CAIT Researcher Named Educator of the Year by ASCE Central Jersey Branch

Dr. Husam Najm said this award is a recognition for the civil engineering department at Rutgers and for the quality education that it offers to students. Photo ©CAIT.

ASCE Central Jersey 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.

Presented annually to an outstanding educator who has contributed substantially to civil engineering through sharing knowledge and providing guidance, The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Central Jersey Branch recognizes those making substantial contributions to the profession.

This year, Dr. Husam Najm, Ph.D., P.E., represented Rutgers School of Engineering (SoE) and the Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT) at the ceremony as he was chosen for the Educator Of The Year Award.

Dr. Najm is a professor of structural engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rutgers University and the Director of the Undergraduate Program. He is also the faculty advisor for the ASCE student chapter and the Bridges to Prosperity Student chapter at Rutgers University. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in structural analysis, steel design, wood and masonry design, and seismic and advanced structural design. He does research in strengthening and repair of steel and concrete elements, resilient, sustainable and durable structural materials, and earthquake engineering.

“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.

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 week.

The Central Jersey Branch is one of three Branches of the New Jersey Section of the ASCE. Founded by civil engineers for civil engineers in 1852, today the ASCE is the world’s largest engineering society, with over 133,000 members. The ASCE New Jersey Section and its Branches share the vision of the society, but on a local level.

To be nominated for an award by the Central Jersey Branch, a researcher must be affiliated with an educational institution located in New Jersey that supports a civil engineering or civil engineering technology curriculum. In addition, they must be an ASCE member in good standing with the New Jersey Section and the Central Jersey Branch.

Dr. Najm’s work in concrete research, and his applied industry experience, has made him an expert in the use and understanding of structural concrete. He also has extensive experience in the design and detailing of prestressed concrete and steel bridges.

Recently, Dr. Najm was featured in CAIT’s E-newsletter for his work as co-author on a Rutgers-led study that detailed how special permeable concrete pavement can help reduce the “urban heat island effect” that causes cities to sizzle in the summer.

Prior to joining Rutgers University, he spent 10 years with T. Y. Lin International working in bridge design, rating, and inspection as well as seismic design of deep foundations. Some of the projects he worked on include the Boston Central Artery interchanges, the Bay Bridge detour ramps and temporary structures in California, the Woodrow Wilson piers fender system, and SC170 externally prestressed concrete bridges in South Carolina. Dr. Najm received his Ph.D. in structural engineering from the University of Michigan and he is a licensed professional engineer and a licensed structural engineer in California. Dr. Najm has a combination of research and industry experience that helps him provide his students with a high-quality education.

Alongside many other accomplishments, Dr. Najm has been the principal investigator on two NJDOT projects dealing with the evaluation of self-compacting concrete for NJDOT construction projects, and dealing with the shrinkage of concrete in bridge decks.

“Congratulations to Dr. Najm on receiving this prestigious award,” said Dr. Ali Maher, Director of CAIT and a Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rutgers. “He is an outstanding educator and a leader in the Rutgers School of Engineering, and is well deserving of this recognition.”

Story from CAIT Update which is distributed by Rutgers Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation.