A Vision for the Future: President's Annual Report 2009-2010

A Vision for the Future

2009-2010 President's Annual Report:

A Vision for the Future

Highlights of 2009-2010

University Achievements New Books
Faculty & Staff Honors Appointments & Promotions
Student Honors & Achievements Economic Development
Athletics Professional Activities
Grants & Patents  

University Achievements

NJIT has one of the most diverse student bodies in the nation.

U.S. News & World Report’s 2010 Annual Guide to America’s Best Colleges named NJIT among the nation’s top tier of national research universities NJIT also ranked 7th in Campus Diversity.

The Princeton Review named NJIT among its Best 371 Colleges for 2010. The university was also listed among the Review’s Greenest Colleges.

The 2009 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll recognized NJIT for an exemplary commitment to service and volunteerism. The university was cited for three exemplary community service programs: the Wachovia/NJDCA Housing and Community Development Scholars Program, the Civic Engagement Computer Center@ NJIT (CECC@NJIT), and the NJIT “Community of Caring” Campaign.

The Bloomberg BusinessWeek survey of U.S. colleges ranked NJIT in the top 10 percent nationally for return on investment and classified the university as one of four higher education “best buys” in New Jersey.

NJIT was named a member of the worldwide Open Courseware Consortium organization created by MIT to provide free and open digital publication of high-quality educational materials, organized as courses. Some 35 NJIT courses are available through the consortium.  NJIT is the only institution of higher learning throughout New Jersey and New York to have achieved this distinction.

NJIT finished second among 300 universities participating in the UNICEF/ACUI (Association of College Unions International) Campus Challenge by raising nearly $10,000 to aid earthquake victims in Haiti.

NJIT’s School of Management was ranked among the nation’s top business schools by the Princeton Review in its 2010 edition of The Best 301 Business.

NJIT’s Department of Computer Science was ranked among the top 100 departments in the world by the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) published by the Center for World-Class Universities and the Institute of Higher Education of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China.

The Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at Newark  College of Engineering has been awarded the 2010 American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Lucy and Charles W.E. Clarke Scholarship.

NJIT once again ranked prominently among the Top 100 Degree Producers for 2010 named by Diverse Issues in Higher Education.

Undergraduate results included:

  • African-American degree recipients – 22nd  in engineering.
  • Asian-American graduates – 14th in business; 28th in engineering.
  • Hispanic bachelor’s recipients -- 31st in engineering; 34th in business.
  • Total minority graduates -- 16th in computer science; 23rd  in engineering.

Graduate rankings included:

  • African-American master’s recipients – 9th in engineering; 21st  in computer science.
  • Asian-American masters graduates – 15th in computer science; 15th in engineering.
  • Hispanic master’s recipients – 21th in engineering; 10th in computer science.
  • Total minority master’s degree recipients: 14th  in computer science; 16th in engineering.

More than 2,000 degrees -- doctoral, master’s, and bachelors – were awarded at the NJIT 2010 Commencement Ceremony held at the Prudential Center, Newark. Honorary degrees were awarded to New Jersey’s first Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno, also the keynote speaker; Ralph Izzo, chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer of the Public Service Enterprise Group, Inc., Newark; and Leon G. Smith, MD, former director of infectious diseases at Saint Michael’s Medical Center, who developed the first viral diagnostic laboratory in New Jersey, as well as HIV and Hepatitis C Clinics. 

back to the top

Faculty and Staff Honors

Marino Xanthos, professor of chemical engineering, received the 2010 Heinz List Award for his work in plastics engineering.

An article by Research Professor Hans Chaudhry (lead author) and co-authored by Bruce Bukiet, associate professor of mathematical sciences, and Zhiming Ji, professor of mechanical and industrial engineering, received the 2009 George W. Northup, DO, Medical Writing Award from The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (JAOA).

Yi-Fang Brook Wu, associate professor of information systems and  Min Song, assistant professor of information systems, published  The Handbook of Research on Text and Web Mining Technologies,  (IGI International, 2009).

"How Entrepreneurs Seduce Business Angels: Finding a Balance between Overstated Expectations and Understated Aspirations," a paper co-authored by Michael Ehrlich and Annaleena Parhankangas, professor and associate professor o management, was accepted for full presentation at the 2010 Institute of Behavioral and Applied Management (IBAM) Conference and earned the designation of "Best Paper" for this division.

