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W I N T E R 2018








n recent months, the NJIT community celebrated the official opening of new buildings and initiatives that are part of a campus transformation designed to enhance the student experience and solidify NJIT’s position as one of the nation’s

leading public polytechnic universities. A ribbon-cutting was held in November for the new Wellness and Events Center, an iconic, state-of-the-art and multipurpose building that provides large-scale space for professional conferencing, training and career fairs, as well as social settings for NJIT students, faculty and staff. The threestory, 220,000-square-foot facility is the latest and largest component of a dramatic campus transformation that has been taking place in recent years and has included the renovation of the Central King Building, construction of the new Life Sciences and Engineering Center, renovation of 40 research and teaching laboratories, and many other facilities projects. NJIT opened its Makerspace in December with the support of $10 million in funding from the State of New Jersey, launching a facility that will dramatically enhance the learning and creativity of our students; will foster collaborations among students, faculty and businesses; and will be an engine for economic growth. Through hands-on, project-based learning complemented by training on industrial equipment, development of prototyping skills and experience with modern manufacturing technology, Makerspace at NJIT will prepare students for leadership and success in the STEM-dependent economy of the 21st century. The City of Newark continues its positive trajectory of urban revitalization aided by many NJIT alumni. Since graduating from NJIT, a featured alumnus, Samer Hanini ’99, ’03, has helped reinvigorate the city’s Central Business District. He also recently established the Hanini Endowed Scholarship, which will support incoming first-year architecture students from Newark. I hope you enjoy reading these articles, and I welcome your feedback. n



Matthew Golden

Chief Strategy Officer


f e at u r e s

Denise Anderson

NJIT Cuts Ribbon at 220,000-Square-Foot Wellness and Events Center 8

Associate Vice President Communications, Marketing and Branding

Christina Crovetto M.S. ‘03 Editor

The Wellness and Events Center is the latest and largest component of a $400 million campus transformation at NJIT.

Tanya Klein

Editorial Assistant

Shydale James

Contributing Editor

Dean L. Maskevich, Tracey L. Regan

NJIT Opens Makerspace 12

Contributing Writers

Through hands-on, projectbased learning complemented by training on industrial equipment, development of prototyping skills and experience with modern manufacturing technology, Makerspace at NJIT will prepare students for leadership and success in the STEM-dependent economy of the 21st century.

Babette Hoyle

Production Manager

Diane Cuddy Design


Kevin D. Belfield, Reggie J. Caudill, Atam P. Dhawan, Craig Gotsman, Louis Hamilton, Moshe Kam, Anthony Schuman, Michael K. Smullen Editorial Advisory Board _______________________________________

NJIT Magazine is published by New Jersey Institute of Technology, Office of Strategic Communications. Its mission is to foster ties with alumni, university friends and corporate partners and to report on relevant issues, particularly those in education, science, research and technology.

Sustained Momentum: NJIT Alum Continues To Revive Downtown Newark 16 Samer Hanini ’99, ’03 is making great


strides to reinvigorate the Central Business District in Newark.

Please send letters of comment and requests to reproduce material from the magazine to:

de pa rtm e n ts

NJIT Magazine Office of Strategic Communications University Heights Newark, NJ 07102-1982

Abstracts 2

NJIT news in brief

Point By Point 5


Athletics update

Joel S. Bloom President

Kenneth Alexo, Jr.

Vice President Development and Alumni Relations

Michael K. Smullen

Director of Alumni Relations _______________________________________

On the web: _______________________________________

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Cover photo caption:

The Wellness and Events Center is an iconic, state-of-the-art and multipurpose building that provides large-scale space for professional conferencing, training and career fairs, as well as social settings for NJIT students, faculty and staff.

Cover photo credit: Deric Raymond


Giving 6

NJIT development news

Alumni Circuit 22

Class notes, calendar of events and more

In Conclusion 33

Leading-edge achievements by faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends of NJIT






n array of innovation-focused New Jerseyans – scientists, student researchers, alumni, company executives and elected officials – gathered on campus last September to hail the muchanticipated opening of NJIT’s new Life Sciences and Engineering Center, a $21 million state-of-the-art research facility focused on the future of health care. “This is an exciting time in biomedical engineering,” noted Treena Arinzeh, director of NJIT’s Tissue Engineering and Applied Biomaterials Laboratory, in pointing to the recent plethora of gamechanging health technologies such as gene editing, cell therapy, nanoparticle technology and regenerative medicine. “But all of these approaches require multidisciplinary teams, coming together from disparate fields.” The new center promises to provide those crucial opportunities. The fourstory facility, which houses more than 20,000 square feet of shared laboratories and meeting spaces, IT infrastructure and cutting-edge scientific instrumentation, is

designed to promote collaboration in fields ranging from biomedical engineering and the biological sciences to electrical engineering and healthcare technologies. Its mission is to build on NJIT’s increasingly transdisciplinary strengths in engineering and the life sciences – with a particular focus on biotechnology, biosensors and medical devices and nanotechnology – toward the development of new applications in clinical healthcare, therapeutic interventions and pharmaceutical drug development. By linking the experimental side of research with powerful computation, NJIT and its partners will feed data generated in the university’s laboratories into computer models and simulations that will, for example, be able to forecast molecular, cellular and tissue behavior for clinical applications. The new structure connects to the Otto H. York Center for Environmental Engineering and Science to form a

The Life Sciences and Engineering Center is designed to promote collaboration in fields ranging from biomedical engineering and the biological sciences to electrical engineering and healthcare technologies.

cohesive complex that leaves room for a 47,000-square-foot expansion in the future. Additionally, a two-story atrium and presentation space provides opportunities for informal learning, gathering and teaching. The new facility is part of an ongoing capital building and renovation program that is transforming research, teaching and campus life at NJIT. n

At the LWD press conference, (from left) Aaron Fichtner, LWD commissioner; Gale Spak, associate vice president of continuing professional education at NJIT; and Joel S. Bloom, president of NJIT.

A Focus on Talent


very special announcement delivered Oct. 30 in NJIT’s Eberhardt Hall drew members of the university community



as well as guests from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (LWD). There, LWD Commissioner Aaron Fichtner officially disclosed the seven higher education recipients of $8.4 million in state grants to oversee New Jersey’s Talent Development Centers (TDC), designed to create innovative career pathways and apprenticeships in the Garden State’s key industries. NJIT has been named host of the

TDC for construction and utilities. “This center is a very fast-growing industry,” commented NJIT President Joel S. Bloom. “It represents about nine percent of the economy of the State of New Jersey, and we know there is a wide range of jobs.” Each institution will be awarded $1.2 million to provide credential-focused education and training in its respective industry to dislocated, disadvantaged and currently employed workers. Toward this end, each also will be tasked with developing employer-driven partnerships that involve businesses, high schools, colleges, universities, labor unions and workforce development. n

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From left: John W. Seazholtz ’59, chair of the NJIT Board of Overseers; Tara Alvarez, Professor of Biomedical Engineering at NJIT; and NJIT President Joel S. Bloom



ara Alvarez, a professor of biomedical engineering who studies the links between visual disorders and the brain and develops novel devices to identify and treat them, was awarded NJIT’s Excellence in Research Prize and Medal from the Board of Overseers at a ceremony on campus last October. Yehoshua Perl, a computer science professor who brings order and accuracy to massive databases of medical

information, received the board’s Excellence in Research Lifetime Achievement Award. With a multidisciplinary team of engineers, computer scientists, artists and clinicians, Alvarez is currently developing instruments to detect and treat the eye motor disorder known as convergence insufficiency, in which the muscles that control eye movements do not coordinate to focus on near objects. Because each eye sees images separately, the person experiences double and blurred vision, headaches and difficulty concentrating. The impact on cognition and learning can be severe, particularly in children. The disorder also is one of the primary symptoms of concussion, and Alvarez is working with five major children’s hospitals around the country to test her devices, which are potentially powerful diagnostic



trio of NJIT-affiliated biomedical engineers was honored for groundbreaking work on nerve growth and repair at the 38th Edison Patent Awards Ceremony held at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City. The team, composed of Treena Arinzeh (right), a professor of biomedical engineering, George Collins, an adjunct professor, and alumna Yee-Shuan Lee, Ph.D. ’10, now a researcher at the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, a Center of Excellence at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, were winners in the biomedical category. Their patent describes a novel strategy for combining a piezoelectric scaffold with neural cells to regenerate nerve tissue in spinal cord injuries. Piezoelectricity is an electrical charge created by mechanical

