N.J. high school students get a crash course in transportation engineering

High school students from across the state of New Jersey gained a firsthand look and relevant experience in transportation engineering careers during the National Summer Transportation Institute (NSTI) held at the Center for Research and Education in Advanced Transportation Engineering Systems (CREATES) at Rowan University’s Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering.  

During the annual two-week program, high school students complete projects and experiments related to transportation engineering. Students are exposed to multiple disciplines ranging from aerospace to building materials and are educated on how multiple disciplines are involved in sustaining the national transportation system. 

This year, the program featured presentations from officials at the South Jersey Transportation Authority, workshops provided by Rowan engineering faculty and researchers, a field trip to American Asphalt’s facilities, a student poster-and-presentation session, and keynote remarks from N.J. State Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee Chair Daniel Benson. 

Assemblyman Benson offered his insights into the state’s programs and the role in which the Legislature works with the N.J. Department of Transportation and other agencies to ensure that commuters have access to critical transportation services, to fund infrastructure projects, and ensure that projects are developed strategically to meet the state’s evolving transportation and transportation safety needs. 

“It was exciting to meet with students who are likely to be the next generation of transportation engineers and discuss the efforts of our state,” said Benson. “Rowan does a great job with this camp and the students in attendance asked thoughtful questions. I am certainly looking forward to hearing about the great things these students do in the future.”

The NSTI is now in its fourth year at Rowan. Programs that connect students with career insights and academic preparation are a hallmark of the engineering college’s commitment to outreach. 

“Hosting this camp gives all of us here at CREATES the chance to educate and inspire, and in turn, we are offered an opportunity to learn from the students who bring their questions and ideas to the table,” said Dr. Yusuf Mehta, professor of civil and environmental engineering and CREATES director. 

The NSTI is a national program sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration and is administered by the N.J. Department of Transportation.