Fall 2013 Colloquium Series

September 20, 2013
11:30 a.m.—1:00 p.m.
Campus Center Ballroom A

 Vertical Hydrophonics System

The Future of Hydroponics

Product development life cycle – Start-up culture – Young and in charge

Matthew Moghaddam

COO of City Hydroponics LLC,


Matthew Moghaddam is a principal of City-Hydroponics, LLC, which is based in the Enterprise Development Center (EDC), and is a design and build, research and development firm, specializing in controlled-environment agriculture facilities and systems. He currently serves as the company’s Chief Operating Officer.

Having earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with concentrations in Human Resource Management and Entrepreneurship from Ithaca College in 2009, and discovered his passion to feed the masses, he has dedicated his professional career to the development of hyper-local crop production systems. 

In his short, yet diverse professional career, Moghaddam has held leadership positions across a number of industries including information technology, landscape design, and sustainable construction. 

His experience in closed-loop agriculture theory and practice, knowledge of alternative energy systems and certification as a "Green Roofing Professional" are invaluable assets to City Hydroponics. Moghaddam has proven his rare expertise by leading the development of a proprietary crop production technology.  His current responsibilities include maintenance of their indoor farm laboratory, oversight of research and development efforts, initiation of new business expansion and management of current client projects.

In his Colloquium Matthew Moghaddam will share with us his experience, as a young professional and recent college graduate, in starting his own technology based company.

In particular he will discuss:

  • Start-up culture – how calculated risk and rapid innovation produce results

  • Knowing your role and owning it – assuming a leadership position as a young professional

  • From concept to commercialization – emergent technology and the product development life cycle

September  25, 2013
3:00pm – 4:30pm
Campus Center Ballroom A

Do the Media Engineer Your Reality or do You Engineer Your Media?

Brooke Gladstone

Brooke Gladstone is an American journalist, media analyst and well-known host of programs on National Public Radio. She is a graduate of the University of Vermont and began her career in print journalism. She joined NPR in 1987 to work as a senior editor on the then still - new program, Weekend Edition Saturday, eventually earning a position as a senior editor of the NPR newsmagazine All Things Considered. 

In 1991, she was awarded a Knight Fellowship to Stanford to study the Russian language, and then went on to report for NPR from Russia during the bloody years that followed the fall of the Soviet Union.  In 1995, she began covering the media beat for NPR, which five years later led to an offer to breathe new life into a revitalized version of On the Media, which was re-launched in 2001. 

Over the years, Gladstone has won several prestigious journalism awards, including an Overseas Press Club Award, a Peabody and the Milwaukee Press Club's Sacred Cat Award for lifetime achievement.

Her Colloquium will examine how different forces – everything from social media to your own unconscious biases – shape your media environment to answer the question: How do you engineer your media environment so that you can be exposed to information you never knew you needed to know? In the non-stop spin cycle of news, commentary and infotainment, it is more critical than ever to have thoughtful and incisive critiques of journalism and the media world in which we live.

Here no one has set the bar higher than Brooke Gladstone, co-host of NPR’s On the Media and the author of the graphic non-fiction work, The Influencing Machine, that looks back at the history of communication technology and also offers a critique of today’s media.

Every week, Gladstone helps listeners understand what makes the media tick by asking provocative questions about stories ranging from Edward Snowden’s revelations about NSA surveillance to unpaid internships to media coverage of the George Zimmerman trial.  This is no easy feat, as Laura Miller, of  the online magazine Salon writes: 

  • On the Media takes an essential but maddeningly immaterial subject — how journalism, entertainment, advertising and other communications work — and makes it graspable, urgent and wryly amusing.  Much of the credit for this remarkable transubstantiation goes to longtime producer and co-host Brooke Gladstone, who consistently strikes the right balance between knowingness and idealism.





Cosponsors of the Colloquium are the Vector, the Honors College, the Humanities Department and the College of Science and Liberal Arts (CSLA).

October 2, 2013
3:00pm -4:30pm
Campus Center Ballroom A








A Panel Discussion: Impact Of Superstorm Sandy And Mitigation Strategies Of Future Superstorms

Moderator and Panelist:


Center for Natural Resources Development and Protection, NJIT




Joe Vietri,
Director of the National Planning Center of Expertise for Storm Damage,
US Army Corps of Engineers.


Center  for Resilient Design 
Department of Civil and Environment Engineering

Hurricane Sandy destroyed more than 72,000 homes and businesses in New Jersey, killed 34 New Jerseyans and caused more the $62 billion in damage and other losses, mostly in New York and New Jersey.  Hurricane Sandy was the second-costliest storm in U.S. history after 2005's Hurricane Katrina.