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force that is also used in sonar and sound technologies, among others. The Research & Development Council of New Jersey, which confers the patent awards, described their invention as “highly innovative by combining smart biomaterials with tissue engineering

tools. She hopes that one day they will help coaches and trainers on the field, for example, decide if it is safe to return a shaken-up player to the game. As Alvarez explains, “The visual neural circuit composes a lot of space in the brain, and is thus easily damaged by a concussion. In terms of cognitive load, if someone is expending significantly more energy acquiring visual information, then less energy is available for thinking.” Reflecting on her career, she said, “If you really work hard and have a passion for what you love, you can make your dreams come true. And not because I say so, because I’m doing it.” Perl was unable to attend the ceremony, and so it was up to his longtime co-workers and friends to speak for him. And they did, elegantly, calling him a towering figure in the field of biomedical ontology – a branch of medical informatics that enables the acquisition, storage and retrieval of information – as well as a cherished mentor and friend. John W. Seazholtz ’59, chair of the Board of Overseers, lauded the NJIT researchers for their drive to “improve quality of life” and “benefit individuals in profound ways.” n

approaches utilizing neural cells.” The technology does not rely on an external energy source or electrodes for electric stimulation, and can be fabricated into a fibrous form to provide additional contact guidance for cell attachment and axonal growth. The scaffold supports neural cell growth and attachment, which can promote axon regrowth and achieve integration with the host synaptic pathways. n


NJIT and IBM Launch New Flagship Alliance


n an ordinary fall morning, something extraordinary transpired inside NJIT’s Campus Center Atrium. There, NJIT administrators, faculty, staff and students joined executives from IBM to launch the new flagship alliance between the university’s Martin Tuchman School of Management (MTSM) and IBM Global University Programs. The partnership, made official on Oct. 19, marks a unique collaboration between the two entities to deliver digital technologies and education to NJIT students through MTSM and its Business Analytics Lab. NJIT is the first university in the United States – and the only university in North America – to adopt the IBM Skills Academy, a key component of IBM Global University Programs.

From left: Martin Tuchman ’62, chief executive officer of the Tuchman Group; Joel S. Bloom, president of NJIT; Naguib Attia, vice president, IBM Global University Programs; David McQueeney, vice president, Corporate Technology, IBM Corporation; and Reggie Caudill, dean of Martin Tuchman School of Management.

The initiative is based on the workforce needs of today’s “Business with the Power of STEM” digital economy. Courses are being offered to NJIT students in three career tracks: business intelligence analyst, business process analyst and predictive analyst modeler. Additionally, students will have access to boot camps and workshops. The technologies will be delivered to NJIT via the IBM Cloud. “Being the first university to implement the IBM Skills Academy Program aligns with NJIT’s history of engagement with industry, which has resulted in dramatic impacts on economic development and has helped prepare our graduates for uncommon career success,” said NJIT President Joel S. Bloom to the day’s attendees. “This new partnership between NJIT’s Martin Tuchman School of Management and IBM is the latest opportunity we are seizing upon to

provide our students with a workplace advantage by collaborating with industry.” “IBM is committed to doing our part to expand educational opportunities so more students and professionals can learn the in-demand new collar skills that will help them thrive in today’s marketplace,” noted Naguib Attia, Ph.D., vice president, IBM Global University Programs. “After seeing this program’s success in Africa, we’re excited to be working with NJIT to bring the program to the United States for the first time.” Participating students will be able to earn industry-recognized digital badges and IBM technology certifications for IBM tools, as well as the academic credits that accompany their classes. This certification and microcredentialing will provide a significant competitive edge and differentiate students during their job searches. n

technical officer for General Electric Co., an advocate for science and technology adept at applying research to benefit society, and an adviser to universities, presidents and international organizations – the annual award recognizes pivotal contributions not only in the arena of science and technology, but in public policy as well. In the mid-1960s, just as U.S. space

exploration was taking off, Lanzerotti began tackling some of the fundamental challenges of flying spacecraft in orbit around Earth. With a newly minted Ph.D. in physics from Harvard University, he joined AT&T Bell Labs to study Earth’s radiation belts just as the AT&T Telstar satellites were launched. “As issues arose around the effects of radiation on space hardware, Lanzerotti participated in the building, testing, and calibration of radiation instruments for first-generation geosynchronous telecommunications satellites. His work helped develop robust space-based communications and science systems, and contributed to many NASA space missions that have allowed us to expand our knowledge of the universe,” the academy noted in a release. n



ouis Lanzerotti, a distinguished research professor of physics best known for shedding light on the space environment around Earth and its impact on hardware in space and critical infrastructure on the ground, received the 2017 Arthur M. Bueche Award from the National Academy of Engineering for his “extraordinary impact on the engineering profession.” Named in memory of Bueche – the top

Louis Lanzerotti, distinguished research professor of physics, received the 2017 Arthur M. Bueche Award from the National Academy of Engineering. From left: Dr. Andrei Z. Broder, NAE Awards Committee Chair; Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., NAE President; Dr. Lanzerotti; and Gordon R. England, NAE Council Chair.



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The Latest News About NJIT Sports

Rob Ukawuba ’17 Selected by Windsor Express in Second Round of NBL Canada Draft Rob Ukawuba ’17 was selected by the Windsor Express in the second round of the National Basketball League of Canada draft. The 6-foot-4 guard was drafted fifth in the second round of the 2017 NBL Canada draft. In 2016-17, Ukawuba appeared on ESPN SportCenter’s Top 10 plays twice – a dunk over Purdue’s 6-foot-9 Caleb Swanigan on Nov. 26, 2016, and a reverse dunk on a half-court, alley-oop feed from teammate Damon Lynn on Jan. 12, 2017. n


Senior forward Mamadou Guirassy captured the NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Golden Boot Award for total goals for the 2017 season. Guirassy remained atop the total goals category all season. The Highlanders co-captain, who closed out his collegiate career as NJIT’s Division I all-time leading scorer, was selected as 2017 ASUN Conference Player of the Year and finished atop the NCAA Division I men’s soccer statistics for total goals (16). His 16 goals and 34 points are an NJIT Division I single-season record. For his career at NJIT, his 26 goals ranks first in the Division I era and tied for fifth all-time while his 58 points ranks first in the D1 era and eighth all-time. The senior forward led the ASUN in total goals (16), total points (33), gamewinning goals (5), goals per game (0.94), points per game (2.00) and total shots (89). He was named ASUN Conference Player of the Week three times this season, including being honored as National Team of the Week by College Soccer News and a TopDrawerSoccer Honorable Mention. n

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Briana Hackos Selected to ASUN All-Academic Team

Sophomore Briana Hackos has been selected to the 2017 ASUN Women’s Soccer All-Academic Team. The biophysics major appeared in all 17 matches this season for the Highlanders, including four starts. Hackos led the team in total goals (4) and ranked tied for second in assists (2) for a team-leading 10 points. She netted the game-winning goal in NJIT’s first ASUN win of the 2017 season, 1-0, at Stetson on Oct. 8. As a team, the Highlanders set a program record for wins in a season (9) and shutouts (7), and finished above .500 (9-8 overall). NJIT concluded its nonconference portion of its schedule with a 7-3 mark and went 6-2 at home. n






elebration 2017, NJIT’s annual fundraiser for campuswide scholarship endowment funds, was held Nov. 10 at the Pleasantdale Chateau in West Orange. Since its inception in 1995, Celebration has raised nearly $6 million in endowed scholarship funds, ensuring that top-quality higher education is accessible to talented, motivated students. Classical Mystery Tour: A Tribute to the Beatles provided the evening’s entertainment. Six honorees, including four alumni, were recognized this year. The President’s Medal for Lifetime Achievement was awarded to The Honorable Paul A. Sarlo ’92, ’95, the Deputy Majority Leader of the New Jersey Senate. He serves as chairman of the Budget and Appropriations Committee and is a member of the Judiciary Committee, the Higher Education Committee, the Joint Budget Oversight Committee, and the Senate Legislative Oversight Committee. A licensed professional engineer, licensed professional planner and certified municipal engineer, Sarlo holds bachelor of science and master of science degrees in civil engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology, where he was a Division III All-American in baseball. He presently works as the chief operating officer of Joseph M. Sanzari Heavy Construction Inc., where he has been employed since 1998.

Raymond A. Cassetta ’70 received the Edward F. Weston Medal for Professional Achievement by an Alumnus, given in recognition of outstanding professional and civic accomplishments, as well as support of the university. Currently, Cassetta is chair of the Martin Tuchman School of Management Board of Advisors, serves as a member of the university’s Academic Affairs and Research Committee, and is an alumni representative to the University Senate. He is the founder of the Martin Tuchman School of Management’s Strategic Management Showcase, which provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their business expertise in a real-time simulated environment, and is the benefactor of the Ray Cassetta Financial Analysis Lab Bloomberg Terminals at Martin Tuchman School of Management. The University Award for Entrepreneurial Leadership was presented to Brian G. Kiernan ’70, the retired vice president and chief scientist of InterDigital Communications, LLC. Since retiring from InterDigital, Kiernan has put his extensive technical and managerial talents to work, serving as Chair of the Albert Dorman Honors College Interdisciplinary Design Studio Program, which later morphed into the NJIT Undergraduate Research and Innovation (URI) Program. In this capacity, Kiernan, in conjunction with the other URI Board members, evaluates and guides numerous student projects, several of which have developed into actual student companies. As an active Angel Investor, Kiernan has supported some of these student companies and continues to guide them as they develop. He also is an active member of the NJIT Highlander Angel Raiha Khan ’19, a junior studying mathematical sciences with a focus in applied statistics and data analysis and an Albert Dorman Honors College scholar, was this year’s student speaker.



