Exciting advancements in the field of autonomous vehicles will have the public at large doing a double take as the reality of unmanned vehicles—both in the air and on the ground—gains momentum. And many skilled pilots, technicians and engineers will be needed to support these future endeavors.

Here, we’ll highlight some of the latest events happening in the New York area surrounding autonomous vehicles and electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL) which are intended to provide air taxi service in the not-so-distant future. Get ready to learn all about how the future of this phenomenon is carving a bright future for Vaughn College students.

Platooning demonstration at John F. Kennedy Airport

This June, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) and Ohmio—a leading New Zealand-based autonomous mobility company—will host the country’s first three-vehicle platooning demonstration at John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport. This exciting event involves eight-passenger driverless shuttles that will travel closely together—without connection—on a closed area at the airport’s long-term parking lot. This demonstration is highly anticipated as it showcases how advancements in autonomous vehicle technology will someday transport passengers safely and efficiently to airport rental car facilities, nearby commuter rail stations, long-term parking lots and other short-term connections—without a driver and within a single movement. Last fall, the PANYNJ was highly successful in its demonstration of two eight-passenger electric autonomous shuttles. The second demonstration is planned to test a larger platoon at faster speeds.

New York City sees first test flight of piloted eVTOL

Earlier this year, skygazing New Yorkers had the opportunity to see the first test flight of a piloted eVTOL at the Westchester County Airport in White Plains, New York. BLADE Air Mobility and BETA Technologies tested a six-passenger ALIA-250 eVTOL—powered by an all-electric propulsion system—to test the noise profile of the aircraft. This milestone demonstration highlighted the transition of helicopters to eVTOLs and proved to be successful: The sound decibel was reduced to one-tenth of that of a helicopter.

Airbus and Boeing on board for autonomous eVTOL air taxi services

Aviation giants Boeing and Airbus are working toward making autonomous air taxi service—specifically pilotless eVTOLs—a high-flying reality in the near future.

Airbus has its sights set on certifying its City Airbus NextGen four-seat eVTOL by 2025, starting with piloted service and transitioning to an uncrewed air taxi service once regulations allow.

Boeing revealed that it invested $450 million in Wisk Aero—a California-based advanced air mobility company—which is developing the world’s first self-flying, all-electric four-seat air taxi that will transport people in dense urban areas. One of the key factors, however, is to build the air taxis to be as light as possible. Wisk Aero plans on leveraging Boeing’s experience with lightweight composite material that was used on the 787 fleet. The company intends to focus on uncrewed urban air mobility—with eVTOLs piloted by a multi-vehicle supervisor on the ground. There’s still some work to be done before you’ll actually see air taxis fly over your city. Regulatory agencies—such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), NASA and even international regulators—will play a major role in approving unmanned air taxis. Wisk Aero hopes to gain certification from the FAA by 2030.

Autonomous bus travel through the Lincoln Tunnel

If you’re loving the thought of zipping around in an autonomous shuttle at the airport, can you imagine what riding in an autonomous bus through the Lincoln Tunnel would be like? This idea is not too far from becoming a reality. In fact, the PANYNJ is working toward using autonomous vehicle technology in public transit. In October of 2022, the PANYNJ partnered with Navya, a leading French autonomous mobility company, to hold a demonstration of two-vehicle shuttle platooning at the JFK Aqueduct Parking Lot, the first-of-its-kind at a North American airport. The demonstration featured two eight-passenger electric autonomous vehicle (AV) shuttles in a platoon to simulate how AV technology could serve passengers in the future and increase capacity of the bus lane.

How eVTOL aircraft reduce impact on the environment

eVTOL aircraft will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy efficiency compared to traditional planes and helicopters. This is because eVTOLs are powered by electric motors, which produce zero emissions and are much more efficient than traditional gas engines.

In addition, as noted, eVTOL aircraft are being made to operate predominantly in urban environments, which reduces the need for long commutes and decreases traffic congestion. This can lead to a reduction in overall energy consumption as well as an increase in individual productivity and well-being.

