The engineering and technology department at Vaughn College hosted its Seventh Annual Manufacturing Day Conference which took place virtually on October 29, 2021. Participants—which included the Vaughn community, students, and industry advisory members—were enlightened by a diverse group of six industry leaders who discussed the latest innovations in the fields of biomedical manufacturing, aerospace virtual reality and manufacturing, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence, and 3D scanning and precision measurement tools.

About the conference

In celebration of National Manufacturing Day, the conference focused on the advancements in the engineering and technology industries and showcased the opportunities for manufacturers to highlight their work while raising awareness about the advantages of pursuing a career in manufacturing.

The presenters

As part of Vaughn’s ongoing commitment to the futureproof education of its students, we were honored to host this year’s presenters, who discussed how the latest cutting-edge technologies are proving to be solutions to some of today’s modern-day challenges. Here is a quick recap of what the six presenters discussed:

Diogo Roquette Osorio: Director of Engineering at East Coast Orthotic and Prosthetic Corporation

Osorio, the Director of Engineering at East Coast Orthotic and Prosthetic Corp., discussed the challenges of producing surgical masks during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to the demand and short supply of masks, Osorio explained how he and his team established a local automated production line that quickly and efficiently produced masks while maintaining ISO standards and compliance. Their ingenuity and rapid response enabled them to produce masks two years ahead of competitors.

Jefferson Maldonado ‘16: Senior Robotics Engineer at ArcBest Technologies

As a Vaughn graduate and former robotics club president, Maldonado is a perfect example of how hard work and an engineering degree from Vaughn—is a winning combination to a futureproof career. As senior robotics engineer at ArcBest Technologies, Maldonado’s presentation focused on autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), along with a variety of robot deployment regimes that relate to manufacturing and logistics. He discussed the progress of emerging technologies such as AMRs and their advantages in comparison to automatic guided vehicles (AGVs). Additionally, he addressed concerns such as path planning, cybersecurity and efficient deployment. Maldonado closed his presentation with the exciting announcement that ArcBest is hiring new engineers for career opportunities in robotics development.

Christian Gerbick and Dan McConnell: Territory Managers at EMS3D (Engineering and Manufacturing Services)

Industry experts Gerbick and McConnell from EMS3D presented information about metrology-grade advanced 3D scanners. They gave an informative overview of scanning technology, followed by an impressive demonstration that featured several high-profile 3D scanning case studies in the military and consumer aerospace fields. The scanners featured had the power to scan a variety of objects that ranged from small tabletop items to full-scale aircraft interiors and exteriors at high resolution.

Dr. George Kyriakou: Cofounder and Chief Operating Officer at BotFactory

BotFactory produces circuit board 3D printers. Dr. Kyriako spoke about his extensive work in the development of amplitude modulation (AM) for electronics and explained how this new aspect of the 3D printing landscape is changing the way printed circuit board (PCB) and electronics design is conducted. The use of his 3D PCB printing technology allows fully functional prototypes to be developed in rapid sequence, in contrast to traditional PCB related electronics development—which can take weeks to design and iterate.

Michael Nager: Co-founder of The Solution Center at Festo Didactic

Nager delivered an intriguing presentation about cybersecurity and artificial intelligence in the field of manufacturing engineering. As an industry 4.0 expert, he led the discussion, and identified career opportunities in 4.0 manufacturing, which include collaborative robotics experts and lead engineers who deliver solutions in modern manufacturing by leveraging robotics and management experience. In terms of cybersecurity, Nager explained how programmable logic controller (PLC) devices and interconnected network devices were seen as a venerable attach surface in the industry’s 4.0 manufacturing infrastructure. He showed how network security tactics—such as a demilitarized zone (DMZ), subnetting and proper sub-segmenting of networks—are viable methods to protect factory PLCs from attack. An important takeaway was his explanation of how the maintenance of secure manufacturing networks has grown beyond “on-the-job training” that now requires a focused educational program to deliver results. Nager’s company, Festo Didactic, has developed a comprehensive curriculum and courseware training product to properly prepare engineers in cybersecurity.

Olesya Kopteva: Training and 3D Scanning Team Leader, Artec 3D

Kopteva continued on the topic of 3D scanning with her presentation on Artec 3D scanner hardware, which included the new Space Spider and Eva range of scanners. She presented post-processing of 3D scans using Scan Studio 16. The results revealed this as an asset in post-processing 3D scans for consumer, medical, reverse engineering and entertainment computer graphic industries. Artec scanners feature high-quality, best-in-class 3D scanning technology—and comparative low pricing—for the education and engineering markets. Since 2015, Vaughn faculty and staff have utilized Artec scanners for work in club activities, technology presentations, degree projects, outreach activities and course offerings.

Q&A with Dr. Hossein Rahemi, Chair of Engineering and Technology Department at Vaughn

We sat down with Dr. Hossein Rahemi, department chair of Vaughn’s engineering and technology department, for his insight into the future of manufacturing and how these latest advancements are leading to excellent job opportunities for Vaughn engineering students.

