Summer 2017 eNewsletter
Message from the Chair   chairmessage

This past May, we proudly congratulated 128 undergraduate and 94 graduate students who received their degrees at Commencement. The latest American Society for Engineering Education figures place CEE 18th in the nation for the number of undergraduate degrees awarded annually.  CEE students, faculty and staff continue to advance in the three interdisciplinary research areas of intelligent transportation, environmental and infrastructure systems. 

I am pleased to share with you some of the details in this summer 2017 issue of the CEE Newsletter.   As always, the CEE Department welcomes your support of its programs and initiatives.

Taha F. Marhaba, P.E., F.ASCE
(973) 596-2444
(973) 596-5790 fax

In This Issue
Advisory Board
Representing 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, P.E., '72
Bowman Consulting

Anthony Castillo, P.E., '95 '02
SESI Consulting Engineers  

David Good, P.E., '78, '92 
Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers

Andre Grebenstein, LEED AP '95,  The Martin Group

Tony DeJohn, P.E., P.P.
WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff

Gareth Middleton, P.E., '93 '04
Tishman Construction, an AECOM Company 
Rocco Palmieri, P.E, P.P., PLS '72, '77, Partner Engineering and Science

Maurice Rached, P.E. 
Maser Consulting 

Ken Sisk, P.E., '95
Pizzarotti IBC
Joseph Stanley, P.E., P.P., '78, '85,  Mott MacDonald

Wei Wang, P.E., '95 
Urban Tech

Michael Wright, P.E., P.P., PMP '79 Arora and Associates, P.C.

Cynthia Gincel 
Tom Jaworski
Tracey Regan
Heidi Young

Special Thanks
Strategic Communications
Office of Alumni Relations
Faculty/Staff, Students & Alumni

The Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) has created a scholarship fund to recognize CEE undergraduates students for their diligent preparation for professional licensure. Donating to this fund will ensure your gift reimburses testing fees to students who pass Fundamentals of Engineering exam.
2017 Scholarship Recipients

CEE Campaign
Aswina Ranasinghe
William Sanchez

Joseph Angeli
Marc Coimbra
Patrick DeLong
Shaun Delaney
James Dietze
Daniel Fryer
Michael Gambardella
Gabrielle Grompone
Connor Hughes
Kevin Laforteza
Christopher Menge
Tuan Nguyen
Onashile Obagbemileke
Andres Osorio-Sanders
Stefanie Pacifico
Lahiru Pathirage
Rebieann Reyes
Mark Ulinski

Cassera Family
Daniel Cirasa

Gallagher Memorial
Joshua Loterena

GZA Corporate
Brandon Lapeyre

Jenny Endowed
Catherine Simpson

Kulhawy '64, '66
Justin Khalawan

Robert Medina '74
Gabriel Garcia

Whittier Hua
Ankur Patel

Peter O'Connor

Quasi Construction
Alessandro Sestito

John. A Reif, Jr.
Cesar Alvarado
Fatima Gamalel-Din
Tiaja Harley
Johanna Khemraj
Ismael Mercado
Richard Peters
Isaac Rodriguez
Marcos Sosa
Dileyanne Spezio

Turner Construction
James Dietze
Calvin Gould
Naveen Kamath
Candice Leung
Timothy O'Donnell
Connor McVey
Christopher Siwczak

Turner Construction Management
Joseph Angeli
Arzu Alimjan
Clara Basanti
Ali Fardos
Aliyar Kasumov
Where are they now?
Read  alumni updates

'87 Anthony Del Vescovo 
'90 Mark Katarniak 
'91 Gregory Kelly
'91 Rajendra Navalurkar 
'93 Kerri Tyerman
'94 Scott Bleeker 
'98 Himanshu Bhatia 
'11 Melissa Salsano 
'12 Muhammad Elgammal
'13 Michael Thomas
Faculty Promotions

to  CEE  faculty 
on  their  recent promotions!

Rongfang Liu
Associate Professor 
to Professor

Wen Zhang
Assistant Professor to Associate Professor

Commencement May 16, 2017

Congratulations to the 128 undergraduate and 94 graduate students who received CEE degrees at this year's ceremony.  Pictured are some of  our grads before their procession into the Prudential Center arena.   


Commencement Reception and Awards Ceremony

Student Excellence awards were distributed at the CEE Department's 7th annual Commencement Reception, attended by students, families, faculty and alumni on 
May 16.  

Awards were presented in recognition of students 
for their outstanding academic performance, leadership and service to the university community. 

Alumni  were also recognized for their continuing contribu tions to the civil engineering field. 

View a list of Award recipients.

Louis Berger Graduate Fellowship

Takudzwa Benox Mugabe

Civil engineering graduate student  Takudzwa Benox Mugabe, a  2017-2018 Louis Berger Fellowship recipient, is working at Louis Berger's transportation division in Morristown.

His  career experience prior to Louis Berger was in Harare, Zimbabwe, working for ProStruct Consulting Engineers, where his father is one of the directors. It was from his father that he first gained insight into the work of a civil engineer.  

Takudzwa: "I am filled with great pride when I hear people discussing the Trust Towers building in Harare because my father was the principal design engineer.  The excellence of the work he produced effectively became an illustration of the fulfillment one could experience pursuing a career in civil engineering.  I am happy to say this co-op experience with Louis Berger constitutes my first steps in pursuing that career."