From left: James F. Stevenson; The Honorable Paul A. Sarlo ’92,’95; Raymond A. Cassetta ’70; NJIT President Joel S. Bloom; Edward J. Schmeltz ’71; Brian G. Kiernan ’70; and Al Frungillo, Gourmet Dining Services.

Network, where he has invested in several NJIT-related companies. James F. Stevenson, who was a Corporate Fellow at Honeywell International from 1996 until his retirement in March 2011, received the Special Friend of the University Award. During his retirement, Dr. Stevenson helped to organize and funded the TechQuest competition which, now in its fifth year, has awarded seven innovation/ prototype prizes and fellowships to NJIT undergraduates. He also was instrumental in setting up Innovation Day, which celebrates the numerous technical awards won by NJIT undergraduates and hosts electronic presentations of their many innovative projects. Dr. Stevenson and his wife, Steffi, support endowed undergraduate scholarships for NJIT students from Irvington and Newark high schools. Edward J. Schmeltz ’71, Senior Vice President and Practice Leader, Engineering at AECOM, received the Lifetime Alumni Leadership Award. Schmeltz is one of the foremost marine civil engineers in the nation as well as a senior executive at the largest transportation engineering company in the U.S. He has more than 45 years of experience in coastal engineering, the planning and design of ports, harbors and marine facilities, as well as breakwaters and other coastal structures. During his years at AECOM, he has been responsible for the design of some of the world’s major marine projects, such as the Pier 400 Development at the Port of Los Angeles, one of the largest landfill projects ever undertaken in the United States. He also was involved in the design for the Breakwater Reconstruction at the Port of Sines in Portugal, and most recently was involved in the development of a $9.5 billion greenfield port development in Doha, Qatar. Gourmet Dining Services, LLC received the Outstanding Corporate Partner Award. n n j i t .e du

With a Will, There’s a Way to Help. Make a Decision Today to Create a Better Tomorrow.

AFTER HIS FIRST VISIT TO CAMPUS IN 40 YEARS, MARTIN SZEWCZYK DECIDED TO INCLUDE NJIT IN HIS WILL. “I always contributed because I felt NCE did me a great service in giving me an education.” - Martin Szewczyk ‘76

For more information on how to create a legacy in your will, contact Monique Moore Pryor, J.D., assistant vice president of planned giving, at 973-596-8548 or

NJIT CUTS RIBBON AT 220,000-SQUARE-FOOT WELLNESS AND EVENTS CENTER More than 600 students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends of NJIT gathered on campus on Nov. 10, 2017 to celebrate the official ribbon-cutting of the new Wellness and Events Center (WEC), an iconic, state-of-the-art and multipurpose building that provides large-scale space for professional conferencing, training and career fairs, as well as social settings for NJIT students, faculty and staff. “This building is the latest and largest component of a $400 million campus transformation that has been taking place in recent years and has included the renovation of the Central King Building, the new Life Sciences and Engineering Center, and several other facilities projects,” said NJIT President Joel S. Bloom. “This transformation would not have been possible without the leadership of our trustees, the generosity of our donors, the support of state and local government, the work of Vice President Andrew Christ and his team, and the input of the campus community.” The ceremony featured a roster of speakers that included several political dignitaries and student-athletes, both past and present. NJIT President Joel S. Bloom cut the ribbon on the new Wellness and Events Center on Nov. 10, 2017.



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A DREAM THAT GREW INTO A CLEAR VISION Lucie Thibeaud Tchouassi ’94, a former member of the women’s basketball team who currently serves as a coordinator and adviser of undergraduate programs in NJIT’s Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, explained, “This is a dream that grew into a clear vision. Many generations for years to come will appreciate this center.” “Nobody is more excited than me to see it come to fruition,” said NJIT Athletics Director Lenny Kaplan. “Make no

mistake: This building represents one of the most exciting times in NJIT history.”

TRANSFORMABLE VENUES The 3,500-seat arena exemplifies the creation of transformable venues to meet the varied programmatic needs of each event. With all of the lower bowl seats in place, it is a dynamic Division I basketball and volleyball venue. Retracting half of those seats and adding a portable stage converts it to a convocation hall. With all of the seats retracted, the large, open floor PHOTO: DERIC RAYMOND

“When you build it, they will come,” said New Jersey State Senator Richard J. Codey. “What you’ve done here is phenomenal. You will continue to grow. NJIT is a fabulous institution.” “This is a great day for the City of Newark, just as it’s a great day for NJIT,” said Senator Paul A. Sarlo ’92, ’95, a former student-athlete who now serves as chairman of the New Jersey Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and is a member of the Judiciary Committee, the Higher Education Committee, the Joint Budget Oversight Committee and the Senate Legislative Oversight Committee. “What is exciting is that our engineering students are much more well-rounded and want to be engaged. That’s why NJIT will continue to attract well-rounded students from across the country.” The three-story, 220,000-square-foot building features a number of flexible spaces that can be configured quickly to support the numerous and varied missions of the university community. Designed and engineered by AECOM and built by Torcon, the exterior design reinforces the university’s position as a leader in engineering and technology education, featuring a 52-foot-high glass wall on the north facade that offers an excellent view of the adjacent athletic field as well as NJIT’s academic campus. “It is often said that success has many parents, and there are many parents here today,” said Stephen P. DePalma ’72, chairman of the NJIT Board of Trustees.

Located at the corner of Lock and Warren Streets, the Wellness and Events Center is strategically positioned at the gateway point to the NJIT campus.




can be used for recreation/ intramural sports, large student gatherings, job fairs, alumni functions and trade shows. The main concourse also functions as a practice running track. Perhaps the most unique design feature of the NJIT Wellness and Events Center is the full-height glass wall along the north façade, which provides great views of the campus and the adjacent athletic field that will be constructed in the upcoming months. The main circulation corridor in the building runs along that glass wall as it connects the central campus quadrangle to a transit station for the local light rail system. Several casual seating areas have been located along this corridor so this light-filled atrium space can serve as an interactive social hub for students, faculty and staff. The grandstand that runs along the base of the north facade is connected to the main corridor and doubles as a casual outdoor seating area that can be utilized for study on fair weather days. 10


A PORTAL TO THE UNIVERSITY The Wellness and Events Center is located at the corner of Lock and Warren Streets, which is a gateway point to the university campus. “Because the new NJIT Wellness and Events Center is located directly between a transit stop on the light rail system and the

The state-of-the-art complex supports NJIT athletes in baseball, basketball, fencing, lacrosse, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, and volleyball, with dedicated locker rooms and full-length practice courts.

academic campus, the building will become a portal to the university for scores of students on a daily basis,” said Steve Terrill, principal, AECOM’s Americas Sports Sector. “One of the design goals for the building was to expose these students on a daily basis to the numerous recreation facilities in the hope that it would encourage them to a healthier lifestyle.” Another flexible program space on the first floor is the large multipurpose room. With the dividing curtain open, it can host fencing meets or other large events. With the curtain closed, it can be set up for practice on one side while the other side becomes a group exercise classroom for activities such as yoga, aerobics or Pilates. Other program elements on the first floor include an eightlane, 25-yard pool with spectator seating, general student locker rooms, a training room with three hydrotherapy pools, a strength and conditioning room and fan support spaces for the grandstand. There are two full-length practice courts on the second floor. These two rooms also have a central dividing curtain that, when open, creates another floor space that can be utilized for science fairs or other student


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Senator Paul A. Sarlo ’92,’95

Lucie Thibeaud Tchouassi ’94, a former member of the NJIT women’s basketball team, gave remarks at the WEC Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony.

Marjorie A. Perry ’05, president and CEO of MZM Construction and Management and co-executive vice chair of the NJIT Board of Overseers, served as mistress of ceremonies at the WEC Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony.


functions. Adjacent to the main concourse is a team store that can be open to sell Highlanders gear throughout the school year. The other major space on the second level is the recreation center, featuring cardio fitness equipment, weight stations and an incredible view across campus. A grand staircase connects the second and third floors. At the top of the staircase is the reception desk for the administrative suite, with offices and workstations for coaches and athletics administrative staff. Adjacent to these offices are several multipurpose conference rooms, a student academic support suite, a press box for the athletic field and an ESPN production room. Additionally, there is an 11,580-square-foot turf room, two racquetball courts and a hospitality suite. n The 11,580-square-foot turf room looks out onto the NJIT campus.

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Author: Christina Crovetto is editor of NJIT Magazine.



NJIT Opens



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The 10,000-sq.-ft. space operates equipment ranging from small 3D printers to large industrial machining centers, such as precision measurement and laser cutting machines.