Q: Virtual reality and artificial intelligence are playing big roles in today’s manufacturing industries. In your opinion, what does the future look like?

A: Today, we are learning through data collection, programming, AI, and virtual reality that functionality, safety, and productivity can be facilitated and further enhanced. As a matter of fact, the AI contributed to the advancement of manufacturing process through automation and autonomous mobile robots. Virtual reality in manufacturing is used for training environments, product development, visualization, and product configuration simulators. This sort of visualization speeds up safety and the product development process through robust interactive experience that facilitates rapid decision making and approvals.

Q: What are the best engineering degrees offered by Vaughn to prepare for today’s most in-demand jobs?

A: All of our engineering degrees meet the specific needs of today’s industry employers. For manufacturing and automation, specifically, our mechatronic engineering and mechanical engineering degrees, along with additive manufacturing—or 3D printing—are proving to be excellent degrees to pursue. Our students are receiving job offers prior to graduation from prestigious companies such as Lockheed Martin, SpaceX, Volvo and others.

Q: This year, high school students also attended the conference. Were there any specific topics that resonated with them?

A: Yes! The high school students loved the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and robots. It’s not only cool to see and learn about, but it resonates with an appreciation for the engineering field and development process. The students love the challenge. It’s a hands-on field where they can compete against each other and see their efforts put into action.

Do you have a passion for engineering? Discover how an engineering degree from Vaughn College will set you on a futureproof path to some of today’s most sought-after careers. Apply today.


Following in the family footsteps has been an inspiring journey for Vaughn graduate, Mahdi Macbahi ’13, and his two brothers. As fate would have it, their father’s trade as a carpenter was the steppingstone to pursuing degrees in the aviation maintenance industry by studying at Vaughn College.

This month, we spotlight Macbahi and the story of how his aviation maintenance management degree from Vaughn was instrumental in not only helping him land his current position at Delta Air Lines, but also in helping him become an instructor at the College as well.

Family connections

Growing up in Astoria, New York, Macbahi always had a passion for aviation. From a young age, he dreamed of becoming a pilot. It wasn’t until he reached high school, however, that he decided to pursue a career in aviation maintenance. “Being that my dad was a carpenter, I loved working side-by-side with him on the weekends, helping with his projects,” said Macbahi. “It was during that time that I honed my skills and knew I wanted a job that would combine the two things I loved the most—working with my hands and aviation.”

Discovering Vaughn

Mahdi Macbahi fixing plane engineKnowing how eager Macbahi was to earn his degree, a family friend recommended Vaughn as the perfect institution for him to pursue his degree. “I knew about Vaughn College from doing my own research and seeing advertisements but hearing about it from our close family friend really sealed the deal for me.” In 2008, Macbahi enrolled in the College’s Aviation Training Institute, where he pursued an associate degree in occupational science (AOS) in aviation maintenance and then went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in aviation maintenance management. “As someone who loves to work with his hands, I knew I chose the right path,” he said. “At Vaughn, you get your hands dirty and learn as you go. That’s what makes this program so special. The program teaches you how to be a better technician—a better mechanic.”

Nurturing a new passion at Vaughn

As he pursued studies toward his own degree, one of Macbahi’s advisers offered him a tutoring position to help fellow students. “I never thought of myself as a teacher but tutoring gave me an entirely new perspective on a career path,” he explained. After completing his associate degree, Macbahi inquired about becoming an assistant instructor in a sheet metal class. “I was thrilled to learn I would be working with my professor in one of my favorite classes,” he said. With a new position at the College and his newly earned associate degree, it was time to get to work. For the next four years, he worked for regional airlines at LaGuardia Airport—all while working toward his bachelor’s degree. Then, life really took off for Macbahi!

Blending passions

Shortly after graduating with his bachelor’s degree, Macbahi accepted both a new position at Vaughn to teach a hydraulics lecture class, as well as one at Delta Air Lines—stationed at John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport—where he has been working for the past seven-and-a-half years. “It’s a big operation at JFK,” he said. “With approximately 230 mechanics, we all have a busy schedule, but I love it. The best part about my job is we learn something new every day.” He says that although his job is demanding, his schedule is flexible enough to accommodate being able to teach at Vaughn. “I never imagined I would discover a new passion of teaching while pursuing my dream in the aviation industry. I suppose you can say I found success by blending my passions.”

How Vaughn made it all possible

At 30-years old, Macbahi says that when reflecting on his life, he owes a great deal of gratitude to Vaughn for making his career possible. “Vaughn gave me the skills and mindset to prepare for a career in the aviation industry,” he said humbly. “Not only am I living my dream—working in the industry—but I’m providing real-world experience to the future generation of aviation mechanics.” As for his personal life, he said he’s grateful for the opportunities provided to him to support his wife, Methela, their young son and a new baby on the way.

