbone of our region. 

Left to Right:
Mateusz Tchorz & Kevin Alvernaz

Kevin Alvernaz of Newark and Mateusz Tchorz, of Wallington, members of the NJIT chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), are the recipients of the 2015 Saul K. Fenster Innovation in Design Award. The award recognizes their influential role as captains of the 2015 NJIT/ASCE Steel Bridge Competition Team.(Read more) 

American Water Works Association (AWWA) 

AWWA NJIT Student Chapter with Advisor Taha Marhaba


NJIT is the first university in the state to host a student chapter of the American
Water Works Association (AWWA), which is now thriving on campus with more than 30 active members.  In recognition of its substantial contributions to the professional development of its members and the needs of the NJIT community through its activities, as well as its success in advancing the goals of NCE, the NJIT Chapter has been named the 2015 NCE Outstanding Student Chapter. (Read more)

Gladis Oseguera

2015 Provost Doctoral Assistantship Program


Gladis Oseguera, a senior in the Albert Dorman Honors College, has been selected to receive a Provost's Doctoral Assistantship award, which grants her full tuition, fees, and a stipend for the first two years of graduate study at NJIT. Born and raised in Honduras, Gladis was the valedictorian of her high school class and a standout volleyball player who played for her country's national team from 2007 to 2013.  After moving to the United States, she attended Bergen Community College (BCC) from which she received an associate degree in Engineering Science.  She then transferred to NJIT to pursue a bachelor's degree.  "Receiving financial support through both the Presidential and ASCE Scholarships and the Albert Dorman Honors College made it possible for me to attend NJIT," says Oseguera.
NJIT NSPE Student Chapter Organizes Fundamentals of Engineering Exam (FE) Study Sessions

The NJIT student chapter of the New Jersey Society of Professional Engineers (NJSPE) encourages students and those already working in the field to become licensed Professional Engineers. The first step in the licensure process is to pass the Fundamentals of Engineering exam known as the FE. Currently a Staff Engineer in Water Resources at H2M Architects + Engineers, Brian Van Nortwick, a founding member of the NSPE student chapter in 2013, says that one of his motivations was the desire to help students prepare for the exam based on his experience prepping for it. He held weekly review sessions that proved to be enormously helpful. Indeed, many say these sessions helped them pass the exam with ease, bringing them closer to their goal of becoming a Professional Engineer. Taking the exam is a degree requirement in civil engineering, so the review sessions are essential to help keep students on track for graduation.



Each year, CEE students are recognized for their outstanding academic performance, leadership and service to the academic community. The 2014 recipients were:


First-Year Student Award: Hella Talas

Sophomore Excellence Award: Andrew Margiotta

Junior Excellence Award: James Farkas

Senior Excellence Award: Lucas Martin

Student Leadership Awards: Stan Agradnov, Edwin Puma and Rita Exposito

Masters Excellence Award: Brian Shiels

Doctoral Excellence Award: Cecilia Kelnhofer-Feeley

Tom Jaworski, P.E., M.ASCE

Meet CEE's Undergraduate Academic Advisor


In the fall of 2014, Tom Jaworski, P.E., M.ASCE joined the John A. Reif, Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering as the full-time academic advisor for undergraduate students. Tom brings a broad range of experience to the position from his practice as a bridge design engineer and project manager for domestic and international projects, as well as from his years as an adjunct professor and guest lecturer in NJIT's CEE Department where he began teaching in 2008. He has also served as an industry technical advisor for graduate and post-graduate students and as a project partner at the Advanced Technology for Large Structural Systems (ATLSS) Research Center at Lehigh University. His areas of research at Lehigh included metal fatigue/failure and life-cycle cost analysis. He has also served as a member of a Transportation Research Board of the National Academies structures subcommittee. He has published and presented research papers at the International Bridge Conference in Pittsburgh, Pa., and at the International Structures Conference in the city of Bristol in the U.K.


Tom, who graduated from NJIT in 1985 with a B.S. in civil engineering, is currently a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and chairman of the ASCE Infrastructure Report Card for New York State Bridges. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and is certified by the Structural Engineering Certification Board (SECB). (Read more) 

Professor Jay Meegoda and Host Steve Abubato (Standing behind Meegoda)

CEE Professor Discusses Haiti's Water Crisis on Caucus

Jay Meegoda, NJIT professor and director of the CEE Geotechnical Testing Laboratory was featured on the New Jersey television program Caucus.  Hosted by Steve Abubato, Caucus combines in-depth documentary coverage with studio interviews and discussion.  The Shows discussion was about the water crisis in Haiti. "Water in Crisis: Haiti's Most Urgent Health Problem, can be viewed by clicking here.

