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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.

NJIT, New Jersey's science and technology university, enrolls approximately 10,000 students pursuing bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in 120 programs. The university consists of six colleges: Newark College of Engineering, College of Architecture and Design, College of Science and Liberal Arts, School of Management, College of Computing Sciences and Albert Dorman Honors College. U.S. News & World Report's 2012 Annual Guide to America's Best Colleges ranked NJIT in the top tier of national research universities. NJIT is internationally recognized for being at the edge in knowledge in architecture, applied mathematics, wireless communications and networking, solar physics, advanced engineered particulate materials, nanotechnology, neural engineering and e-learning. Many courses and certificate programs, as well as graduate degrees, are available online through the Division of Continuing Professional Education.