A panel of experts will discuss various issues related to the hurricane. Mr. Joe Vietri of the US Army Corps of Engineers will present a report of the damage and the efforts that is being pursued. He is in a unique position to provide a holistic view of the situation.  Professor Michel Boufadel (NJIT Engineering) will provide a brief report on the mobilization of hazardous chemicals and the impact on the Environment, and Professor Tom Dallessio (NJIT Architecture) will address guidelines for resilient designs of buildings. The panelists will discuss the correct approaches for rebuilding and preparing for the next hurricane. The forum will also address the technical skills needed by NJIT graduates to contribute to the recovery and the strengthening of the NJ/NY infrastructure.  


Dr. Boufadel is an expert in the field of oil spill research and
currently serves on the National Research Committee studying BP’s Deep Water Horizon (DWH) Blow-Out. Dr. Boufadel is a familiar face at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) where he currently serves on the EPA Science Advisory Board for natural gas extraction from shale formations. He was involved in the response to the DWH blowout and has received funding from the Unified Command to evaluate oil biodegradation in the Gulf of Mexico beaches following the blowout.


A few days after Hurricane Sandy hit, NJIT Professor Michel Boufadel was awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to study the impact of the storm on the New Jersey shoreline.  The NSF Rapid Response Research Grant immediately allowed him to take a team of eight researchers to the beaches of Raritan Bay.  The NJIT team – three professors and five students – is still fanning out over the shoreline and using automated samplers to assess the Bay’s delicate ecosystems.


“In essence we’re evaluating the resilience of these ecosystems,” said Boufadel, a professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the NJIT Center for Natural Resources Development and Protection.  “If any of the ecosystems were impaired by the hurricane, we’ll monitor their ability to recover.”


The NSF grant is for one year, says Boufadel, after which he’ll report his research findings to the agency as well as municipal and state officials in New Jersey.  It’s his hope that all of them will use the findings to “chart the best path to restore the state’s beaches and coastline.”


Thomas G. Dallessio, a planner by training and a member of faculty of the College of Architecture and Design (CoAD), is helping NJIT realize its vision of combining the myriad levels of expertise at its disposal – design and architecture, urban planning and environmental engineering --  in a concentrated effort to make a major contribution toward the rebuilding of New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy.  This effort has taken concrete shape in the Center for Resilient Design at CoAD.  

Tom Dallessio AICP/PP serves as Manager of the Resilient Design Project, under the guidance of lead investigators Professor Urs P. Gauchat Hon. AIA, Dean of CoAD and Professor Darius T. Sollohub AIA, Director of the CoAD New Jersey School of Architecture. To give just one  example of the Center’s work so far:  during Spring Break this year, over 500 NJIT students, faculty, staff and alumni volunteered for work from Newark to the Jersey shore, cleaning up devastated areas and helping towns rebuild in a resilient manner.  Students worked on removing debris from beaches and parks, removing floors and wallboard, replacing floors and walls, painting and carpentry, stocking and distributing food and clothing, and compiling information on areas affected by Sandy.
Dallessio reports that, in the meantime,


  • NJIT's College of Architecture and Design has made significant progress in providing resilient design services to towns, state and federal agencies as well as nonprofit organizations, businesses and individuals.  Thanks to support from The Provident Bank Foundation – with a grant of $25,000 – our Center for Resilient Design has been able to help many communities along the Jersey Shore, in Newark and in Bergen and Hudson Counties in rebuilding sustainable and resilient homes, businesses and public facilities,

To end this overview of the Colloquium, here’s another quotation to illustrate still further how topical the subject of the panel discussion is.  Eric Klinenberg, a sociologist at New York University, added this thought:


My sense is that Sandy has changed the conversation.  Just as September 11 changed the way society sees threats from terrorists, Sandy has changed how we see threats from the ocean and waterways.


Cosponsors :Technology and Society Forum and the Albert Dorman Honors College



























October 11, 2013
11:30 a.m.—1:00 p.m.
Campus Center Ballroom A


Bitcoin and Crypto Currency



Shamoon Siddiqui
Founder of Crypto Street



Shamoon Siddiqui is an NJIT alumnus and a serial entrepreneur with several companies successfully launched in various industries. While at NJIT, he formed the DARPA Grand Challenge team to compete in the then highly publicized autonomous vehicle desert race. He holds a BS and MS in Computer Engineering from NJIT and an MBA from Rutgers University. His latest company is called Crypto Street and is a financial exchange where various crypto currencies can be bought and sold. An expert on Bitcoin, Shamoon formed the first Bitcoin Meetup group in early April 2012. Since then, he has become an expert on crypto currencies, not only from a deep technical but also from an economic perspective.



In his colloquium, Shamoon will give an introduction to Bitcoin from an historic stance. He will delve into some of the technical details underlying this distributed cashless currency and shed light on some of the uses of Bitcoin. In his talk he will also explore other crypto currencies (Litecoin, Feathercoin, etc.) and how they are similar and they also differ from Bitcoin.






