Royal Society of Canada appoints CEE Professor to Assess the Impact of Oil Spills on Northern Waters 


Professor Michel Boufadel
Michel Boufadel, CEE professor and director of the Center for Natural Resources Development and Protection, has been appointed by the Royal Society of Canada to a panel of experts charged with evaluating the impact of crude oil spills in northern water bodies, including the Arctic Ocean.

The panel, convened at the request of the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, is designed to help the oil industry improve spill preparedness and response capabilities.

"This panel is focused on the spills of all oils in all water bodies, especially in the Arctic," Boufadel said. "Due to global warming, oil exploration in the Arctic has become feasible along with the shipment of oil through the Northwest Passage, the water body between Canada and the Arctic that used to be frozen throughout the year, but has now become open for navigation in the summer." Boufadel specializes in the impact of oil spills on coastal regions.


The Department Welcomes Two New Staff Members


Talina Knox

We are pleased to announce that two new staff members have joined CEE. Talina Knox comes to us with 20 years of experience at NJIT managing recruitment and retention programs for underrepresented groups in STEM. Talina will be leading the efforts to recognize the outstanding work being done by CEE students, faculty, staff and alumni. This issue of the CEE digital newsletter is the result of her work. As the new Academic Support Coordinator, she invites everyone to participate in this effort by sharing any news you may have, including news tips, story ideas, awards, announcements, upcoming events, photos, and press releases for inclusion in future issues of the newsletter. You can contact her directly at talina.n.knox@njit.edu or stop by her office at 241 Colton Hall if you'd prefer to discuss items in person. Knox says, "Thank you to everyone who contributed to this issue of the newsletter."



Nakul Ramanna Sanjeevaiah

With a masters degree in structural engineering from Visvesvaraya Technology University in Belgaum, India and a Ph.D. in civil engineering from Old Dominion University in Virginia, Nakul Ramanna Sanjeevaiah is the department's new Assistant to the Chair for Labs. Among various other projects, Nakul's main focus will be to support the department's laboratory research needs, the modernization of the labs and the training/guiding of faculty, staff and students on how to safely operate laboratory equipment. Most recently, Nakul worked as a research associate and co-lab manager at the University of Delaware.   Please join us in welcoming both Talina and Nakul to CEE.

Aerial Data Collection Device
Ground Control


The Intelligent Transportation Systems Resource Center (IT SRC)


Established at NJIT in 2013 through the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT), the Intelligent Transportation Systems Resource Center (ITSRC) is the primary research and technology resource for the NJDOT's Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS ) Engineering bureau.  Directed by Professors Lazar Spasovic and Steven Chien, the primary mission of ITSRC is to assist NJDOT in enhancing the performance and efficiency of New Jersey's surface transportation systems. There are several  ITS projects that have been subcontracted to industry  partners and university centers such as Cambridge Systematics,  Parsons Brinckerhoff, Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, AECOM Technical Services, CH2M Hill, CoVal Systems, Math Factory Corp, Maser Consulting, P.A. and the Rutgers University Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT). 



CEE Professor Wen Zhang Shares first-hand knowledge of the Value of Undergraduate Student Research
Marah Angelica Magpile, Christina Nelson, and Julissa La Madrid
The NJIT Undergraduate Research and Innovation Seed Grant (URISG) Program provides up to $500 to student teams to purchase project supplies to demonstrate the proof of concept of their research proposal and the development of a prototype of their project. The moment Dr. Wen Zhang received the Call for Proposals inviting undergraduate students to participate in the spring 2015 URISG program; he immediately invited students from his Introduction to Environmental Engineering (EnE 262) class to participate. He knows all too well from his personal experience of the great opportunity being offered to them. Three students in his class volunteered immediately and the three-person, all female team of CEE sophomore students Marah Angelica Magpile, Christina Nelson and Julissa LaMadrid was formed. "I decided to sign up for this project because I wanted a hands-on experience in my field and felt it was a good opportunity to start with interesting research. This has really benefited me a lot because it has opened a lot of doors, thanks to Professor Zhang, to other opportunities in the environmental engineering field. It's a really good starting experience and I learned a lot" says team member Marah Angelica. The topic of the team's research proposal is based on some of Dr. Zhang's ongoing research work creating innovative reactive membrane for algal separation and pretreatment for bio fuel production. (Read more)

The New CE 494/495 Capstone Class


The CE senior capstone class provides students with the sort of design experience they would get on the job and includes areas such as structures, geo-technical engineering, transportation and planning, and sanitary and environmental engineering.   The class simulates the submission and acceptance processes used in the design phases of a real-world civil engineering project and familiarizes students with the preparation of sketch plans, preliminary engineering design and all phases in between to the end of a project. At the end of the project, students prepare written reports and oral presentations in defense of the project. 


