A handful of NJIT engineering and architecture student volunteers hope to better understand what happened to the storm-damaged public waterfront areas in Elizabeth and Perth Amboy. Earlier this week, working with Future City Inc., the students conducted physical assessments of the damaged waterfronts. Policymakers and constituents met with them. Tomorrow and Friday, they'll be brainstorming solutions and writing impact assessments. Professional engineers will be available to listen. The exercise is bound to not only help the cities but instill pride in the volunteers. They also may walk away a lot smarter. Among the issues to be addressed: Can a living waterfront be integrated into the locality's flood management plan? And, if so where? How best to manage the impact of flooding and related damages? And what about future public access, considering climate change?