How Vaughn is providing skilled engineers to move autonomous vehicle development forward

As you can imagine, there are many moving parts to autonomous vehicles. With that being said, the industry needs skilled mechanical, electrical, mechatronic and aerospace engineers to design, build, test and ensure the safety of these efficient, high performing vehicles. In addition to associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in these areas, Vaughn offers a certificate program in unmanned aerial system (UAS) design, application and operation, so you can become the next engineer to help design and build eVTOL vehicles. Vaughn’s unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) club is a community of students and faculty who put their heads together to build, program and fly drones, and compete in top contests around the nation. They are also ambassadors of drone safety and help to mentor young drone enthusiasts.

Vaughn offers a certificate in safety management systems which will give you a competitive edge in managing aviation safety. The sky is—literally—the limit in where your degree can take you. Discover the possibilities to create a brighter future not only for yourself, but for the world too. Apply today!

In recognition of Earth Day, Vaughn College is celebrating with some exciting news where sustainability in the aviation and engineering industries is concerned. Learn how these industries that employ engineers, technicians and managers are taking important strides toward becoming more environmentally friendly and sustainable, thanks to a variety of innovative technologies that are already beginning to revolutionize the way we fly.

Sustainable Fuel

One of the biggest and most promising developments is the move towards sustainable aviation fuel (or SAF). So, what is SAF? SAF is a biofuel that’s produced from sustainable feedstocks that has similar properties as traditional fossil jet fuel—but with a smaller carbon footprint. American Airlines was the first airline to use SAF in its regular operations. Since then, other airlines have begun experimenting with these biofuels in their commercial flights. (American Airlines, it should be noted, is hoping to reach its goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 2050.)

The commitment for net-zero GHG emissions is also being seen at NASA and at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Bolstering this commitment, the U.S. Department of Energy is working with federal agencies—which include the US Department of Agriculture and the US Department of Transportation—to making aviation cleaner, quieter and more sustainable by 2050.

Electric planes

The reality of electric planes may be closer than you think, as the technology behind these futuristic aircraft is rapidly evolving. As you would surmise, electric planes run on electricity instead of jet fuel—which significantly reduces their emissions and lowers the industry’s environmental impact. This promising development could be a real gamechanger. Although electric planes are not capable of keeping up with traditional planes when it comes to distance and speed, they could be a viable option for many commercial flights in the future.

On the other hand, electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft and advancements in urban air mobility may not only be a high-flying reality but an employment booster as well, since it has the potential to create new job opportunities. The need for skilled engineers, designers and maintenance technicians are only a few of the jobs that are necessary for the development and manufacture of eVTOL vehicles. And when it comes to flying these amazing aircraft, the need for pilots will increase even more. Additionally, eVTOL vehicles will require maintenance and repair opening doors for a range of career opportunities that can potentially stimulate economic growth in many communities.

Advancing technology

Thanks to advanced technology such as data analysis, artificial intelligence and blockchain solutions, airplanes now run far more efficiently and safely. These latest innovations are not only helping to reduce energy consumption, emissions and waste, but they are saving airlines money, improving reliability and boosting passenger satisfaction.

Beyond the aviation industry, wind and solar power are also creating new opportunities for engineers and those holding airframe and powerplant certificates. Many engineers are working to develop and improve wind turbines and solar panels. These technologies not only help provide clean energy for homes and businesses, but they also create new jobs for people looking to build, design and maintain the structures. See how Samia Oishi ’21 is using her mechatronic engineering degree from Vaughn to drive energy equity and create a more sustainable future.

How a Vaughn degree can lead to a futureproof—and sustainable—career

Earning a Vaughn degree can meet today’s industry needs where they are. Innovations in SAF, electric planes and technology are helping to reduce the environmental impact while creating new opportunities for engineers and professionals in related fields.

Are you looking for a futureproof career that can make an environmental difference? Vaughn offers degrees in engineering and technology, management and aviation. Discover the possibilities of a Vaughn College degree. Apply today!

The management department at Vaughn College welcomed Dr. Arline Bronzaft, environmental psychologist, author, researcher and renowned expert on noise to its Industry Insights Speaker Series, sponsored by ATL Partners. Hosted by Dr. Maxine Lubner and Adjunct Professor Loretta Alkalay, Dr. Bronzaft discussed her lifetime of experience in the study of the effects of noise on mental and physical health and learning.