Special congratulations and thanks are extended to CEE alumni Nicholas DiNichilo, Ted Cassera, Joseph Fleming and Frank Perrone in recognition of their many accomplishments and sustained service to CEE.

Nicholas DiNichilo

Distinguished Alumni Receive ASCE Lifetime Achievement Award


The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) this year bestowed one of its highest honors, the Outstanding Projects And Leaders (OPAL) Lifetime Achievement award, on Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) alumnus Nicholas DeNichilo '73 '78 and Mechanical Engineering (ME) alumnus Edward Schmeltz '71.  NJIT alumni, DeNichilo and Schmeltz, have made substantial and lasting contributions to the field of engineering. The awards, given annually, recognize engineering leaders who have made a significant difference in one of five key areas, including construction, design, education, government, and management.


Nicholas DeNichilo, the president and CEO of Hatch Mott MacDonald, received the 2015 OPAL award for management for his dynamic leadership of one of the country's largest and most influential engineering firms. Edward Schmeltz, senior vice president and director of maritime and special projects for AECOM Technology Corp., won the 2015 OPAL award for design for his marine engineering work around the globe. (Read more) 

Long-time CEE Industrial Advisory Board Chair & 2015 NCE Outstanding Alumnus is Honored    

(Left to Right): John Schuring, Walter Konon, Rocco Palmieri, Taha Marhaba, Ted Cassera, Jerry Gallagher, Joseph Stanley, David Good
In recognition of his career achievements, commitment to NJIT and many years of service to CEE as chair of its Industrial Advisory Board, Ted Cassera, PE, PP '72, an engineer with Omland Engineering Associates who also had a long, distinguished career with Schoor DePalma, received a plaque of appreciation from CEE Chair Taha Marhaba. Cassera was also named an NCE Outstanding Alumnus and was honored at the NCE Excellence program on March 30th. 


During his 38-year career, Cassera, of Fairfield, has deservedly become known as one of the top engineers in New Jersey. He spent 35 years with Schoor DePalma, where he was responsible for the design and management of major site-development projects including sports arenas, two state prisons and numerous corporate headquarters. He joined Omland Engineering Associates Inc., based in Cedar Knolls, in 2010. He has twice been appointed a member of the New Jersey State Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors. A member of the NCE Board of Visitors and past chairman of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering's Industrial Advisory Board, Cassera received a B.S. in civil engineering from NCE in 1972. Cassera will join the ranks of accomplished alumni who have been honored by NCE for their achievements.  



Joseph Fleming

2014 CEE Distinguished Alumni Award


The CEE Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes NJIT alumni for their exceptional achievements in career, public service and volunteer activities that bring honor to the CEE department. Joseph Fleming was honored with this award at the 2014 CEE end of semester awards program. 

Born in Newark, Fleming commuted to campus either on his bike or on the bus. He was the first in his family to graduate from college, earning a civil engineering degree from NCE in 1976. Over the course of his life, his strong work ethic, combined with his NCE education, helped him carve out a successful career.

Joseph J. Fleming PE, PP is an executive vice president for Paulus Sokolowski & Sartor, LLC, which he joined in 1984. He was previously a senior vice president of civil engineering, helping manage the department's growth from 26 to more than 80 engineers, surveyors and technicians. He oversees civil engineering for all PS&S's nine locations, and serves as principal-in-charge of PS&S's most recently added location in Yonkers, N.Y.
Frank Perrone

2014 CEE Distinguished Young Alumni Award


Tunnel Engineer with the New York office of Hatch Mott MacDonald, Frank Perrone, PE '04, '06 is the recipient of the 2014 CEE Young Alumni Award. This award was presented to Frank by CEE professor Walter Konon, who taught Perrone. During the presentation, Konon shared many fond memories of Perrone's time as an undergraduate student. "I remember Frank being an outstanding student who demonstrated great leadership skills, particularly as the Captain of the 2004 Steel Bridge Team" recalls Konon. "The 2004 Steel Bridge competition was held at NJIT. At that time, NJIT was not the Steel Bridge powerhouse it is today and several of the bridges had already been disqualified. When we assembled our bridge and it came to load testing, there was some sort of problem the judges discovered, disqualification looked like a possibility. Frank immediately assessed the situation, communicated with the judges, and his calm and cool response under the pressure of managing a difficult situation while all eyes were on him, made a lasting impression on me as to the type of person that Frank was" shared Konon.