Ali Abdi, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, received the IEEE Region 1 Award, for outstanding leadership and contributions in “Underwater Acoustic Communications.”

Nirwan Ansari, professor of electrical and computer engineering, won the  Best Paper Award at the  2009 IEEE International Conference on Network Infrastructure and Digital Content in Beijing, China, for his paper, "On the Performance Analysis of Traffic Splitting on Load Imbalancing and Packet Reordering of Bursty Traffic.”

Treena Livingston Arinzeh, associate professor of biomedical engineering, was named as one of “100 History Makers in the Making” by The Grio, the first video-centric news community site devoted to providing video packages, news articles, and blogs on topics from breaking news, politics, health, business, and entertainment with special appeal African American audience.

Yeheskel Bar-Ness, distinguished professor of electrical and computer engineering, was selected by the IEEE Communications Society as one of two recipients of the Communication Theory Technical Committee Service Award for 2009.  He was cited for his sustained leadership of the Communication Theory Committee, for his leadership in organizing the first Communication Theory Mini-Conference, and for his leadership in founding IEEE Communications Letters and serving as its inaugural editor-in-chief. 

Amitabha Bose, professor of mathematical sciences, received a Fulbright-Nehru Senior Research Fellowship for academic year 2009-2010 to study the “Dynamics of Neuronal Networks” at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Nancy W. Coppola, professor of humanities, received the Jay R. Gould Award for Excellence in Teaching Technical Communication from the Society for Technical Communications.

Norma J. Clayton '81, vice president of learning, training and development at The Boeing Company and a member of the NJIT Board of Overseers, was named 2009 Technologist of the Year by Black Engineer.com.

Philip R. Goode, a distinguished professor of physics and director of Big Bear Solar Observatory, was named a Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Neil Maher, associate professor of history, received the 2009 Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Award for the best book published on forest and conservation history for his book, Nature’s New Deal: The Civilian Conservation Corps and the Roots of the American Environmental Movement.

Jay Meegoda, professor of civil and environmental engineering, has been elected a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineering.

Allison Perlman, assistant professor of history, has been awarded a one year research fellowship in the Verklin Program in Media Ethics and Policy at the University of Virginia. She is the first research fellow in the Verklin Program, which intends to produce high quality academic research on the ethics of media policy, the reciprocal relationship between the media and the law, and the political and social impact of media regulation. The fellowship also will support Perlman's completion of her book manuscript, Reforming Television: Media Activism, Media Policy, Media History. 

N.M. Ravindra, professor and chair of physics, was inducted into the OMICRON DELTA KAPPA - The National Leadership Honor Society.

Sunil Saigal, dean of Newark College of Engineering, has been named a Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Anthony Schumann, professor of architecture, was named Distinguished Professor by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA). He is NJIT’s first faculty member to receive this award, ACSA's highest honor.

Karl Schweizer, professor of history, received a Citation of Merit for outstanding contributions to historical studies from the International Biographical Association, Cambridge, England.

For the second consecutive year, Leonid Tsybeskov, professor of electrical and computer engineering, was selected to receive a HP Labs Innovation Research Award. One of only 65 researchers worldwide receiving the 2010 awards, and one of only 40 receiving repeat funding, he will continue his research in novel thermoelectric devices utilizing unique structural and electronic properties of Si/SiGe semiconductor nanowire heterojunctions. Tsybeskov was also principal editor for the Proceedings of IEEE special issue on Silicon Photonics.

Marino Xanthos, professor of chemical engineering, received the 2010 Heinz List Award at the annual technical conference of the Society of Plastics Engineers. He was recognized for his outstanding achievements in polymer devolatilization and reactive processing.

Andrzej Zarzycki, assistant professor of architecture, partnered with Sapir Ng of the Boston architectural firm Tsoi/Kobus & Associates, to design the winning entry in SHIFTboston’s first annual Ideas Competition which invited architects, artists, landscape architects, urban designers, and engineers to submit their most provocative wild visions for the City of Boston: WHAT IF this could happen in Boston? Zarzycki and Ng created plans for the Tremont Underground Theater Space (TUTS), a concept that would turn an abandoned subway tunnel into a network of underground, interactive social environments--experiential theatres and immersive digital (art) galleries.

back to the top

Student Honors and Achievements

Co-captains of the steel bridge team, Giancarlo Fricano and Tien Tran.