About Arline L. Bronzaft, PhD

For more than 50 years, Bronzaft has been an exemplary leader in bringing awareness to the effects that noise has on learning and society. She is an environmental psychologist, researcher, consultant and author whose collaborative work with numerous agencies has led to landmark changes, such as the 2007 revision of the New York City noise code and the implementation of a noise education curriculum in the New York City public school system—to name just two. Her passion and dedication to this cause led her to research the impacts of transit noise on classroom learning and airport-related noise and how each affects residents who live near transportation vicinities.

Bronzaft holds the title of Professor Emerita from City University of New York. She co-authored “Why Noise Matters” and wrote “Listen to the Raindrops”—a book which teaches children about the dangers of noise. Bronzaft has been appointed by five New York City mayors as the chairperson of the Noise Committee of GrowNYC.org. Additionally, she received the American Psychological Association Citizen Psychologist Presidential Citation. She is a founding member of The Quiet Coalition, a group of professionals in the science, health and legal arenas whose aim is to give one voice to the growing public health problem of environmental noise.

How her career began

Bronzaft first became interested in sound and noise research after studying the impacts of subway noise on student learning. In one instance, a subway would pass by a school every four minutes, but only half the number of students would hear it. Bronzaft’s study revealed that children who were exposed to the train noise were a year behind in reading skills when compared to students on the quieter side of the school. Additionally, Bronzaft conducted research on the health and well-being of New York residents who had been impacted by the noise of aircraft. So, what exactly is noise? Let’s find out.

What—exactly—is noise?

Bronzaft explained that before defining what noise exactly is, there must be an understanding of the concept of sound. She described sound as a physical phenomenon of vibrations that travel through the air—or water—and are then detected by our ears. Then, the brain analyzes these vibrations to help us determine what they are (i.e., the sound). The frontal lobe of our brain is what tells us if it’s welcoming and pleasant—or not.

Noise, on the other hand, is just that: noise. It is measured by its volume to determine whether it is welcoming or not. For the most part, noise is nothing more than unpleasant or unwanted sound.

Did you know that noise is among the most widespread occupational health issues that we experience today? Bronzaft outlined the effects of noise on our health in ways that we might never have imagined.

Effects of noise on our health

Have you ever been bothered by a particular sound, such as a dripping faucet or a high-pitched voice? Bronzaft explains how the way we react to a particular sound has physiological effects on our bodies that are intrusive, thus making it difficult to learn or complete a task. “Noise is harmful to our health and can cause physiological damage,” Bronzaft said.

Here are some of the startling ways in which noise can affect our health:

  • Cause stress—The way our bodies react to noise can cause an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, which may lead to physiological damage.
  • Increase aggression and incite harmful behavior—Noise can cause aggression, anger and dangerous, harmful behavior.

Interesting Fact: The effects of noise date back to the Roman Era, when horses walked on cobblestone streets. Fast forward to 1776, when our founding fathers asked for dirt to be placed on the cobblestone streets to help reduce the noise while they drafted the Declaration of Independence.

How to cope with noise

There’s no denying that we live in a noisy society. Bronzaft’s lifelong commitment to building a quieter society has uncovered some interesting outcomes, such as “learned helplessness.” A good example of this would be living on the bottom floor of an apartment building with noisy neighbors above you. Aside from moving out, those who live downstairs feel helpless in their situation, which increases their stress levels. “Our bodies use extra energy to sustain itself in situations like these,” said Bronzaft. “Getting used to a situation is not the answer. In fact, it’s just the opposite and will have adverse effects on the well-being of your body.”

There are many ways to address a situation like this calmly and pointedly. You can speak with the landlord or speak directly with the noisy neighbor to work out a reasonable agreement.

How the pandemic opened our eyes—and ears—to sound

Interestingly, the pandemic has resulted in a reduction of noise that has created a quieter society. “People began realizing the sounds of nature,” Bronzaft said. “Without airplane and other intrusive noises, we became more aware of birds singing, dolphins and whales surfacing and other amazing sounds of nature.”

How Vaughn has addressed noise on campus

Vaughn’s close proximity to LaGuardia Airport has raised questions about airplane noise and its effect on student well-being and learning. Dr. Lubner weighed in on the steps which Vaughn took to soundproof the buildings on the College’s campus. In a collaborative effort, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey funded a $23 million renovation to soundproof the academic buildings, along with the residence halls, in an effort to shield students and faculty from airplane noise. “We have learned very important lessons through studies and science on the negative effects of noise on learning,” said Dr. Lubner. “It’s important to address these issues from the very beginning through discussion and design. It is then we can help to prevent and mitigate these issues.”