October 16, 2013
2:30 – 4:00pm
Campus Center Ballroom A


Hired ‘Right’ Out of College: From Classes to Career


Garrett Miller


Garrett graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a B.S. He began a fruitful and fulfilling 18-year career with Pfizer as a salesman and the last 10 years as a hiring manager. During his 18-year career, Miller has received over 33 awards for leadership, teamwork, and sales performance.



Miller left the pharmaceutical industry in 2007 and started CoTria, a productivity training company which helps organizations gain efficiencies around everyday tasks. CoTria has had the honor of working with some of the great organizations of the world — such as International Paper, MARS, the FBI, Bayer, Johnson and Johnson and GE just to name a few — gain efficiencies around, communication, email, meetings and hiring.



Miller has also authored two books: Hire on a WHIM, Four Qualities that Make for Great Employees and his just released; Hired 'Right' Out of College - From Classes to Career. In addition Garrett joined California based Caylym Technologies in the summer of 2012 to head up worldwide sales and marketing.


Garrett Miller will address some of the most difficult questions for students: what do I want to do and what should I be doing now to prepare for my career? Though classes are important your studies must include the most important subject of all: you yourself.



The activities and experiences you choose will have a significant impact on your studies and future career. Your studies and preparation can be fun and exciting; it’s as easy as AEIOU.



Garrett’s years as a corporate recruiter and career coach will also make for a lively and informative question and answer period.

















October 23, 2013
3:00pm -4:30pm       
Campus Center Ballroom A



Global Assault:  The Scramble  For The World's Last Resources


Michael Klare


Michael T. Klare is the Professor and Director of Five College Peace and World Security Studies, a joint appointment at Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges, as well as the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.


Professor Klare has written widely on world security affairs, resource geopolitics, and energy issues.  His most recent books include Resource Wars (2001), Blood and Oil (2005), and Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet (2008); his newest book, The Race for What’s Left, was published by Metropolitan Books in March 2012.



Dr. Klare has also written for many other publications, including such outstanding periodicals and magazines as Current History, Foreign Affairs, The Nation, Newsweek, and Scientific American.  He also serves as defense correspondent of The Nation and is a contributing editor of Current History.



In addition to his academic and writing pursuits, Dr. Klare is active in disarmament, environmental, and human rights advocacy work.  He serves on the board of the Arms Control Association and the National Priorities Project.



In his latest publication, The Race for What's Left -- a book demonstrating his wide and deep knowledge of drilling and mining techniques, obscure minerals, geology, and remote regions of the world -- Klare argues that "the world is entering an era of pervasive, unprecedented resource scarcity." 
Both government and corporations, he writes:



  • recognize that existing reserves are being depleted at a terrifying pace and will be largely exhausted in the not-too-distant future.… The only way for countries to ensure an adequate supply of these materials, and thereby keep their economies humming, is to acquire new, undeveloped reservoirs in those few locations that have not already been completely drained. This has produced a global drive to find and exploit the world's final resource reserves.


However, it is not only energy and mineral resources that are being sought, but arable land as well. As we know from the coverage in news programs and newspapers,  private corporations and government entities are now working hard to own or control resources in the Arctic, in northern Siberia, in the deep waters of the Atlantic, in remote regions of Africa, and in other previously inaccessible, largely undeveloped regions of the world.



This will result, inevitably, in increased cost, environmental damage, threats to the habitats of indigenous peoples, fierce geopolitical competition, and global strife.  Only by accelerating the shift to alternative and renewable sources of energy and other materials will it be possible to avoid profound planetary distress.


These are the issues that Professor Klare will be covering in his Colloquium.  He will also explain the solution he advocates, the international “race to adapt”.



Cosponsors of the Colloquium are the Technology and Society Forum and the Albert Dorman Honors College













October 24, 2013
7:00 p.m
Jim Wise Theatre, Kupfrian Hall

Honors Theater Night (I) –


The Icarus Project
Adapted from the Greek Myth


Director:            Dan Drew
Original Music  Daniel Drew
In Greek Mythology, Icarus, is the son of the master craftsman Daedalus, who had been imprisoned within the walls of his own invention, the Labyrinth, by King Minos of Crete.  Imprison the man Daedalus the King could, but not his genius as an inventor. 
Daedalus made two pairs of wings using real feathers and wax to hold them together on a wooden frame.  Icarus had always dreamed of being freed from enclosure within the Labyrinth, so his father gave him one pair of the wings, but cautioned him not to fly too close to the sun because the heat would then cause the adhesive wax to melt. 



Icarus donned the wings and took off.  He was so thrilled by this new ability to fly that he completely forgot his father’s advice and flew too close to the sun.  The wax melted, the feathers fell apart and  Icarus plunged to his death in the sea.



The Icarus Project of the theater evening is a scintillating adaptation of this famous myth and will give us much to think about.
 As we draw closer to the date of this first theater evening, you will receive more detailed information about the performance.  Until then, make sure you block the day and time in your calendar.