It has been a busy month. This October, CAIT has been in the news for various research and projects, has seen faculty members honored for their excellence in education and research, and has hosted a number of classes and site visits.

Awards and Honors

2019 NJDOT Research Showcase

Announced every year at the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) Research Showcase, the NJDOT Research Implementation Award honors someone who works with the Department on a project that is then implemented to help solve a relevant problem.

At the 2019 showcase earlier this October, Dr. Perumalsamy N. Balaguru, a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rutgers School of Engineering (SoE) and a Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT) affiliated researcher, won the award and was honored in front of his peers.

Dr. Balaguru has been working with NJDOT on identifying a new protocol for accepting new overcoating for steel surfaces.

“Overcoating” is a common term for bridge maintenance painting operations that only partially remove existing paint and apply a new coating over the existing paint, bare steel, and rusted surfaces. Traditionally, maintenance painting was either done as part of routine life-cycle maintenance (for larger bridges) or in conjunction with other maintenance activities (e.g., steel component replacement). Overcoating is now viewed as an alternative to fully removing and replacing existing paint that is no longer offering adequate protection.

Stay tuned for more on this story in an upcoming newsletter.


The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Central Jersey Branch honors members dedicated to the advancement of the profession every year at its annual awards ceremony. This year, they selected CAIT-affiliated researcher Dr. Husam Najm for the Educator of the Year Award due to his dedication to helping train and educate the next generation of civil engineers at Rutgers.

He and other award winners were celebrated by peers and colleagues for their accomplishments at the ASCE Central Jersey Branch Annual Awards Dinner earlier this month.

“Receiving this award is an honor and is a recognition for the civil engineering department at Rutgers and for the quality education we offer to our students,” Dr. Najm said.

Read more about the Educator of the Year Award and Dr. Najm here.


Distributing Important Information

Peter Jin presenting at a conference.

Rutgers professor and CAIT-affiliated researcher Dr. Peter Jin presented at The Intelligent Transportation Society of New Jersey‘s annual meeting earlier this week on intelligent mobility.

He discussed how one of his current projects is turning New Brunswick into a smart mobility testing hub that will soon be connecting vehicles to each other and to the surrounding infrastructure.

The testing hub will be equipped with AV-grade Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) and computer vision sensors to collect real-time vehicle, pedestrian, and infrastructure change data. Data sharing and testing platforms will be built for testing and evaluating different mobility, safety, environmental, and energy applications.


Dr. George Guo, a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at SoE and a CAIT-affiliated researcher, was recently featured on Fox 5 New York for his project building porous parking lots in Linden, NJ to help curb flooding.

His work was also featured in CAIT’s October newsletter. Building on previous Stormwater Green Infrastructure solutions such as rain gardens, these parking lots are helping to control flooding events for at-risk neighborhoods in Linden’s Tremley Point area.

“Managing stormwater runoff is a huge challenge for many municipalities, due to pooling and potential flooding especially with municipalities near the waterfront,” said Derek Armstead, the mayor of Linden. “Building porous parking lots will help provide a solution to this problem, here in the Tremley Point area of Linden, and it will also allow water to flow under the surface eventually going back into the water table. We thank Rutgers School of Engineering for taking on this project at Marshes Creek and we thank the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for the funding for this project.”


Events at CAIT

Thomas D. Everett, Executive Director of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) received the Rutgers Engineering Society Distinguished Engineer Award at the Rutgers SoE 2019 Medal of Excellence Dinner earlier this month.

Before joining other honorees at the dinner, Everett visited CAIT and SoE for tours of the new Richard Weeks Hall of Engineering, The Bridge Evaluation and Accelerated Structural Testing lab (The BEAST) and more, and got a taste of how Rutgers has developed since he graduated from SoE in 1984.

“The 2019 honorees showcase the outstanding achievements of the school’s alumni and also the diversity of careers an engineering degree makes possible,” said Thomas N. Farris, Rutgers SoE dean. “Rutgers University’s engineering graduates make important contributions, sparking innovations that strengthen our economy and enhance lives around the globe.”

Read more about this event here.


A Training Course on Ground Improvement Methods took place at CAIT earlier this month, and was taught by Jerry A. DiMaggio, PE, D.GE, a  Senior Principal Civil Engineer and Associate at Applied Research Associates, Inc.

The course helped to inform and familiarize professional engineers with more than 50 different emerging ground improvement methods as well as how to use these methods in urban construction for transportation, commercial, and industrial development.

Read more about this class here.


Assemblyman Benson and others.

Assemblyman Daniel Benson, Chair of the New Jersey Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee, met with members of Rutgers CAIT, the Voorhees Transportation Center and NJTIP for a tour of the facilities and to learn more about the organizations’ recent work earlier this month. Throughout the day he toured The BEAST, Virtual Reality Lab, Rutgers Asphalt and Pavement Lab, and other facilities on campus.