Takudzwa's  assignment at Louis Berger has been vastly different than previous work because the structural design is focused almost exclusively on bridges.  He is responsible for drafting reports and creating drawings from the "concept development" stage to the "final design" phase. This activity has provided lessons on clearly conveying information. Reporting is an important aspect of an engineer's work as a good design may be considered inferior if presented poorly.
Freshmen Orientation

Lizzy Sheridan 
Administrative Coordinator
New Student Orientation 
Civil Engineering student Elizabeth (Lizzy) Sheridan serves as an administrative coordinator on the New Student Orientation (NSO) Team and assists incoming CEE freshman.  Lizzy explains her interest in Civil Engineering and her passion for helping new students. 

Why you are interested in engineering? " I wanted to challenge myself by doing something that could better society and show that women can do anything men can do." 

Do you have an interest or passion for a particular area of the field?
 "I'm interested in working for city government to improve the daily lives of people."

Describe your responsibilities as a freshman coordinator:  
"I w ork to resolve any issues that come up, helping students schedule their orientation date, advising them what to bring and what they may need to succeed at NJIT.  I let them know the name of their advisor, where to go if they get sick, etc. Many times, parents of incoming students like to hear a student's perspective on the school. I find my position very rewarding, because I help to alleviate any concerns that parents or students may have about NJIT. I hope that the entire NSO experience helps them to become better equipped for college."

What experience are you gaining to help you with your career
"My work as administrative coordinator has helped me gain people skills, working with both my peers and their parents. Most of my work involves emailing, calling, or talking to students and parents, which has taught me how to work in an office setting. I've also learned how to work with a variety of different personalities, since our peer leader staff includes people with many different skills and ideas. These skills would benefit me when talking to contractors as well as coworkers."

360 Pipe Inspections
Remote-controlled crawler

Under the supervision of Professor Jay Meegoda, Jitendra Kewalramani (NJIT master's student) and Akila Saravanan (West Windsor Plainsboro High School North student) began work on an innovative approach to conduct visual inspections of culverts. Culverts are drainage systems that carry water away from roads after rains.  A defect in a culvert that results in flooding can threaten lives and property, while causing major damage and disruption when communities are cut off and habitats are swamped.

Play video

The students have developed a cost-effective approach to study defects in these embedded structures. They have modified a remote controlled crawler to travel through culverts while taking 360-degree videos of the insides of the pipes.   Watch the crawler in 360 action.

Ice Cream Man Cometh
1948 Chevy Restoration
It's a sweet treat, but for  Joe Marazzo '80 it's so much more and has been since he was a child. Indeed, ice cream not only represents a family legacy for the  NJIT civil engineering alum , but also the means by which he paid his way through college.

Marazzo owns and operates  Delicious Ice Cream, a company established in 1955 by his father, Al, who sold ice cream seven days a week from April to October to supplement his income as a pipe-boom and heavy-truck operator with the City of New York's Water Department. He was the ice cream man in Marazzo's Staten Island neighborhood and drove a 1950 Chevy ice cream truck outfitted with a refrigeration unit... More

When Forest Creatures Have a Problem, They Call an Engineer

Dreamed up by a team of civil engineering and digital design students at NJIT, the project-leading fox makes her debut in the recently published 

The book is designed to show students from kindergarten through the third grade what an engineer does. In it, Roxy assembles a design-and-build crew to construct a bridge that will get her mates - bears, squirrels, beavers and deer - to the delicious berries on the other side of a stream.  

Published by Xlibris and available for purchase, a percentage of the proceeds from book sales will be donated to the STEM program in Newark public schools.

Read an interview with the students, Gabrielle Grompone '17, writing coordinator and Joseph Vitale '19, production coordinator.
Robert John Craig's Legacy - The National ASCE Conrete Canoe Competition

In June, students from across the nation participated in the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 30th annual  National Concrete Canoe Competition  in Golden, Colo.  The idea for the national competition was presented to ASCE by  Robert John Craig, an NJIT civil engineering professor, since  concrete canoe construction incorporated his passions - the outdoors, canoeing, competition, civil engineering, problem solving, and teaching. After taking student teams to regional concrete canoe tournaments, he wanted more.  

Professor Craig,  who also served as the  ASCE New Jersey section president and vice chairman of the National Committee for Student Services, among other roles, pushed the Society in 1985 to organize a national concrete canoe championship. In 1987, he led an ASCE committee to do just that.

The first National Concrete Canoe Competition, with sponsorship from Master Builders, was planned for 1988 at Michigan State University.  T ragically, John passed away from a rare brain tumor just months before the inaugural 
event he had worked so hard to establish. He was just 44 years old.

ASCE established the R. John Craig Award in his honor, given at each national competition to the winning team in the coed sprint race.  M embers of the Craig family honored John's lifetime of work, teaching, and innovation at this year's national competition. 

This article was compiled from an ASCE June 16 news article:  Engineer's Vision for Concrete Canoe Now 30 Years Strong

NJIT and Mercer County Community College Establish Academic Partnership

Beginning in  Fall 2017,  Mercer County Community College  students will be  able to earn a B.S. in Civil Engineering from NJIT while studying almost entirely at MCCC's campus... 


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