Makerspace P

artners from government and industry joined the NJIT community in December to celebrate the opening of Makerspace at NJIT, a training-focused, rapid prototyping facility that is central to both the university’s hands-on learning mission and its growing relationship with New Jersey’s manufacturing community. The 10,000-sq.-ft. space operates equipment ranging from small 3-D printers to large industrial machining centers, such as precision measurement and laser cutting machines. Moshe Kam, dean of NJIT’s Newark College of Engineering (NCE), said the move from computer simulation in the teaching of engineering to handson practice is essential, noting, “It’s easy to teach engineering with simulators … but it will only take you so far in becoming a successful practicing engineer.”

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Plans to add electronic devices, a wood shop, a paint booth and soldering machines, among other equipment, and to double the space, are underway. The “industry-relevant” design, prototyping and practice skills that students will pick up in the facility constitute the “hands-on experience employers want to see,” observed Robert Cohen ’83, ’84, ’87, vice president and general manager of R&D for Stryker Orthopaedics’ reconstructive division, a member of the NJIT Board of Trustees, chair of the NCE Board of Visitors and an enthusiastic backer of the Makerspace. Students eagerly anticipate the edge the facility will provide to the university’s competitive teams, such as the Baja SAE


Through hands-on, project-based learning complemented by training on industrial equipment, development of prototyping skills, and experience with modern manufacturing technology, Makerspace at NJIT will prepare students for leadership and success in the STEM-dependent economy of the 21st century.

club, which experienced a dizzying ascent over the past three years from dormancy to a heady perch in global rankings this year: Number 6. “I have great confidence and excitement for Baja and the other teams,” said Matthew Emmerson ’17, past captain of the SAE Baja Team, who received his B.S. degree in mechanical engineering in December. Christopher Eugenio ’19, a mechanical engineering major and the team’s incoming captain, demonstrated how quickly a student

could create a new part on a Flow machine waterjet, which uses high-pressure water and an abrasive – engineered sand – to cut through metal. He produced the NJIT logo in about 10 minutes. “We’ll be making suspension components, a custom gear box and gears – we’ll probably use all of the machines in here. It’s going to really help us in the troubleshooting phase when we can fix a part on the fly by printing a new one in a couple of hours. Our sponsors have been wonderful, but the turnaround is

STEM-learning and manufacturing advocates from government and industry joined the NJIT community to celebrate the opening of the university’s Makerspace facility. Cutting the ribbon from left (front row): Marjorie A. Perry ‘05, president and CEO of MZM Construction Co., Inc. and co-executive vice chair of the NJIT Board of Overseers; Senator Ronald L. Rice; Assemblyman Thomas P. Giblin; Fadi P. Deek, provost and senior executive vice president of NJIT; Joel S. Bloom, president of NJIT; Joseph M. Taylor ‘11 HON and a member of the NJIT Board of Trustees; Senator Teresa Ruiz; and Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr.



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The Flow Mach 4c 5 Axis Water Jet uses high-pressure water and an abrasive – engineered sand – to cut through metal.

“THIS IS A NO-BRAINER TO MAKE AN INVESTMENT IN THE NEXT GENERATION OF LEADERS.” - Senator Teresa Ruiz, assistant majority leader in the New Jersey State Senate a little longer when you have to send your designs out.” Senator Teresa Ruiz, assistant majority leader in the New Jersey Senate, called the Makerspace a “creative space” likely to entice students to math and science, helping to address what she calls “the gap we’re not filling” between unacceptable pockets of unemployment and unmet demand for n jit .e du

workers in STEM sectors. Indeed, Joseph Taylor, former chairman and CEO of Panasonic Corp. of North America and a member of the NJIT Board of Trustees, recalled the scarcity of engineers during a growth period 30 years ago as a “limiting factor” in the company’s expansion. “This is a no-brainer to make an investment in the next generation of leaders,” added Ruiz, who chairs the Senate Education Committee and was a supporter of the $10 million allocation from state coffers that helped Makerspace at NJIT become a reality. NJIT President Joel S. Bloom called the Makerspace a “dual-use facility” that would create a “workforce of the future” while also serving the needs of industry, “particularly manufacturing businesses.” The facility will provide opportunities for industrial partners to participate as mentors, trainers and instructors, for companies to collaborate with students and faculty members on research and development

projects, and for employees to receive customized training tailored to their needs. “This is what this space means to me: a place for hands-on learning that will encourage what we’re trying to do in the State of New Jersey – bring manufacturing back to our cities,” said State Senator Ronald Rice. Key features of the NJIT Makerspace will include: • Product design and prototyping • Industry standard Computer Aided Design (CAD) and machining software • Computer Numerical Control machining • Additive manufacturing (3D printing) • Metalwork and welding • Electronics design, assembly and manufacturing • Industrial metrology (measurement and verification) n Author: Tracey L. Regan is an NJIT Magazine contributing writer. NJIT MAGAZINE | WINTER 2018




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MOMENTUM NJIT Alum Continues To Revive Downtown Newark Whole Foods Market, Chipotle and Hotel Indigo – Newark’s first boutique hotel – all have served as signifiers of urban revitalization in New Jersey’s largest city.

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Samer Hanini ’99,’03




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nd the establishments are all housed in buildings rehabbed and developed by the Newark-based Hanini Group, a firm co-founded in 2004 by real estate developer and NJIT alumnus Samer Hanini. Since graduating from NJIT in 1999 with a B.Arch. and obtaining a master’s degree in infrastructure planning in 2003, Hanini has made great strides to reinvigorate the Central Business District in Newark, which his alma mater calls home. “I think the best thing for NJIT is it being in the heart of Newark,” said Hanini, who received an Alumni Achievement Award from NJIT in 2015. “Newark has so much history. This is the third-oldest city in the

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country. The amount of architecture and planning that’s right here within footsteps of the school, I think, is a huge benefit.” The Hanini Group, which develops, owns, operates and manages real estate properties in Newark, has been celebrated for its preservation of Brick City’s historic, centuryold buildings. The firm’s crowning jewel is the Hahne & Co. building, a $174 million, mixed-use property. Once an art deco department store, the 500,000-square-foot space now houses chic apartments, a Barnes & Noble, Petco, and Whole Foods Market, and recently welcomed Marcus B&P – a new eatery from restaurateur and celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson.

“From where we started – from NJIT days to today – every year you’re learning something new,” said Hanini, who serves as a trustee on the nonprofit Newark Preservation and Landmarks Committee, Newark Regional Business Partnership, and has served on NJIT’s Martin Tuchman School of Management Board of Visitors. “We definitely enjoy it. It’s very stressful. But at the end of the day, I think you end up delivering something everybody needs in the city.” n Author: Shydale James is an NJIT Magazine contributing editor.



j j january

Academic and student-support partnership established with Ocean County College



College of Architecture and Design’s Motion Capture Studio goes completely online

a f


2017 YEAR february

President Joel Bloom included in NJBIZ’s 100 Most Influential Business People





Inauguration of the Institute of Brain and Neuroscience Research

Craig Gotsman named new dean of Ying Wu College of Computing


 JIT Baja race car N featured at the New York International Auto Show, and wins four-hour Endurance Race


Inaugural Title IX Regional Student Summit


Central King Building ribboncutting 

NJIT ranked a Top 10 college nationwide with great career services


Academic partnership established with Mercer County Community College

H NJIT Public Safety accredited by the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police I

Swimming and Diving Team selected as a College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America Scholar All-American Team


Joint academic agreement signed by NJIT and Bergen Community College


Girl Starter Tour for entrepreneurship hosted by the Enterprise Development Center (EDC)

G NJIT’s 101st Commencement, highlighted by a marriage proposal  en’s and M women’s track and field teams earn five medals at 2017 ASUN track & field championships

Research collaboration established between NJIT and the Lebanese American University











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s a ond



$10M in state funding approved for NJIT’s Makerspace


Louis Hamilton becomes new dean of Albert Dorman Honors College

M.S. degree in data science launched at Ying Wu College of Computing

M Agile Strategies Lab ribboncutting


University Convocation, welcoming the 2017 freshman class

N Opening of the state-of-the-art Life Sciences and Engineering Center O New Jersey Innovation Institute’s (NJII) Health IT Connections Program receives State Science & Technology Institute Award Annotated Patent History Archive launched by the Federated History Department at NJIT and Rutgers University-Newark Leadership and iSTEAM for Females in Elementary School project led by NJIT, with National Science Foundation funding











Wellness and Events Center ribbon-cutting


Dr. Bernard Harris joins the Center for Pre-College Programs’ Advisory Board


IBM-Martin Tuchman School of Management flagship alliance launched

NJIT designated to oversee New Jersey Talent Development Center for Construction and Utilities

december T

Plans announced for New Jersey Innovation Institute, an NJIT entity, and Rutgers University to form the New Jersey Continuous Manufacturing Institute, to advance innovative manufacturing technologies in the pharmaceutical industry Enterprise Development Center receives Small Business Supporter of the Year Award  ublic Safety at P NJIT cited as a Top 25 University for Campus Safety Initiatives by Safe Campus J