Vaughn’s aviation and management programs

Vaughn offers a range of master’s, bachelor’s, associate and certificate programs in aviationmanagement and aviation maintenance. As a leading institution in these industries, the College is setting the pace for providing its students with the skills they need to land jobs in these in-demand fields. Are you ready to pursue your futureproof career? Discover the possibilities of a lifelong career through one of our programs. Apply today!


The management department at Vaughn College welcomed John M. Allen, president of Allen Aviation and Safety Consultants, LLC and vice president of safety at JetBlue (Ret.) to its Industry Insights Speaker Series, sponsored by ATL Partners. Hosted by Dr. Maxine Lubner and Adjunct Professor Loretta Alkalay, Allen discussed the changing culture of safety management systems within the aviation industry and shed light on certain skills that students will need in order to be a successful aviation safety consultant. At this event, students learned the importance of safety and how the benefits of earning Vaughn’s Safety Management Systems Certificate can put them on the right path towards a futureproof career.

About John Allen

For more than 40 years, John Allen has set the pace for having made significant contributions in the areas of leadership and safety management systems, as well as setting industry standards for improving aviation safety at every level.

His impressive career began in the United States Air Force, where he served for 31 years in both active and reserve duty. During that time, he held several command positions that included vice wing commander, squadron commander and ultimately the rank of brigadier general. This was the position he held at the time of his retirement. Allen’s passion for aviation safety led him to the Federal Aviation Administration , where he held several high-ranking positions over his 22-year career. Prior to retiring from the agency in 2013, Allen served as the Director of Flight Standards Service (AFS-1). In this position, he led an organization of over 5,600 inspectors and aviation professionals to oversee global aircraft operations under U.S. authority or responsibility. Shifting his unparalleled expertise to the business side of the industry, Allen accepted the position of vice president of safety at JetBlue Airlines. For the next seven years, he led the way to growing and strengthening the effectiveness and practice of the airline’s safety program. Today, Allen is president of Allen Aviation and Safety Consultants, LLC, which specializes in aviation safety, safety management systems, quality management systems, Federal Aviation Administration and leadership consulting.

The ‘art of safety’

One would think that safety is on the minds of everyone when it comes to flying on an airplane. Allen stated otherwise. “It’s harder to implement safety than anything,” he said. “Management doesn’t understand the ‘art of safety’.” He explained how it takes money, discipline and research findings to convince management officials about the importance of safety. “Technology is changing so rapidly, security management systems need to be customized to the organization,” he said. “We need to work with the culture and train from the top-down—teaching from their perspective in a way they will understand. It’s all about showing the appeal that safety is about money, too—not just saving lives.” And when it comes to passenger perspective on safety, Allen said that only about 30 percent of the flying public are fearful flyers. Check out his book, “Airline Safety Is Not by Accident… (Well Maybe Sort Of, I’ll Explain), A Memoir.”

Life tips for student success

Allen offered life tips on what students should take away from the college experience. To succeed in life, he explained how his own time in college was to broaden his thinking to learn, innovate and communicate. Have you ever wondered if you’ll ever use some of the information you’re learning in the classroom? Allen said it wasn’t until he graduated decades ago that he figured it all out. Here are the three principles which he believes are not only important in school, but are also critical for overall success in life:

  • Learn to learn—and learn quickly: Professional success is all about keeping up with the competition. Learning faster than your peers will help you rise to the top.
  • Learn to think critically, innovate and expand on what you learn: It’s important to analyze what you learn, think critically about it and improve on it. The key lesson is that it is okay to fail. Develop a passion to improve upon what you learn.
  • Learn to communicate and help others learn from your ideas: Nurture your communication skills, both written and spoken. The best innovative ideas will have no value if you cannot communicate them effectively with others.

Effective leadership techniques

With over 40 years of leadership experience, Allen knows there’s more to be being an effective leader than just “managing.” Here are some of his top leadership techniques for success:

  • When you enter a room, light it up—don’t bring it down.
  • Treat everyone as you would want to be treated. Be humble, yet confident and committed.
  • Don’t fake leadership. Crewmembers can spot a fake a mile away.
  • Provide guidance and vision, and then stand back. Trust and verify. It’s important not to micromanage. Use any shortcomings as teaching moments.
  • Recognize individuals for a job well done.
  • When meeting anyone, always look them in the eye, smile and greet them by name—if possible.

