New Jersey Institute of Technology Chosen As State Coordinator For National Bridge Contest

NEWARK, Oct. 18-- The New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) has been designated the official state coordinator for a national bridge design contest for elementary and high school students.

The New Jersey Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) selected NJIT as such.

NJIT faculty will help select the top five bridge designs submitted by student teams from New Jersey. The first-place team will receive a full scholarship to NJIT; the second-place team will receive a half-tuition scholarship. The remaining three teams will receive cash awards.

The top five teams will also try to gain entry into the contest's national finals, which will be held April 2002 at the United States Military Academy at West Point. The Academy is sponsoring the contest as part of its Bicentennial celebration. The contest is co-sponsored by the ASCE in celebration of its 150th anniversary. The team that wins the nationals will receive a $15,000 cash scholarship.

The first phase of the contest will start on Nov. 11, when students can register and begin working in teams on their bridge designs. Students will work on their designs at their schools and rules allow them to consult with anyone. They must submit their deigns by Feb. 28, 2002.

Students will use a software program developed by a West Point engineering professor -- a program that uses authentic engineering design codes and procedures.

To promote a better understanding of the program and the contest itself, NJIT faculty will host a seminar for high school math and science teachers. During the seminar, scheduled for Dec. 4 at the Newark campus, NJIT's distinguished civil engineering faculty will acquaint teachers with bridge-building techniques, especially as they apply to computer-aided bridge design.

A similar seminar will also be held at NJIT's Mt. Laurel campus on Dec. 11. Teachers who attend the seminars will receive certification for four hours of professional development. The registration deadline is Nov. 16, 2001.

(Editor's Note: Interested teachers should call Dallas Link at (973) 596-2447 or send an email to

The contest will offer students a pleasurable way to learn about bridges -- cornerstones of advanced civilization that are nevertheless sometimes sadly neglected. "Some bridges are magnificent, towering monuments that join regions or countries, while others are small, quiet work horses that carry daily traffic into local towns," says NJIT Professor John Schuring, Ph.D., who chairs the university's civil engineering department. "Bridges are a integral part of our civilization."


NJIT is a public, scientific and technological research university enrolling more than 8,800 students. The university offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees to students in 80 degree programs throughout its six colleges: Newark College of Engineering, New Jersey School of Architecture, College of Science and Liberal Arts, School of Management, Albert Dorman Honors College and College of Computing Sciences. The division of continuing professional education offers adults eLearning, off campus degrees and short courses. Expertise and research initiatives include architecture and building science, applied mathematics, biomedical engineering, environmental engineering and science, information technology, manufacturing, materials, microelectronics, multimedia, telecommunications, transportation and solar astrophysics. Yahoo! Internet Life magazine cites NJIT as a “perennially most wired” university.

Contact Information:   Sheryl Weinstein
Robert Florida
Public Relations 
(973) 596-3433