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Our tour of Ground Zero. By Laura Werkheiser ’09 and Jeff Beavan ’09

Seventeen civil engineering majors from the Class of 2009 traveled to New York City earlier this month to tour the construction site at World Trade Center Plaza. Led this year by Muhannad T. Suleiman, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, the annual trip is hosted by The Moles, a fraternal organization of the heavy construction industry which promotes the industry through student initiatives and activities.

On April 4, 2008, the junior civil engineers boarded a bus, in conjunction with Lehigh University civil engineering and made their way to the World Trade Center Plaza in New York City. The annual trip was part of the invitation extended by The Moles, which attracts many universities and colleges in the New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania area. Other institutions in attendance were Bucknell, West Point, Copper Union, City College of New York, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Students donned appropriate safety gear; including sponsor donated hard hats and safety vest and toured the extent of the construction site. With guides and speakers at every station, students were told about various aspects of the project, including geotechnical foundations, steel erection, and even subway tunneling. Students walked through a new pedestrian tunnel for subway service that would allow mass movement of people underground.

The junior civil engineers also gazed upon the current building progress of the Freedom Tower. The Freedom Tower is placed in the footprint of Tower One of the World Trade Center that structurally failed on Sept. 11, 2001. With patriotic pride, the students also looked upon the last remaining stairs, to be the center of a memorial, which brought people to safety on that fateful day.

Reviewing plans for the new World Trade Center Transportation Hub, designed by renowned architect Santiago Calatrava, a fabulous presentation put together by keynote speakers of the progress thus far, and looking into the future, were also on the agenda for the day.

Students in attendance included: Paul Angelucci (Collingswood, N.J.); Jeff Beavan (Nazareth, Pa.), who is also majoring in economics and business; Kyle DeFranceschi (Catasauqua, Pa.); Deni Deliallisi (Tirana, Albania); Greg Heitmann (Haworth, N.J.); Kyle Henning (Rochester, N.Y.); Gavin Kaiser (Kennett Square, Pa.); Meagan Kelly (Henrietta, N.Y.); Chris Kuehn (Mahtomedi, Minn.); Corey Lewis (Wyoming, Pa.); Fadomba Matturi (Bowie, Md.); Sean McAuley (Staten Island, N.Y.); Brian Mostek (Bethlehem, Pa.); Jose Soto-Fuentes (Panama City, Panama); Martin Tjioe (N. Sumatera, Indonesia), who is also majoring in mathematics-economics; Tom Voltz (Melville, N.Y.); and Laura Werkheiser (Easton, Pa.).

  • Civil and Environmental Engineering
Categorized in: Academic News, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Faculty and Staff, Mathematics, News and Features, Students
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