The National Aerospace Research & Technology Park on Tuesday announced that Barbara Gaba and Alberto Cuitiño have joined its board of directors.
Both of the new board members come to the NARTP from New Jersey institutes of higher learning. Gaba has served as president of Atlantic Cape Community College since 2017, while Cuitiño is a professor and interim dean of the School of Engineering at Rutgers University. The terms for both career educators expire Feb. 21, 2026.
“We are fortunate to have Dr. Gaba and Dr. Cuitiño join our board of directors at this stage of the NARTP’s development, when our academic partnerships are so vital,” Mark Loeben, chairman of the NARTP board of directors, American Airlines captain and retired Air Force major general, said. “As we advance the NARTP and its mission to bring a new aerospace industry to Atlantic County, we will benefit greatly from the perspective of these academic leaders to ensure our region’s educational institutions are prepared to train the region’s workforce for careers in aircraft maintenance, air cargo operations, uncrewed aerial systems (drones) and advanced air mobility.”
Gaba became the first female and first African American president in the college’s 50-year history, when she was appointed as ACCC’s ninth president in January 2017. She is deeply committed to the mission of the community college to provide affordable educational pathways for student success and has been a driving force in improving campus technology and Atlantic Cape’s focus on innovation.
“It is an honor to serve on the NARTP board,” Gaba said. “This is a tremendous opportunity to help advance economic development in Atlantic County while ensuring there are affordable educational pathways for our students, especially our underserved and underrepresented students, to take advantage of exciting careers in aeronautics.”
Currently a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and interim dean of the School of Engineering at Rutgers University, Cuitiño’s expertise includes pharmaceutical manufacturing, computational material simulation, multiscale modeling, dislocation mechanics, fracture in single metal crystals, granular materials, mechanical behavior of solid foams and folding patterns in thin films. A 2022 Faculty of the Year Honoree for Rutgers Engineering, his work has been published extensively in academic journals and he is often invited to speak at international conferences and symposia.
“By proudly accepting the invitation to join the NARTP board, I ensure that Rutgers University has a seat at the table as this aerospace innovation ecosystem is being developed in southern New Jersey,” Cuitiño stated. “Both our students and faculty look forward to shaping the future of aviation at the NARTP.”
The NARTP board of directors is now comprised of 23 members of varying backgrounds, including aviation industry leaders, economic development professionals, academics and government stakeholders.