Ribbon-cutting for Makerspace at the GITC Building



MAL & FRIENDS NJIT Magazine invites new correspondents to join Mal Simon in sharing news about class members and alumni organizations. Professor emeritus of physical education and athletics, Mal was director of physical education and athletics, and men’s soccer coach, for 30 years. In 1993, he received the Cullimore Medal for his service to the university. If you would like to be a regular correspondent, don’t hesitate to send an email to the editor of NJIT Magazine: First, the latest news from Mal –


his column is dedicated to Dean Maskevich, senior publications officer with the NJIT Office of Strategic Communications, who retired at the end of December 2017 and with whom I have had the privilege and pleasure of working on NJIT Magazine since my first column in the magazine in the fall of 2003. Dean was a colleague and friend who made sure I had all my T’s crossed and I’s dotted. I know he will not take any credit for what we achieved together, but I am not being facetious when I say “El Deano, I couldn’t have done it without you.” The Fall 2017 issue featured six fantastic distaff-side members of the NJIT family and this issue will do likewise with six equally fantastic spear-side members: Manny Del Rio ’08, Tarik Rodgers ’96, Steven Harvey ’72, Fred Maltino ’72, Ray Vaccari ’72 and Mike Toto ’72. MANNY AND TARIK played on the same volleyball team when Manny was a senior and Tarik a freshman. Manny had to drop out of school in 1993 to work full time to help his father when his mom died of cancer. He promised his mom he would complete his degree, and although it took a “wee” bit longer than expected (22 years in fact), he earned his B.S. in engineering science in 2008. In between, Manny worked for Pecata Enterprises, a familyowned textile manufacturing business, was Dave DeNure’s assistant volleyball coach at NJIT from 1994 to 1998 and, when Dave left NJIT, served as head volleyball coach from 1999 to 2001, including one season as head women’s volleyball coach in 2000. Manny was an outstanding player 22 N J I T M A G A Z I N E | W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

and coach. He was setter on a number of successful volleyball teams, with achievements that included winning the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) Division 111 championship twice and scoring Runner Up in the Division 111 National Championship once. As head coach, his teams reached the EIVA final four in 1999 and 2000 and Manny was selected EIVA Coach of the Year in 1999.

From left: Dan Bocage ’96, Harold Nazaire ’00, Rudy Romulus ’92, Anthony Valbrun ’00 and Manny Del Rio ’08

He was also very successful in his career with Pecata Enterprises, and was promoted to general manager in 1998. As the company grew from its original 15 employees to 180, Manny saw his role changing so much that in 2001 he had to resign from coaching at NJIT. In addition to his increasing workload at Pecata and earning his B.S. in 2008, he earned a master’s in organizational leadership from Northeastern University in 2010. But Manny could not give up his love for volleyball, and in 2002 he joined

Dave DeNure to help with a girl’s junior volleyball program in northern New Jersey called Cut Short Volleyball. In 2008, Dave moved on, so Manny became the director, a position he still holds. However, Manny is proud to say that the most important event of his life became a reality in November 2016 when he and his wife, Inah, had their first child, Lorelai. Tarik was born on the south side of

Manny Del Rio and his daughter, Lorelai

Chicago. His parents and grandmother provided such a great focus on education that he advanced grades and entered college at the age of 16. Before college, however, the family moved to Newark, New Jersey, due to his father’s illness and the concern that local gangs were a dangerous influence, and the desire to provide a stable household for Tarik and his older brother, Douglas, and younger sister, Nadiyah. Tarik was accepted into one of Newark’s magnet programs at Science High School as the youngest freshman, when he was just 12 years old. The physical education classes at Science High School were held at Newark’s YM/YWCA, and it was there that Tarik learned to play volleyball. NJIT was Tarik’s next stop in educational and athletic development. NJIT Coach Dave DeNure, who was alerted about Tarik’s talent by members of his team, invited Tarik to try out for the NJIT team. Despite a concern that athletics would interfere with his focus on education, Tarik accepted DeNure’s invitation. He soon found that the diversity and camaraderie on NJIT’s volleyball team were something unique and special, and he believes that the n j i t .e du


opportunities for leadership, success and failure enriched his life experiences tenfold. Tarik was obviously a quick learner as he topped the national rankings as third in blocking and eighth in hitting, was voted Most Valuable Player and team captain, was selected to the EIVA/NCAA All Tournament Teams in 1994 and 1995, and made the NCAA All American Third Team in 1995. NJIT honored him further by electing him to the university’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010. After graduating from NJIT in 1996 with a degree in mechanical engineering, Tarik returned to his Chicago roots and earned an MBA

back to society through his philanthropic and community interests, which include his annual scholarship at NJIT in support of four students from Newark’s Science High School, serving as a board member and regular donor to City Square, a Dallas-based nonprofit agency fighting the root causes of poverty, serving in leadership roles for the neighborhood school’s PTA, and coaching basketball and volleyball youth teams. Commenting about his experience with NJIT’s volleyball program, Tarik says: “We had the most ethnically diverse team I’ve ever seen. We had players from so many different cultures, but we were a true team. I enjoyed being on the team with people with such different backgrounds, but no ethnic issues. That was special.” STEVE, FRED AND RAY were all members of the NCE tennis team. While Steve was an undergraduate, NCE teams won in NAIA District 31 (New York and New Jersey) and participated in the NAIA National Tennis Tournament in Kansas City, Missouri, four years in a row. The

Tarik Rodgers with his wife, Tanya, and son, Camden

in finance from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. While at Northwestern, he met his wife to be, Tanya Reddick, who was completing her medical degree. They married in 2002 and live in Dallas, Texas, with their sons, Camden and Carter. Although Tarik has worked for the Ford Motor Company and Price/Waterhouse Coopers, and for multiple medicaldevice and pharmaceutical companies, he is most excited about his developing entrepreneurial ventures. Tarik also gives n jit .e du

Front row, from left: Gradie Stewart, Steve Harvey, Rich McCann, and Fred Maltino. Back row, from left: Charles Forman, Jay Meyer, Bill Mokoid, Ray Vaccari, and Lee Wexel

1969 NCE team finished with a seven and three season and a second straight District NAIA Championship. Steve also played ice hockey and was the team captain and leading scorer. They played in the Metropolitan League, which included Columbia, NYU and St. John’s. He remembers NCE’s first and only league win over Columbia. Even though he had a


three-goal hat trick, Steve, in all humility, says that NCE won because Columbia showed up with a goalie and five players and got tired. He no longer plays ice hockey but is an avid tennis player at the Arlington Players Club in Kearny, New Jersey. After receiving his B.S. in chemical engineering in 1972, Steve was hired by Hoffmann-La Roche (Roche), where he started in research and development. He became a chemical process design engineer, moved into production support and eventually became the head of engineering for the Roche Vitamins and Fine Chemicals Division. He was responsible for the design and construction of a grassroots plant in Freeport, Texas, that produced synthetic beta carotene from acetylene. While working at Roche, Steve continued his education at night and earned a master’s in chemical engineering from NJIT in 1979 and an MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson in 1982. He also attended the Tuck Executive Program at Dartmouth College and the International Leadership Program, Institut pour l’Etude des Methodes de Direction de l’Entreprise (IMEDE) in Switzerland, rated by Forbes and the Financial Times as the premier business school in the world. During a career with diverse responsibilities at Roche, Steve was an assistant vice president of engineering, vice president of supply chain, head of global planning and vice president of purchasing for the company in Nutley, Belvidere and Parsippany, New Jersey. He also spent a year in Kaiseraugst, Switzerland. After retiring from Roche, he worked in the health care industry in charge of materials management for the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan and the Liberty Health System in Secaucus and Jersey City, New Jersey. He retired as a full-time employee in 2016. Steve and his wife, Patricia, who he met at an NCE fraternity party, live in Montville, New Jersey. RAY earned his B.S. in electrical engineering from NCE in 1972, an M.S. in NJIT MAGAZINE | WINTER 2018




Ray Vaccari ’72,’74

applied mathematics from NJIT in 1974 and an MBA from Rutgers in 1978. As an undergraduate, Ray was a member of the tennis team, editor of the Vector, president of the Tau Delta Phi fraternity and member of the Student Senate. He started his professional career as a wire and cable manufacturing engineer. He worked for AT&T Bell Laboratories as a systems engineering district manager and did some IT project management consulting with such companies as IBM and General Motors. Ray even served as a substitute mathematics teacher in New Jersey. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and an adjunct professor at NJIT in project management. An active member of the NJIT Alumni Association for 20 years, Ray has served as treasurer on the Executive Committee, as a member of the Alumni Awards Committee, and the Warren Street Village Development Committee, and as president of the Tau Delta Phi Chapter Housing Corporation. He participates in the Alumni Relations and Career Development Services annual speed interviewing event, where alumni spend five minutes per NJIT student helping them with their interviewing skills. Ray is Director of New Jersey’s Advanced Manufacturing Talent Network, a program funded by the New Jersey Department of Labor and hosted at NJIT. The Network helps manufacturers meet their needs for skilled workers and provides internships for students. Ray plays golf and tennis regularly, and belongs to a senior golf league and two tennis leagues, including a United States Tennis Association Mixed Doubles 24 N J I T M A G A Z I N E | W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

