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

NJIT Steel Bridge Team Takes First Place for Fifth Straight Year

NJIT civil engineering students have for the fifth straight year taken first-place honors at the annual Metropolitan New York Region Steel Bridge Competition this past weekend. Some 25 students –including many seniors–will work past NJIT’s May 17, 2010 commencement to ready the 20-foot-long model steel bridge for the next step. 

Memorial Day Weekend the team heads to Purdue University where they will compete against 175 teams from throughout the nation to build a better bridge. For the second straight year, team co-captains Giancarlo Fricano, of Bridgewater, and Tien Tran, of Belleville, were responsible for leading the 18-member team to victory.

(ATTENTION EDITORS:  Team members –most from NJ--and their remarkable bridge will be available daily for viewing and photos through May 25, 2010.  For an appointment, call Sheryl Weinstein, 973-596-3436.)

“Under the highly able leadership of Tien Tran and Giancarlo Fricano, the NJIT Team placed first in every single scoring category including construction speed, lightness, stiffness, construction economy, structural efficiency, and display,” said team advisor John Schuring. “This is the first time ever that our students have achieved such a clean sweep." Schuring is a professor in the department of civil and environmental engineering.

The rigorous annual competition requires teams to assemble a reduced-scale bridge (about one-tenth the size of an actual bridge) under deadline pressure. The 20-foot long bridge must be lightweight, yet strong enough to sustain a 2,500-pound load.    Competing institutions in the weekend conference included Columbia University, Cooper Union, Rutgers University, and Stevens Institute. 

Students began work on the project last summer.  Typically they reject as many as 20 original designs before they begin building their final one.  The students relied on computer models, prototype testing and stress analyses to develop the winning entry. 

Team members included from Essex County: Angela Zidziunas, West Orange; Abdallah Chalet, Bloomfield; Tai Luu, Belleville; Xavier Lobo, Newark

Bergen County participants were Anthony Dolinsky, East Rutherford; Keith Corkery, Fair Lawn; Dennis McVeigh, River Edge; Peter Tomos, Wallington.

Passaic County participants included: Jeffy Vorasitthanukul, Nutley; Tom Woloszyn, Clifton.

South Jersey team members were David Lam, Northfield; Jared Armena, Toms River.

More team members were Edward Helberg, Union; Joseph Juzwin, Mt. Arlington; Rafal Wojcik, Clark; Vincent Adamo, Middletown.

Taha F. Marhaba, PhD, PE, professor and chairman, department of civil and environmental engineering, congratulated the team. “This achievement would have not been attained without the highly proficient leadership of the co-captains and the hard work of the most-organized team!  We are certainly very appreciative of all their efforts and very proud of their accomplishments,” he said.

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.