Bringing life full circle, Mahdi says his father’s craft as a carpenter and his success at Vaughn not only influenced his career but that of his two younger brothers. “My brother Ali also graduated from Vaughn with a bachelor’s degree in aviation maintenance management, and our youngest brother Rida is currently enrolled at Vaughn, pursuing his AOS in the Airframe and Powerplant program,” he explained. “Our dad, Abdelillah, may not work in the aviation industry, but his strong work ethic, knowledge and skills in craftmanship have molded us into the men we are today.”

Are you interested in a futureproof career? Discover the possibilities of where a Vaughn degree in engineering and technology, management or aviation might take you. Apply today!

With a new semester in full swing and students easing their way back to campus, life at Vaughn College is engaging and fun, thanks to a post-pandemic hybrid learning model that is creating a positive vibe for new and returning students.

This month, we sat down with Dr. Stacey Dutil, director of counseling and wellness at Vaughn, for her outlook on students returning to campus, how Vaughn supports them in their times of need and some tips and advice for staying mentally fit.

Staying connected

A big part of a student’s success in college is making connections and feeling like part of an inclusive, supportive community. At Vaughn, we make this a priority. Dutil explains how the hybrid model that has been instituted this semester allows students to attend classes both virtually and in-person. “It’s been wonderful seeing students connecting with their peers and meeting with their advisors again after being separated during the pandemic,” said Dutil. “Vaughn does a great job keeping students engaged, which helps with any anxiety or stress they may be feeling.”

She describes some valuable ways in which Vaughn is helping students stay mentally healthy while keeping them on track and in a positive groove:

  • Orientation mixers—Vaughn hosted several orientation luncheons/mixers earlier this semester, where students were excited to meet the faculty and staff while hearing all about the upcoming year. “The vibe was upbeat and positive,” Dutil said. “It was great to see happy faces after so many of our students went through a difficult time during the pandemic. Vaughn always puts their students first, and these mixers are just another way the College proves their dedication to their success.”
  • Clubs and organizations—There is life outside of the classroom and joining one or more of Vaughn’s vast selection of clubs and organizations is a great way for students to stay engaged in their fields of study while making friends, networking and building leadership skills. From student clubs and professional organizations to honor societies and intercollegiate athletics, Dutil says clubs and organizations are a big aspect of student life at Vaughn. “There’s something for everyone.”
  • Safe outdoor activities—Vaughn knows the importance of maintaining good mental health. The College hosts several fun and valuable outdoor activities that not only bring students together but also help keep their minds and bodies in shape. Weather permitting, students can enjoy Zumba classes, food trucks and even puppy therapy! Check out our events schedule to see what’s coming up.

Meeting the needs of students

The pandemic affected students and their families harder than anyone could have expected. Dutil explained how Vaughn has several programs in place to help students—and their families—during their times of need. “Hard times can happen to anyone. And at Vaughn, we are here for all of our students to help them the best we can.” She also highlighted the several programs Vaughn has in place to help students who might need extra support to get through the day-to-day.

  • Food pantry—Vaughn’s on-campus food pantry provides meals for students and their families who are struggling to make ends meet. “We remained open, even during the pandemic,” Dutil said. “Thanks to the generosity of our faculty and staff, donations of food and gift cards have helped us meet the basic needs of our students and their families.”
  • Short-term assistance fund (SAF)—Life happens. Vaughn’s short-term assistance fund (SAF) is there when students find themselves in unfortunate situations and are in urgent need of financial assistance. These funds—that are generously donated to Vaughn—are a one-time grant and are slated for assisting students with housing and transportation, food and clothing, and other educational-related items such as books, supplies and tools. Help is determined on a case-by-case basis.

Tips and advice to stay mentally fit

As director of counseling and wellness at Vaughn, Dutil is committed to ensuring that students have all the tools and information they need to stay mentally healthy. She emphasizes two basic and underestimated practices that students—and anyone—should do that will positively impact their everyday living.

  • Get enough sleep—It may sound simplistic but getting enough sleep impacts not only a student’s mood but also significantly improves his or her cognitive focus for retaining information and even helps with metabolism. She suggests that students develop a consistent routine to ensure they’re feeling great and at the top of their games.
  • Stay hydrated—Staying hydrated is more important than one would think. Did you know that water is a natural energy booster that can make a person feel sharper and more alert? Dutil suggests limiting popular energy drinks and opt for water instead.
  • Find time to exercise—Even if it’s just a 20-minute walk after lunch, any kind of exercise can reinvigorate the mind and give students the energy they need to get through their next class or assignment. It’s about making the time for it!

You can get more wellness tips from our popular blog post, “Wellness Tips to Boost Your Energy While Distance Learning.” And, for more lifestyle tips, check out, “Is Distance Learning Closing in on You? Try These Mood-Boosting Tips.”

A message from Dr. Stacey Dutil

Vaughn has a special approach that focuses on students’ needs. Faculty and staff collaborate to reach students on a personal level. By putting a face to the name, we are able to tailor a plan for their success.”

Are you feeling mentally fit this semester? If you need someone to talk to or want more information on staying mentally healthy, we encourage you to make an appointment at the office of counseling and wellness.