League. He believes playing these sports has kept him young, and who am I to dispute this claim. FRED graduated from NCE in 1972 with a B.S. in engineering science. He started his professional career with responsibilities for aerospace, defense and marine projects at Singer-Kearfott in Little Falls, New Jersey. While working full time, he earned an MBA in finance and marketing from Seton Hall University in 1980. Fred’s position as a materials and process engineer afforded him opportunities to participate in notable work involving the F-15 fighter, B-2 bomber, nuclear submarines and navigational gyroscopes for flight vehicles. From 1977 to 1986, Fred worked as a principal metallurgical engineer with Foster Wheeler Corporation in Livingston, New Jersey, and Houston, Texas, where in 1980 he became section head for materials engineering and assistant manager of design technology. In 1986, Fred moved to AlliedSignal – Bendix Aerospace in Teterboro, New Jersey, as senior staff materials engineer in the Materials and Chemistry Department. The department was responsible for testing materials, developing process controls, and analyzing a variety of special projects, including guidance systems for launch vehicles, the Space Shuttle, the International Space Station and the Hubble Space Telescope. From 1990 until his retirement in 2013, Fred was director of materials and processes engineering. In this position, he supervised a department of metallurgists, chemists and materials engineers who supported manufacturing engineering, quality assurance and subcontractors. When Allied Signal became part of Honeywell Aerospace, Fred’s division was sold to L3 Technologies and relocated to Mount Olive, New Jersey, where, in addition to current responsibilities, Fred became the radiation safety officer, division ethics and compliance officer, and environmental and safety coordinator. Since his retirement, Fred works occasionally as a consultant to Exel

Laboratory and Consulting Services in Dover, New Jersey. Fred never stopped playing tennis; retirement just gave him more time to play plus get involved in its organizational aspects. He has played in many local indoor and outdoor tournaments and was a founder of the Bloomfield Tennis League, and a player, using the Team Tennis format. He was an active member of the Nutley Tennis Club until 1987, when he joined the United States Tennis Association. Since then he has won league, sectional and regional doubles championships. In 2010, he joined the Arlington Players Club, where he has been a member and captain of the club’s traveling team and a member of the club’s board of directors. Fred and his wife, Janice, live in Fairfield, New Jersey. MIKE is another alumnus who took a time-out before completing his degree. The familiar expression, “Long time no see” fits perfectly with Mike and me seeing each other at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new NJIT Wellness and Events Center after more than 50 years, when he was volunteer manager of the soccer team. Mike started at NCE in 1962 as a chemical engineering major, and when the dust had cleared graduated in 1972 with a B.S. in mechanical engineering. After two Mike Toto in the U.S. Army

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Mal Simon and Mike Toto at the Wellness and Events Center ribbon-cutting ceremony in November

years at NCE, he dropped out to work full time in a factory that made vacuum tube components. In 1966, he started work with IBM as a service technician until being drafted into the U.S. Army in 1967. While waiting to hear about his application to Officer Candidate School, Mike was sent to Korea, where he served a tour of duty as an infantry squad leader

until his honorable discharge in 1968. He returned to work at IBM and, thanks to the GI Bill, returned to NCE at night with a curriculum change to mechanical engineering. IBM encouraged him to complete his senior year full time, after which he returned to IBM and trained to debug mainframe operating system software. Mike left IBM in 1977 to seek career growth at several other information technology companies specializing in communications and networks. In 1981, he was inducted into the Order of the Engineer. In 1985 and 1997, Mike contracted and


fought off two different forms of cancer. He shows his true grit when he says, “If it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger, at least mentally.” After 24 years in the information technology world, Mike entered the security industry with ADT and several other security-integration firms, one of which won a $22 million contract to upgrade security at the World Trade Center in the aftermath of the 1993 bombing. Currently, Mike is principal consultant for M. Toto Services, LLC, where he applies his many years of experience to providing clients with security packages that include hardware, software, labor, life safety compliance, testing and training. Mike and his wife, Janice, live in Freehold, New Jersey. n Keep the news coming, folks, to

The Leadership Circle

UNLIMITED POSSIBILITIES NJIT’s reputation as a premier polytechnic university is built by our alumni, faculty, staff, and students. The generosity of The Leadership Circle enables NJIT to continue to thrive, and provide future leaders in STEM disciplines an affordable, first-rate education. For details on becoming a member of The Leadership Circle, please email or phone 973-596-5677.

With your support, there is no limit to what NJIT can achieve. n jit .e du




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Predicting the Next Big Technology Movement: MEHUL PATEL ’89


ehul Patel currently serves as the chief technology officer and vice president of engineering for Honeywell Home and Building Technologies where he directs the Engineering/Technology organization, which has an exciting portfolio advancing cutting-edge research and development, new product introductions, partnerships, and developing “the best team of engineers in the business.” In the following interview, Patel shares his thoughts on his experience as an international student pursuing a B.S. in electrical engineering at NJIT and how engineers play a key role in the Internet of Things (IoT).

NJIT: Do you think your NJIT degree helped you to pursue your career? If yes, how? MP: D  efinitely, Yes! The technical

knowledge I gained through my bachelor’s and master’s coursework has been invaluable throughout my career. Early on, as an individual contributor, I relied heavily on my electrical and semiconductor physics knowledge to design products for the auto-identification industry. Further on in my career, as a technology leader, I have drawn from it to understand the technology developed by our global teams.

NJIT: Did you ever envisage doing this while you were at NJIT? MP: D  efinitely, absolutely not! I was just

hoping I would get a job related to what I had studied, planned to work hard and aspired to manage a group one day. To be the technical leader of a team of over 4,000 engineers responsible for developing products that generate over $10 billion in revenue at a Fortune 100 company like Honeywell was far beyond anything I could have imagined for myself at that time.

NJIT: Where did you live when you were a student? MP: I was a commuter. I had recently

immigrated from India and lived with my sister and brother-in-law.



domain knowledge and insights to deploy information into predictive analytics to improve products and solve customer problems faster – problems that impact people’s lives every day … whether at home, at work, in a plant, in your car or on an airplane.

NJIT: What is your lasting impression of NJIT?

NJIT: How does this help customers?

MP: Th  e environment at NJIT was very

MP: I oT-generated insights are at work

friendly and welcoming to foreign students. Everyone, the students, TAs, professors, deans as well as other support staff, everyone who I encountered was friendly and always eager to help. As an international student coming from a very hierarchical society, I vividly remember being surprised to find that even the professors, many of whom were industry experts, were down to earth, accommodating and most importantly, made time for their students. I felt they genuinely cared about our success.

NJIT: How do engineers play a key role in the Internet of Things? MP: F  or me, being an engineer and

technologist by trade, the real value in IoT lies in real-time actionable insights from the data, to better solve problems. For our customers at Honeywell, mere IoT deployment is no longer a competitive advantage. Their market position can only be maintained and/or advanced if they understand the implications of IoTgenerated insights and use them. What does this look like? It could be anything from improving safety, to productivity savings, to operational efficiency and convenience. Here’s where engineers come in. Engineers combine their analytical skills,

everywhere. Today, like never before, we can see how our customers are engaging with their products in realtime and key-in to their behavior patterns. What we learn from this behavior is used to enhance their experience in terms of their interactions with devices, to drive prescriptive actions, strengthen long-term profitability, speed up the time to market of products and open new business models.

NJIT: What advice would you give students and alumni who are interested in this field? MP: A  s devices around us get connected,

the Internet of Things opens several opportunities for a software engineer. My advice is to recognize that we’re moving into an era of the Insights of Things. It is no longer enough that the things we create simply connect for convenience; they must solve problems in new ways. Engineers today are expected to have an intense focus on domain knowledge that is both broad and deep, be insanely curious and learn to recognize patterns from the perspective of an intimate understanding of your customers’ needs. n

Author: Christina Crovetto is editor of NJIT Magazine. n j i t .e du



ngie Feliz ’13, ’17 is driven to succeed. She taught herself English as a teenager newly relocated from the Dominican Republic to Newark, held down two jobs while going to community college, and simultaneously worked full time for PSE&G and pursued a master’s degree in engineering management at NJIT. The 26-year-old, who already held a bachelor’s in civil engineering from the university, is part of a PSE&G team in South Plainfield responsible for upgrading the company’s substations’ voltage from 26 kV to 69 kV, thereby making its system more reliable. She works alongside a project manager to oversee projects from start to finish — from initiation and authorization through the engineering, procurement, construction, energization (when the team puts the project in service) and closing phases. “That’s one of the things I really enjoy about my job,” said Feliz. “I get to see a lot of the engineering work in one project, and I get to be a part of all of it.” As an NJIT student, Feliz interned at PSE&G the summer before her December graduation, opting for the New Jersey public utility over Jacobs Engineering, a professional-services firm in Manhattan that also was interested in her. Her decision proved to be especially beneficial. Not only did she have the opportunity to gain real-world experience and learn from her co-workers, she received a job offer from PSE&G three months before completing her studies at NJIT. She started at PSE&G in January 2014.


