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Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

Shawn Chester Graduates from NJIT with a Record of Excellence

Shawn Chester, a mechanical engineering major, has graduated from the Albert Dorman Honors College at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) with record of academic excellence and having done award-winning research.

Chester, 22, of North Caldwell, will remain at NJIT’s Newark College of Engineering to pursue a master’s degree in mechanical engineering. He hopes to eventually earn his doctorate in mechanical engineering.  He is a 2000 graduate of West Essex Regional High, North Caldwell.

While a student at the Dorman Honors College, Chester received three awards for academics and research, including a grant from Sigma Xi, the prestigious research society.  He graduated from Dorman with a cumulative grade point average of 3.91 (the highest being 4.0).

That’s no small accomplishment, since Dorman is one of the most demanding colleges in the state. Dorman builds on NJIT’s rigorous curriculum, offering enriched coursework and seminars, as well as real-world projects with faculty researchers and industry leaders.

Begun as a pilot program in 1985 and launched as a college of the university in 1994, Dorman enrolls more than 500 of the nation’s brightest students, with SAT scores in the top 10 percent nationally and with math proficiency in the top two percent. The mission of Dorman is to transform students into leaders – be it in the fields of architecture, engineering, science, technology, business, law or medicine. Many students in Dorman are recipients of merit and need-based scholarships.

Chester, for instance - the first in his family to attend college - received a Dorman scholarship, one for which he is eternally grateful.

“The Dorman Scholarship helped free me up so that I didn’t have to work and could devote myself to my studies,” he said. “Dorman also offers students broader curriculum and exposes them to more academic and research material. The college better prepares you for the future, either graduate school or working in industry.” 

More than 600 Dorman graduates have moved on to significant careers in industry and government, and to prestigious and professional schools. They, like Chester, credit Dorman as the catalyst that put them on the path to leadership opportunities. Dorman is in the midst of a national fundraising campaign, headed by Princeton architect J. Robert Hillier, which hopes to raise $20 million for an endowed scholarship fund. NJIT is developing a website for the fundraising campaign that will be located at www.  njit.edu/honorscampaign.

The awards Chester received while an NJIT undergraduate are these: He received the NJIT Alumni Association Student Recognition Award, given annually to a student whose research at NJIT shows great promise. Chester presented a poster of his research during the American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME) Regional II Student Conference held at the City College of New York. His research was also presented during the 2004 Sigma Xi annual conference in Montreal, Canada, where he received a rating of excellent. Chester’s research focused on the force needed to lift a column of granular materials.

He also received the Academic Achievement Award from the northern New Jersey section of ASME. His third award came from Sigma Xi, a scientific research society, founded in 1886, based in Research Triangle Park, N.C. The group awarded Chester a $1,000 Grants-in-Aid of Research (GIAR) grant for his proposal entitled “Discrete Element Modeling of Granular Segregation Induced by Horizontal Vibrations.”

Chester’s research supervisor, Anthony Rosato, Ph.D., professor of mechanical engineering at NJIT, said “Shawn is an outstanding student who has great potential for a career in academia.”

Nadine Aubry, Ph.D., professor and Jacobus chair of the mechanical engineering department at NJIT, called Chester a star student who distinguished himself both academically and in his research at NJIT. “I’m pleased that Shawn has chosen to stay on at NJIT to continue his important research,” Aubry said. “He has a very bright future ahead of him.”

One of the nation's leading public technological universities, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is a top-tier research university that prepares students to become leaders in the technology-dependent economy of the 21st century. NJIT's multidisciplinary curriculum and computing-intensive approach to education provide technological proficiency, business acumen and leadership skills. With an enrollment of more than 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, NJIT offers small-campus intimacy with the resources of a major public research university. NJIT is a global leader in such fields as solar research, nanotechnology, resilient design, tissue engineering, and cyber-security, in addition to others. NJIT ranks 5th among U.S. polytechnic universities in research expenditures, topping $110 million, and is among the top 1 percent of public colleges and universities in return on educational investment, according to PayScale.com.