NJIT’s Steel Bridge Team swept the Regional AISC/ASCE Student Steel Bridge Competition, the first time NJIT students have achieved a “clean sweep” of the competition. The team, led by co-captains Tien Tran and Giancarlo Fricano,   placed first overall and in every single scoring category including structural efficiency, construction economy, stiffness, and aesthetics.  Faculty advisors are John Schuring, Alan Slaughter and Anthony Massari.

Graduate students Yimin Wang and Stefanie Masotti finished first and second in the student poster competition sponsored by the New Jersey chapter of the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE).  Wang, a student in chemical, biological and pharmaceutical engineering, won for the presentation, Toward a More Reliable USP Dissolution Testing Apparatus II, and Masotti, a biomedical engineering student, won for Expanded and Simplified Method To Produce In Vitro Axon Stretch Injury. They will compete at the national competition. 

More than fifty biomedical engineering undergraduate, graduate and PhD students attended the 36th Annual Northeast Bioengineering Conference hosted by Columbia University.  Award winners included:

  • Doctoral student Deep Pandya, Best Poster Award for his presentation, Elevated Temperature Electrospinning of Aqueous Gelatin Solutions with Single Step Crosslinking for Tissue Engineering Applications. His advisors were Research Professor George Collins and Treena Livingston Arinzeh, associate professor of biomedical engineering.
  • Eun Kim, a PhD student, an outstanding paper and presentation award for her paper, "The Correlation between Change in Near-Dissociated Phoria and Vergence Dynamics." Her advisor was Tara Alvarez, associate professor of biomedical engineering.
  • Graduate student Mevan Siriwardan won Best Rapid Fire Presentation Award for "Engineering Three-dimensional Nervous Tissue Constructs Based on Fiber-Gel Substrates."  Bryan Pfister, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, was advisor.

NJIT’s student chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers won the ASME Student Sections Award for the seventh consecutive year. This prestigious award (formerly the Ingersoll-Rand Award) is presented to the college or university in ASME District A, that has accumulated the most points for such activities as guest speakers, plant trips, social events, tutoring and service to the university and the community.  NJIT amassed over 850 points out of a possible 1000 points.

Lauren Beach, graduate student in chemical engineering, won the 2009 Schering-Plough Science and Innovation Award.

Gil Bento, finance major, was selected to participate in the SEMI (Scholarship, Education, Mentoring and Internship) program in summer 2010 with NYSSA (New York Society of Security Analysts). The summer SEMI Program provides undergraduate college students who are pursuing degrees in finance or other related studies with a greater exposure to and understanding of the finance and investment fields. 

Corina Bot, a PhD student in physics, received first prize for the most outstanding graduate student talk at the 2009 Rutgers-UMDNJ-NJIT Integrative Neuroscience Mini-symposium.

Civil engineering major Keith Corkery received the 2010 Sol Seid Award for Excellence from the New Jersey Professional Engineers in Construction his outstanding academic achievements and community involvement.

Lakxmi Gurumurthy, graduate student in chemical engineering, won the 2010 New Jersey Pharmaceutical Association for Science and Technology Graduate Student Poster Competition.

Rashi Jain, a doctoral candidate in applied mathematics, received the top honor for the best young researcher’s paper at the annual meeting of the Acoustical Society of America at NJIT. The paper, “Particle filtering approach for multipath arrival time estimation from acoustic time series,” was based on research supported by the Office of Naval Research with her advisor, Elisa Michalopoulou, professor of mathematics.

Neha Jain, a doctoral student in biomedical engineering, was selected to participate in the NSF-funded Faraday Discussion Graduate Research Seminar. Her advisor is Raquel Perez-Castillejos, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering.

Daniel Lepek ’09 (PhD in chemical engineering) was the author of the cover article in the AIChE Journal, “Enhanced Nanofluidization by Alternating Electric Fields,” in January 2010.

Michael Lowry, mechanical engineering major, won the 2010 American Society of Mechanical Engineers Design Competition for District A with his recycling robot called “RUFUS.” The “Earth Saver” competition involved designing a robot to sort various types of recyclables. He will travel to Vancouver to compete in the finals.

Nkechi Nandi, PhD candidate in information systems, was one of eight doctoral students world-wide selected to participate in the 2009 ACM Recommender Systems Conference Doctoral Symposium where she presented her research on “Applying Relevant Set Correlation Clustering to Multi-Criteria Recommender Systems.”