Feliz was born in Cuba and moved at age 4 to the Dominican Republic with her parents and younger sister, now an NJIT student as well. Twelve years later, they came to Newark where her mother’s n jit .edu

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It’s Onward and Upward for NJIT Engineering Graduate ANGIE FELIZ ’13, ’17 cousin resided. “He was kind of our helping hand when we got here, so we lived with him for a couple of months,” Feliz remembered. She was assigned to Barringer High School, situated in a low-income neighborhood. While she felt that many of her classmates were apathetic about studying and unable to envision their future, and consequently tended to get themselves into trouble, she herself was able to dream big and succeed, thanks largely to her parents. “Knowing my parents and the way they raised me, it was like you go to school, you do good,” said Feliz, whose father is an electrical engineer and her mother an engineer working as a substitute teacher in Newark. “That was my job, and they would provide so in the future I could work and do what I want.” Among her greatest challenges — and triumphs — was learning English. She was placed in an English as a Second Language (ESL) class at Barringer and quickly advanced. Within five months of arriving in the United States, she passed the High School Proficiency Assessment standardized test, and a year later as a senior was enrolled in regular English classes. Much of her progress can be attributed to her determination, dedication and an old dictionary she brought with her from the Dominican Republic. Feliz toted books home from the school library and spent time every day for four months translating them word-by-word, “writing in a notebook so I could make sense of all this reading.” Also helpful was a summer Upward Bound program at NJIT, provided by the university’s Center for Pre-College Programs. Through Upward Bound, Feliz attended classes in reading and writing English, went on educational field trips, honed her public-speaking skills and much

more. “It was really good,” she commented about the program. “It pushed me a little further…and complemented what I was doing on my own.” COLLEGE AND CAREER

Feliz’s hard work paid off, with her graduating as salutatorian from Barringer. She then earned an associate degree at Essex County College while employed at both Rainbow Shops and State Farm to pay for her tuition. Two and a half years later, she transferred to NJIT to study civil engineering. “NJIT was always the place I wanted to be,” remarked Feliz, who participated in the NJIT chapters of Women in Engineering and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers as an undergrad. “It was an engineering school that everybody talked about.” Feliz received her master’s from NJIT in May. Ever ambitious, she also earned her PMP certification as a projectmanagement professional. “Angie is a talented engineer with great enthusiasm for the work we do in constructing a strong, reliable and resilient system for our customers. She has been a terrific addition to our team,” said Isabel Goncalves-Rooney ’89 (B.S. in engineering), ’97 (M.S. in management), director of transmission projects, PSE&G Delivery Projects and Construction. “As a proud alumna of Newark College of Engineering, I know the quality of the education that students receive at NJIT. PSE&G has hired a number of students as intern engineers and then — like Angie — as employees after graduation.” n Author: Julie Jacobs is a staff writer/ editor in NJIT’s Office of Strategic Communications.




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EMBA Graduate Realizes ‘Full Leadership Potential’: FATOUMATA GAKOU ’09


atoumata Gakou had a full plate professionally as manager of Banque de l’Habitat du Mali’s (Malian Bank of Habitat) New York City branch. Taking into account her minimal spare time, when she decided to pursue an MBA she searched for programs that not only offered a comprehensive education in advanced management, but a course schedule she could tailor to her own calendar. The Executive MBA (EMBA) program at NJIT’s Martin Tuchman School of Management fit the bill. “The content of the program and class flexibility put NJIT at the top of the schools I considered for my EMBA,” said Gakou. Since earning her degree in 2009, Gakou has put her EMBA experience to good use: “The program has helped me develop new frameworks for critically assessing and solving problems.” A few months after graduating from NJIT, she joined Bank of Africa (BOA) headquarters in Bamako; Group BOA has banking affiliates in 17 countries, primarily Africa. In 2012, the headquarters moved from Bamako to Dakar and then, in 2013, participated in the launch of BOA Lome in Togo, where today Gakou serves as both chief financial officer (CFO) and chief risk officer (CRO). In her role as BOA Lome’s CFO, Gakou is responsible for strategic planning,



financial reporting and controls, and regulatory compliance. She also partners with other domains in the bank, including human resources and legal. “I partner with the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of the bank to define long-term vision, medium-term plans and short-term budgets, and track the overall direction the bank is pursuing,” she explained. “And I formulate and tactically execute the bank’s financial strategy, policies and procedures.” As CRO, she compiles, assesses and reports risk information to the CEO and the board, and ensures that bank activities comply with relevant legislation and regulation. “I develop, manage and refine qualitative and quantitative risk reporting, which meets the needs of the board, in order to support effective decisionmaking,” Gakou added. “My NJIT EMBA degree has strengthened my managerial skills and helped with the realization of my full leadership potential,” said Gakou, whose fondest memory of the program is the study abroad trip to Vienna and Prague. “It has helped broaden my global network and reach.” n Author: Julie Jacobs is a staff writer/ editor in NJIT’s Office of Strategic Communications.

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NJIT Alum from NASA Returns to Campus: JOHN DECKER ’79


oday he is emeritus adviser to the Flight Projects Directorate at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, following a distinguished 32-year career at the federal space exploration and research agency. But nearly four decades ago, John Decker ’79 became a master’s graduate in civil engineering at NJIT, an educational achievement he credits for a lot of his professional success. Decker, a recent retiree, served previously as associate director of the directorate and worked on the repair and maintenance of the Hubble Space Telescope. He also spent nearly eight years as deputy project manager of the large, infrared James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), playing a leadership role in its formulation and implementation. JWST is scheduled for launch in spring 2019 as the “premier observatory” for “thousands of astronomers worldwide.” In his free time, Decker has moved from space to stage, applying his undergraduate degree in architecture and fine arts to the design and construction of theater sets. NJIT welcomed the esteemed alum for a two-day visit, Nov. 30-Dec. 1, during which he toured his old academic stomping grounds, informally networked with students, staff and faculty, and shared his “out of this world” experiences at NASA. Following are some of the highlights of his stay. Decker spoke with students in the astronomy and astrophysics class of Professor Dale Gary in Faculty Memorial Hall. There he reminisced about his days at NJIT, joking that he used a slide rule back then. He also elaborated on his

professional pathway to and at NASA. “We designed engineering solutions with the astronauts,” he said of his time at the agency, adding, “We rewrote the astronomy textbooks for the classes you’re probably taking now.” Career Development Services (CDS) coordinated one-on-one informational sessions for Decker to speak with undergraduate students interested in learning about and applying for internships at NASA. Shadae Farquharson, a third-year mechanical engineering (ME) major, was the first student to meet with him in one of CDS’ interview rooms. Decker talked to her about ME at the Goddard Space Flight Center and advised her to apply for many opportunities. “I’ve always had a passion for space exploration,” Farquharson remarked. “I believe that interning at NASA would be an adventure and that I would learn so much.” An interest in the dynamic analysis of structures led Decker to enroll at NJIT to study this area. During his return visit to campus, he toured both the Concrete Testing Lab in Colton Hall, where he spent many hours, as well as the new Resilient and Sustainable Infrastructure Laboratory in Weston Hall, pictured above in the background. He acknowledged that his structural analysis work at NJIT prepared him well for his job at NASA, which called for analyzing the stress and strain pertaining to satellites. “It’s all the same physics,” he said. A late-afternoon reception in Fenster Hall drew faculty and Ph.D. candidates to hear Decker talk about his joining NASA in 1985 and applying his civil engineering background to the construction of a

space station at the federal government’s request. He also commented on inventing parts for the Hubble Space Telescope and presented viewgraphs showing Goddard Space Flight Center’s divisions in the Applied Engineering and Technology Directorate. Decker is hopeful that job opportunities at NASA will increase as a result of the current wave of older employees like him retiring. Decker’s visit culminated with the Albert Dorman Honors College colloquium, “Shooting for the Stars: From NJIT to NASA.” A large crowd in the Campus Center Atrium listened as Decker told how he took evening classes at NJIT to earn his Master of Science in civil engineering, went on to do earthquake analysis of safety-related structures at nuclear power plants, and ultimately jumped at the chance to work in structural dynamics analysis at the Goddard Space Flight Center. He also spoke about and shared images from the Hubble Space Telescope, describing it as “perhaps the most productive science device mankind has ever built” and noting its longevity — Hubble was designed to be in space for 15 years and has been there for 27. Decker’s advice to those interested in careers at NASA is to do the requisite research and seek out specific NASA projects and relevant areas. “Patience and persistence are the keywords,” he said, “and don’t be afraid to leap at an opportunity when you see it.” n Author: Julie Jacobs is a staff writer/ editor in NJIT’s Office of Strategic Communications.



1940’s 1960’s 1990’s C L A S S




Engineering) has been chosen as a distinguished real estate professional by The Expert Network, an invitation-only service for distinguished professionals. Tselepis has over 40 years’ experience in real estate and is founder of Nicholas Real Estate Agency.



