Recent Grad Goes to Stanford

Frank Lombardi has a bright and warm future ahead of him (Stanford University), thanks to his civil engineering education at NJIT.

The best thing about NJIT, in the eyes of senior Frank Lombardi, is the professors.

Before becoming teachers, most NJIT professors worked as engineers, says Lombardi. They bring their work experience to the classroom and share it with students. 

“My professors worked in the field and brought a lot of personal experiences to the classroom,” says Lombardi, a civil engineering major. “You can learn only so much from equations. You can’t learn to build a bridge solely from a textbook; that’s something you must be taught from a professional and that’s what my professors did." 

Another benefit of having professors who practice engineering is that they can help you find jobs. One of Lombardi’s professors, Anthony Massari, worked for Thornton Tomasetti, an engineering company that designed Yankee Stadium and the Giants-Jets Stadium in the Meadowlands. Massari helped Lombardi get a summer internship at the company. And the internship gave Lombardi even more invaluable hands-on experience.

“I loved that internship,” Lombardi says.” “All the people were fun to work with and the project I worked on was amazing. It’s great to see how technical details are applied to an actual project. It was a great learning experience and was extremely rewarding.”

Academically, Lombardi is also a top student. He’s an Honors College scholar with a math minor and a 3.92 GPA. He has three scholarships -- the Stevenson Family Scholarship, the Christopher Shea Memorial Scholarship and the CMX Community Foundation Scholarship -- and belongs to three honor societies.  He’s a well-rounded, too: he plays piano and sings, but also worked as a lifeguard for four summers at the Jersey shore. He likes to play golf in the sun. 

And that’s one reason he’s excited about his next sun-filled move in life. Later this summer, he’ll move to California: He’s been accepted at Stanford University, where he’ll do a master’s degree in civil engineering, with a concentration in structural engineering.  

He found his passion for structural engineering when he was a sophomore at NJIT, the same year he studied with Massari.  After that, he excelled in his studies and his future was bright.

“I’ve made close friends at NJIT and I'm grateful to my professors,” he says. “I’ve had generous scholarships that allowed me to focus on my studies and my NJIT education will give me an edge when I start working.”  

He’s excited starting his master’s degree – after which he plans to work as a structural engineer.  Meanwhile, he plans to enjoy the warm sun of northern California.

“I only applied to grad schools located in warm climates,” says Lombardi, “and Stanford also has two golf courses. Tiger Woods played for Stanford, so maybe that'll rub off on my game.”

(By Robert Florida)