Richard Bettini, Associate AIA, Recognized as AIA New Jersey Resident of the Year

April 18, 2018

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Richard Bettini, Associate AIA, Recognized as AIA New Jersey Resident of the Year


Service Award Chair Robert Cozzarelli, AIA, and AIA NJ President Verity Frizzell, AIA, present Richard Bettini, Associate AIA, the AIA New Jersey Resident of the Year Award. Photo by Hollander Photographic Services.

Richard began his architectural career after graduating from Pratt Institute with a Master’s Degree in Architectural Design. Immediately after graduation he started working for a large firm in Texas and was assigned to a special design team. Richard would help clients develop and solidify their program requirements and establish the design criteria for a building. However, his real passion lay in the academic world.

Richard was lucky enough to be offered a full-time teaching position at California State University in Long Beach. He had always been fascinated with living in Southern California and enjoyed his teaching position there.Richard returned to the east coast when he accepted a full-time teaching position at CUNY’s Department of Architectural Technology. Just as Richard was ready for tenure in his fifth year, the city of New York became insolvent under Mayor Abe Beam. Richard was the youngest in the department at that time and his position was RIFED.

Richard continued his academic career with 15 years of secondary teaching at West Essex Regional High School. Here, Richard established a pre-architecture and engineering program and taught three levels of CAD courses based upon various AutoDesk software products, including a solid modeling program known as Inventor (with a 3D printer), AutoCAD, and Revit 2016.


Over those fifteen years, his students won many awards for their submissions in national architectural competitions such as DiscoverDesign.Org and The National Association of Women in Construction’s annual High School Architectural Design Competition. Richard also taught a robotics course which involved complex code writing. The students’ success in robotics was award-winning as well, with regional and national robotics competitions including the Panasonic Design Challenge, the North Jersey Robotics Competition at Passaic County Community College, and MIT’s Zero Robotics Competition where they placed 4th in the nation two years in a row.┬áRichard has also recently completed a workbook of 140 CAD projects published in July of 2017 and now available on Amazon books titled “The Complete CAD Exercise Book”.

Richard became involved with the Architects League of Northern New Jersey 11 years ago after two of his high school students entered a competition sponsored by the League to design a stand for the organization’s AIA component Banner. The unusual design solution involved the use of a tensegrity combination of compression and tension members. The stand proved ingenious and received immediate recognition. It was also during these past 11 years that Richard was honored to serve the AIA as a board trustee. He chaired the scholarship committee in addition to his other board responsibilities.

At present, Richard is semi-retired, teaching part-time at Kean University’s Michael Graves School of Design. His teaching load includes teaching REVIT, materials and methods of construction and AutoCAD.


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