Leean “Coco” Orama, engineering technology major, was one of only four students nationwide selected to receive an all-expense-paid scholarship to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) GreenBuild International Conference and Expo in Phoenix.

Deep Pandya, a graduate student in biomedical engineering advised by Associate Professor Treena Livingston Arinzeh and Research Professor George Collins, won Best Poster Award for his presentation entitled "Elevated Temperature Electrospinning of Aqueous Gelatin Solutions with Single Step Crosslinking for Tissue Engineering Applications" at the 36th Annual Northeast Bioengineering Conference

Jason Peist '08, a member of the design team at TMR and Associates, P.C. in Rutherford, was named the AIA NJ Intern Architect of the Year for 2009. He is currently enrolled in the Master of Science in Professional and Technical Communication program.

Karen Patten ’09, who earned her PhD in Information Systems, received the "Best Practitioner-Oriented Paper" Award at the 2009 America's Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS) meeting. Her paper was selected from among 1,070 papers presented at the conference. Titled "How CIOs Use Flexibility to Manage Uncertainty in Dynamic Business Environments," the paper was written with  Jerry Fjermestad,  associate professor of management, and Brian Whitworth, formerly of the information systems faculty. Karen is now an assistant professor at the University of South Carolina.

Mevan Siriwardan, a graduate student in biomedical engineering advised by Assistant Professor Bryan Pfister, won Best Rapid Fire Presentation Award at the Biomaterials Day Awards Reception from the Society for Biomaterials for his presentation entitled "Engineering Three-dimensional Nervous Tissue Constructs Based on Fiber-Gel Substrates."

Luz Zidziunas*, civil engineering major  won the the Technical Mead Paper Competition for her paper "Ethics and the Engineer of 2025,"  at the 2010 Metropolitan Regional Conference. 


* Albert Dorman Honors scholar

back to the top


Sabrina Baby was the first Highlander to be named an ESPN Magazine Academic All-American.

Highlander Athletics officially gained across-the board membership in NCAA Division I as of September 2009, making NJIT teams eligible for postseason championship competition and for national statistical championships. The eligibility immediately paid off:

  • NJIT Women’s Volleyball Team won the national statistical championship in team digs per set.
  • Management major Sabrina Baby was Division I national statistical championship in digs per set. She was also named to the ESPN Magazine’s Academic All-America third-team for volleyball, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America and was named Great West Conference Defensive Player of the Year.

The average cumulative GPA for NJIT’s 236 student-athletes at the conclusion of 2009-10 was 3.070, with 110 student-athletes making the dean’s list for the spring 2010 semester. Ten teams had cumulative GPAs above 3.0, including both tennis teams, both basketball teams, both fencing teams, men’s swimming, women’s cross country, women’s track and field, and women’s volleyball. The highest cumulative averages belonged to the men’s (3.591) and women’s (3.470) tennis teams. Twenty-nine scholar athletes in six sports were named to the 2009-2010 Winter/Spring Great West Conference All-Academic Team:

  • Baseball: Steven Ace* (industrial engineering); James D’Aloia (mechanical engineering); Kyle McCarthy* (mathematical sciences); Jeff Pizzi (business); Matt Tomczyk (mechanical engineering.
  • Men’s Basketball: Sammy Schickel (business); Teddy Schickel (business); Dan Stonkus (mechanical).
  • Women’s Basketball: Jessica Gerald (business); Katie Piekielski* (biology); Ivana Seric (applied mathematics).
  • Women’s Tennis: Fanny Alzier (computer science); Ana Lidon (business); Anine Lovdal (interior design) Dasa Stanimirovic (business); Isha Toor* (business).
  • Men’s Indoor/Outdoor Track and Field: Aamir Ahmed* (biomedical engineering); Josh Dolisca* (electrical engineering); Michael Gurlacz (information technology); Joe Ju* (biomedical engineering); Jonathan Nunez* (computer science); Ruben Santos (construction engineering technology).
  • Women’s Indoor/Outdoor Track and Field: Cara Constantino* (architecture); Iulia Doci* (business); Lauren Dupuis* (biomedical engineering); Daisy Gallegos (information technology); Megan Higgins* (biomedical engineering); Katrina Hornstein* (mechanical engineering); Zoey Tham* (mechanical engineering).

