NCE to recognize alumni, faculty, staff and students at 18th Annual Salute to Excellence

Newark College of Engineering (NCE) at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) will celebrate its continued commitment to engineering education advancement at the 18th annual Salute to Engineering Excellence March 9, 2016, 6-9 p.m. at the Newark Museum. Proceeds from the event will benefit the NCE Dean's Fund.

"The Newark College of Engineering looks forward to hosting many of its alumni and friends. This is an opportunity for NCE to reflect on its positive impact on the lives of graduates, the community and the profession," said NCE Dean Moshe Kam. "The event also provides opportunities to network, to meet the recipients of our student awards and to recommit to the expansion, reach and impact of NCE and NJIT."

The 2016 NCE Outstanding Alumnus Award will be presented to Peter J. Abitante '90, vice president of reconstructive implant product development at Stryker Orthopaedics, and Brian G. Kiernan '70, retired vice president and chief scientist at Interdigital Corporation, LLC. In his current role, Abitante, of Upper Saddle River, is responsible for the development of Stryker's hip and knee implants and instruments. He joined Osteonics Corp. in 1993 as a senior design engineer, where he worked on total knee systems, followed by a series of roles of increasing responsibility in product development and marketing for total knee and total hip product lines. He received a B.S. in civil industrial engineering from NCE in 1990 and an M.S in engineering management from Stevens Institute of Technology in 1996.

During his tenure at Interdigital, Kiernan, of Downington, Pennsylvania, was directly responsible for the company's worldwide industry standards activities and aided in the development of new market, product and technology initiatives. In this capacity, he provided strategic technical and marketing support to InterDigital's sales, marketing and business development efforts as well as the company's worldwide patent and licensing programs. As a charter member of the NJIT Interdisciplinary Design Studio (IDS) External Advisory Board, Kiernan has co-sponsored a small group of NJIT undergraduate students for summer research that helps them to develop entrepreneurial skills. He received a electrical engineering from Newark College of Engineering in 1970, and an M.S. in management science/operations research from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Each year, NCE recognizes an outstanding industry partner for their uniquely supportive relationship with NJIT. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) will receive the 2016 Outstanding Industry Partnership Award.

Abitante and Kiernan will join the ranks of accomplished alumni who have been honored by NCE for their achievements. In 2015, Theodore D. Cassera '72, of Bowman Consulting, and Arnold M. Peskin '65, retired head of the Information Technology Division and senior scientist at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, received the NCE Outstanding Alumnus Award.

"NCE has a proud tradition of producing graduate engineers that have greatly contributed to industry and academia," said Robert Cohen, chair of the NCE Board of Visitors. "Many of our alumni and industry partners demonstrate the best the college has to offer. The Salute event allows us to give them the recognition they deserve and have earned."

Faculty, staff and student honorees reflect the diversity of the NJIT community

Faculty, staff and student honorees reflect the diversity of the NJIT community and demonstrate an impressive range of engineering achievement. The students, for example, are acknowledged for their contributions to such areas as innovative design, research and peer mentorship.

Michelle Vazquez, Sohui Park, and Monica Torralba, students in the Otto H. York Department of Chemical, Biological and Pharmaceutical Engineering, will receive the Saul K. Fenster Innovation in Design Award for their leadership of the Chem-E Car Team, which designed, fabricated, and built a unique auto system for entry into the American Institute of Chemical Engineers' annual competition. The Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering's Bo Zhang will be recognized with the NCE Outstanding Graduate Student Award for his many accomplishments, including his industry-funded dissertation research on how aerosol droplets produced by coughing affect disease transmission. Tao Han '15, now a tenure-track assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and the author of more than 20 research papers, will be acknowledged with the NCE Outstanding Doctoral Student Dissertation Award for his excellence in both teaching and research in the Helen and John C. Hartmann Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Other students receiving recognition include Albert Dorman Honors College Scholar Kimberly Lam, who has been actively involved in numerous volunteer and leadership roles at NJIT, and has served as a role model for women engineers as both a board member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and president of the NJIT SWE section. Lam, a student in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, is the recipient of the Madame Mau Outstanding Female Engineering Student Award. She also has been named Outstanding Senior Overall, as well as Departmental Outstanding Senior along with Kevin Alvernaz from the John A. Reif, Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Mohammed Elassa from the Department of Biomedical Engineering; Nathanael Hildebrand from the Department of Engineering Technology; Hathija Noor, from the Otto H. York Department of Chemical, Biological and Pharmaceutical Engineering; and Philip Zurek from the Helen and John C. Hartmann Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.


For more information on the 2016 NCE Salute to Excellence, contact Angela Vega-Irvin at 973-596-3223 or visit

About NJIT One of the nation's leading public technological universities, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is a top-tier research university that prepares students to become leaders in the technology-dependent economy of the 21st century. NJIT's multidisciplinary curriculum and computing-intensive approach to education provide technological proficiency, business acumen and leadership skills. With an enrollment of more than 11,300 graduate and undergraduate students, NJIT offers small-campus intimacy with the resources of a major public research university. NJIT is a global leader in such fields as solar research, nanotechnology, resilient design, tissue engineering and cybersecurity, in addition to others. NJIT ranks fifth among U.S. polytechnic universities in research expenditures, topping $110 million, and is among the top 1 percent of public colleges and universities in return on educational investment, according to

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