(Industrial Administration) has been named the new coach of the men’s and women’s tennis teams at Baruch College. Wyzykowski, who has been coaching the game of tennis collegiately since 1997, is a member of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association and has also served on the USTA Middle States, BIG EAST Championship and ITA/NCAA Division II rankings committees.

’85 ANTHONY FARINARO (Electrical Engineering) is now serving as vice president and general manager-design services at Microsemi SoC Corp., manufacturer of embedded processors. ’85 KEN GAYER (Chemical Engineering) has been appointed chief executive officer at Gelest, Inc., manufacturer and provider of silane, silicone and metal-organic compounds. Most recently, Gayer served as business president of Honeywell Specialty Products of Honeywell International. Before his latest role, he had a long tenure at Honeywell in a variety of leadership positions. ’89 GLENN DIGIOVANNI (M.S. in Mechanical Engineering) has joined global environmental engineering and consulting firm Greeley and Hansen as co-managing director of the Northeast operating group. DiGiovanni most recently served as senior vice president at Techno Consult, where he was responsible for the firm’s water, wastewater and environmental 30





construction management practice. Before that, he was vice president for the New York City Metro operations of URS.


’90 BRIAN DUDDY (Architecture)

joined DIGroupArchitecture, LLC as director of construction administration. Duddy will play an integral role in predesign analysis and cost estimating, construction scheduling, quality control and constructability review of documents, and construction support services.


Architecture) has returned to SOSH Architects as project manager and construction administrator. Vreeland worked at SOSH from 2007 to 2011 and was the facilities manager at Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club. He is also a member of the Tuckerton Borough Council and Land Use Board.


(Management) has joined strategic marketing and integrated communications firm Creative Marketing Alliance (CMA) as digital marketing specialist. Prior to CMA, Beldowicz worked as the director of digital marketing for the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), one of the largest International Coach Federation-accredited coach training schools in the world. ’04 PAUL SKABICH (M.S. in Civil

Engineering) has been promoted to vice president of MAST Construction Services, Inc. Skabich, who has been with MAST since 2005, was formerly a project executive and before that, a senior project manager at the firm.

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Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC), located at Picatinny Arsenal, and is part of ARDEC’s Diversity Advisory Council. She is also president of the Picatinny Chapter of Women in Defense. ’06 LORIANNE JONES (Architecture) has joined DIGroupArchitecture, LLC as a project manager in the health care studio. Jones has been responsible for design through delivery of a variety of health care projects for several key clients including RWJ/Barnabas, Urban Health Plan, Mount Sinai and Nassau University Medical Center. She is expert in building information modeling (BIM) and will be a key person overseeing the studio’s integrated design process.


’12 MADDIEL GONZALEZ (Electrical

Engineering) has been appointed engineering manager at MegaPhase, designer and manufacturer of highperformance RF coaxial cables and connectors. Gonzalez’s career has involved developing state-of-the-art RF connectors for space, military and commercial applications. He has co-authored several technical publications and also holds two U.S. patents under his name.

’17 JEFFREY THOMAS (Architecture,

M.S. in Infrastructure Planning) has joined SOSH Architects and will be working out of the Atlantic City office. Thomas previously interned at MMPF Architects and is affiliated with the American Institute of Architecture Students and Architectural League of New York.

’05 GIHAN (GIGI) ORABY (M.S. in Engineering Management) has joined DreamGirls Initiative as a board member. Oraby is a civilian with the Department of the Army at the Armament Research, n j i t .e du

1950’s PHOTO: U.S. NAVY






NJIT alumni from the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) Lakehurst gathered together for a photo op at Joint Base McGuire-DixLakehurst, New Jersey, Oct. 25. NAWCAD Lakehurst is the Navy’s engineering support activity for Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment (ALRE) and Naval Aviation Support Equipment (SE), and is responsible for maintaining fleet support and infusing modern technology across the entire spectrum of equipment needed to launch, land and maintain aircraft from ships at sea. Employees at NAWCAD Lakehurst cover many career fields that include science, engineering, business, program management and more. From left: Adriano Parga ’06, Chintan Patel ’07, Andy Hernandez ’07, Thomas Riccobono ’06, Luis Salinas ’07, Glenn Johnson ’94, Pete Cerasoli ’13, Rob McRae ’89, Pete Worley ’79, Paul Fries ’75, Dave Snow ’94, Tom Donnelly ’84 and Tom Cook ’02.




IN MEMOR I A M Hrant Dalalian ’50 Edwin Kleissler Jr. ’50 Emiliano Mazzarella ’52 John Dwyer ’57 Robert Weeks ’60 Donald Phair ’61 James Towey ’62 Paul Cafone ’64 Richard Nunn ’65 William Boswell ’66, ’74 Henry Grunwald ’67 Daniel Koppa ’69 Salvatore LoSauro ’74

Cornerstone Architectural Group, LLC, celebrated 30 years in business during a reception at the firm’s Hamilton Boulevard office building. The celebration was highlighted by Borough Council President Derryck C. White (right), when he presented and read a proclamation from the Mayor’s office congratulating the partners and staff of Cornerstone on their 30th anniversary. Ranked by NJ Biz Magazine as one of New Jersey’s top 50 architectural design firms, Cornerstone Architectural Group is an award-winning design firm that specializes in professional services in architecture, interior design, land planning and construction management. The firm employs a staff of 10 at its South Plainfield office and delivers design excellence in public, civic and commercial buildings. From left: Firm partners Robert M. Longo, AIA ’86; Robert F. Barranger, AIA ’83; and Michael G. Soriano, AIA ’83. n jit .edu

John Francis Wolcott ’75 Douglas Fitts ’80 Dean Kelly ’99 Andrew Salerno ’12







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The Marangoni phenomenon — commonly recognized as the “tears of wine” that form and drop along the rim of a wine glass — occurs when two miscible liquids of different surface tension meet.



hahriar Afkhami, NJIT associate professor of mathematics, and colleagues on an international research team have successfully quantified mysterious dynamics underlying a phenomenon in liquid physics, known as the Marangoni effect. Their findings, published in Nature Physics on July 31, 2017, could potentially lead to more effective drug delivery methods and help eliminate contamination during the cleaning of liquid surfaces. “The Marangoni effect and how it is created have been known for a while, but the mathematical formulation of the phenomenon is analytically intractable,” said Afkhami. “The interest in unraveling this effect, therefore, motivated us to build one of the first computational models that could solve the problem realistically.” The Marangoni phenomenon — commonly recognized as the “tears of wine” that form and drop along the rim of a wine glass — occurs when two miscible liquids of different surface tension meet. That meeting causes one liquid with greater surface tension (water) to pull on the surrounding liquid with more force than areas with lower surface tension (alcohol).

In the case of the “tears of wine” effect, alcohol evaporation naturally lifts wine up the glass — raising the water concentration of the liquid and raising the overall liquid surface tension for the effect to take place. Under the contractile force of flow, the liquid begins to pool into droplets on the glass walls until they outweigh the force of the effect and fall back into the wine. Afkhami and the research team, led by Professor Howard A. Stone at Princeton University, used a new theoretical model and advanced flow visualization techniques to predict and capture the dynamics of the Marangoni effect produced by a single alcohol drop on water in real-time. The lab was able to calculate previously unknown Marangoni-driven factors such as surface liquid mixing time, spreading time and length scale. “Our method could potentially help improve products like detergents or improve oil recovery, where surfactants are used to reduce the surface tension,” said Afkhami. “We might also be able to use the effect to propel drugs to important targets more effectively.” Afkhami is now leading research at NJIT to enhance the computational model used

to understand the Marangoni effect, which was first developed by one of his former Ph.D. students, Ivana Seric, and co-advised by Lou Kondic, professor of mathematical sciences at NJIT. The National Science Foundation partially supported their research. “Ivana successfully developed a numerical framework that can tackle really challenging problems,” said Afkhami. “We are now extending it to consider even more engineering and real-life problems related to Marangoni effects.” Afkhami is an associate professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at NJIT researching computational fluid dynamics, high-performance computing and algorithm development for modeling flows of complex fluids. Afkhami is currently investigating interfacial dynamics in liquid-liquid and liquid-liquid-solid systems. For complete details of the study, “Solutal Marangoni flows of miscible liquids drive transport without surface contamination,” visit: https://www.nature. com/articles/nphys4214. n Author: Jesse Jenkins is a staff writer in NJIT’s Office of Strategic Communications.


New Jersey Institute of Technology University Heights Newark, NJ 07102-1982


This year, we celebrate anniversaries for classes ending in 3s and 8s. Join hundreds of alumni and friends to see the new changes on campus, reconnect with old friends, and hear about the strides your alma mater has made since your last visit. Whether you graduated five years ago or 50, it’s time to reconnect with NJIT!

Enjoy returning favorites: • President’s Address to Alumni • Greek and Class Reunions • Alumni Awards • Dinner Dance and After-Party

And new events:

• Alumni Wine Festival • Tours of Makerspace, Wellness and Events Center, and Central King buildings

• Class and college reunions

NJIT Magazine Winter 2018  
NJIT Magazine Winter 2018