Other all-academic designations include:

  • Five members of the NJIT men's and women's tennis teams were named to the 2009 All-Academic by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) for their excellence in the classroom: Steve Erickson (business); Anthony Tunnero, (finance and economics);  and Bryan Keelan* (architecture) from the men’s team, and Iulia Doci* (business), and Isha Toor* (business), on the women’s side.
  • Nine Highlanders in four sports were named to the Fall 2009 Great West Conference All-Academic team: Joe Ju* (biomedical engineering), men’s cross country; Cara Constantino* (architecture), Iulia Doci* (business), Daisy Gallegos (information technology), and Kelsey Johnson (civil engineering), women’s cross country; Christi Taylor, (mathematical sciences), women’s soccer; Sabrina Baby (business), Katrina Hornstein* (mechanical engineering), and Erica Schultz (business), women’s volleyball.
  • Biomedical Engineering major Adam Gustafson was named to the 2010 Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) All-Academic team.
  • First-year students  Teddy Bickert* (civil engineering), Mark Leiter Jr. (undeclared), and Matt Petrone (industrial design) were voted onto the 2010 New Jersey Collegiate Baseball Association Division I All-Rookie team.

* Albert Dorman Honors scholar

back to the top

Grants and Patents

Professor of Physics Ken Chin received a grant from Apollo Solar Energy of China to support the Solar Cell Research Center as well as a new patent.

NJIT faculty received 27 new grants from the National Science Foundation during 2009-2010:

  • Linda Cummings, associate professor of mathematical sciences, to develop new analytical models for nematic liquid crystals used in LCD devices.
  • Andrew Gerrard, associate professor of physics, to allow the PENGUIn team to continue investigating in depth a multi-scale electrodynamic system that comprises space environment of Planet Earth (geospace) from a distributed network of autonomous observatories in Antarctica.
  • Sergiu Gorun, associate professor of chemistry and environmental science, and Robert Barat, professor of chemical engineering, to develop catalysts for oxidation of molecules which are more "green" than previous catalysts by allowing the use of air for the reaction without the catalyst being destroyed by the oxygen.
  • Gregory Fleishman, associate research professor of physics, to study thermal and non-thermal radio emission from solar flares through a combination of high resolution radio observations and sophisticated theoretical modeling. He also has a NASA grant with Dale Gary, distinguished professor of physics to probe the energy release of solar flares with hard x-ray and radio observations.
  • Dale Gary, distinguished professor of physics, for continuing operations of the Owens Valley Solar Array (OVSA), a university-based solar-dedicated radio imaging array.
  • Philip Goode, distinguished professor of physics and director of the Center for Solar-Terrestrial Research, three grants to develop more sophisticated optics for the 1.6 Meter Solar Telescope at Big Bear Solar Observatory.
  • Wenge Guo, assistant professor of mathematical sciences, to develop new and innovative methods of multiple hypothesis testing that could be applied in genetics and pharmaceutical development and testing.
  • Jie Hu, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, to explore a new flexible processor architecture for highly effective reliable computing by exploiting the semantics of hardware transaction processing.
  • Ju Jing, research professor of physics, to study the evolution of coronal magnetic configurations and the corresponding free magnetic energy that is associated with solar explosive phenomena, such as flares and coronal mass ejections.
  • Michael Jaffe, research professor of biomedical engineering, to develop new backbone chemistries for very high performance fibers, films and plastics incorporating renewable resource monomers derived from common agricultural crops in partnership with Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.
  • Shidong Jiang, assistant professor of mathematical sciences, to investigate, innovate and integrate the key simulation steps, from analytic re-formulation of system models with complex geometries to combinatorial optimization in mapping numerical algorithms to computing architectures  with the goal of advancing computational theories and techniques to meet the demand and challenge for large scale simulations of complex systems in scientific, medical and engineering studies.
  • Quentin Jones, associate professor of information systems, to investigate using computer technology to improve people's ability to engage in social activities of interest and coordinate with others.
  • Joseph Leung, distinguished professor of computer science, to development of new algorithmic structures that will improve on the planning and scheduling of the transport of goods in global supply chains.
  • Victor Matveev, associate professor of mathematical sciences, to continue the Undergraduate Biology and Mathematics Training Program that provides students with long-term research experience and teaches students the combined application of experimental and quantitative techniques.
  • Cyrill Muratov, associate professor of mathematical sciences, to develop a new, universal computer memory based on thin film ferromagnetic materials: MRAM (Magnetoresistive Random Access Memory).
  • Marvin Nakayama, associate professor of compute