Giancarlo Fricano, of Bridgewater, received the Saul K. Fenster Innovation in Design Award at the 12th Annual Salute to Engineering Excellence sponsored by NJIT’s Newark College of Engineering (NCE). The event was held March 25, 2010 at NJIT.
Each year, NCE selects an engineering student who has excelled in design. Fricano’s journey into design innovation began in 2008 when he was elected chief designer and co-captain of NJIT’s Steel Bridge Team. In the 16-year history of the Steel Bridge Team, his professors say, Fricano created the best and most detailed design for a steel bridge. In fact, he developed several designs for his team’s bridge and tested each with rigorous structural calculations. After several months, he chose a three-dimensional design with innovative joints that resisted stress forces.
Under Fricano’s leadership, the steel bridge team won first place overall in the contest, beating 10 other teams from universities that included Rutgers, Columbia, Stevens and Cooper Union. The team also placed first in the technical categories of structural efficiency and stiffness, proving the excellence of Fricano’s design. He’s been elected to a second term as chief designer and co-captain of the 2010 team and looks forward to another victory in the upcoming competition. Fricano has also been active in extra-curricular activities both on campus and in the community. He served for two terms as the vice president of the American Society of Civil Engineers Student Chapter.
He’s an active member of Chi Epsilon, the national civil engineering honor society. He serves the community by working with the Hackensack River Keepers, a non-profit environmental group, and his local Boy Scout troop. For his senior project in surveying (he’s doing a double major in civil engineering and surveying engineering technology), he is establishing a GPS database for Bridgewater Township; the database will also be used by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. In summary, this student has demonstrated design innovation in his leadership roles both on campus and off, and thus deserves the Fenster Innovation in Design Award.