Vaughn’s Aviation and Management Programs

Vaughn offers a range of bachelor’s, master’s, associate and certificate programs in aviationmanagement and aviation maintenance. As a leading institution in these industries, the College is setting the pace by providing its students with the skills they need to land jobs in these in-demand fields. Are you ready to pursue your futureproof career? Discover the possibilities of a lifelong position through one of our programs. Apply today!

As the pilot shortage continues to be a focus in the media, the airline industry is facing yet another shortfall which has received less coverage: A shortage of aviation maintenance technicians (AMTs) – the people who maintain, repair, inspect and overhaul aircraft every time they are grounded. Without sign-off from an AMT, a plane cannot fly. With air travel approaching pre-pandemic levels, the demand for AMTs is greater than ever before. So, how dire is the shortage?

This month, we take a closer look at the demand for aircraft mechanics and why now is the best time to train for an airframe and powerplant (A&P) certification at Vaughn.

Soaring demand

According to Boeing’s Pilot and Technician Outlook 2022-2041, the industry will need as many as 610,000 new civil maintenance technicians over course of the next 20 years. That’s an even greater demand than for new pilots (excluding business aviation), which is projected to reach a need of 602,000 during the same time frame. Adding pilots to the workforce is useless without also adding maintenance technicians. How do you capitalize on this surging demand? If becoming an aviation maintenance technician interests you, then Vaughn’s A&P certificate program can be your ticket to this futureproof career.

What is the role of an aircraft mechanic?

Essentially, aircraft mechanics oversee the operations of various types of aircraft—which include jets and helicopters—by maintaining and repairing their systems and components. Just imagine: For every flight that lands in the United States, there is a crew of aircraft mechanics who must inspect the plane and sign off on each protocol to make sure that every facet of its mechanics is working properly and efficiently before it can take flight again. Without these highly skilled professionals, planes cannot fly. Talk about an in-demand career!

How Vaughn can get you there in as little as 16 months

At Vaughn’s Aviation Training Institute (ATI) students are trained to become aircraft mechanics. Vaughn’s Aviation Maintenance (Airframe and Powerplant) certificate and Aviation Maintenance Associate in Occupational Science are approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. What could this decision mean for your future? Check out these amazing benefits of a career in aviation maintenance:

  • Great starting salary and overtime – AMTs in New York can earn up to $37 per hour in just their first year and have many opportunities for overtime.
  • Flight benefits – AMTs can receive discounted or even free flights, depending on the employer.
  • Sectors of aviation – in addition to working in commercial, general (e.g., personal, business or emergency transport) or military aviation, AMTs can also work in other sectors such as theme parks or wind turbines.
  • Keeping people safe – at the end of the day, AMTs keep airplanes running smoothly which saves lives.
  • Opportunities for growth, continued learning and advancement – the aviation industry is constantly evolving and expanding as new technology is developed, which creates a continuous pipeline new jobs and opportunities. There is no limit to where this career can take you, as long as you work hard and continue to hone your skills.

Want to know what it takes to become an aircraft mechanic? Check out our blog, “A Day in the Life of an Aviation Maintenance Technician.”

What’s the next step?

What are your plans for the future? As noted above, Vaughn’s ATI program can prepare you for a job in the aviation industry in as little as 16 months. Learn more about this exciting opportunity at our Aviation Maintenance Info. Session on Thursday, December 15 at 6 p.m. We hope to see you there!

The management department at Vaughn College welcomed the Honorable Christopher Hart, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)(Ret.) and founder of Hart Solutions, LLP to its Industry Insights Speaker Series, sponsored by ATL Partners. Hosted by Dr. Maxine Lubner and Adjunct Professor Loretta Alkalay, Hart discussed the vulnerabilities of automation as he took the audience through serious—and in some cases tragic—journeys of several accidents where automation met human operation. At this event, students learned the importance of safety in all forms of transportation as well as how the benefits of earning Vaughn’s Safety Management Systems Certificate can start them on their way to a futureproof career.

About Christopher Hart

For nearly 50 years, Christopher Hart’s stellar expertise as a lawyer, pilot and government official has earned him a sterling reputation as an expert in the transportation safety industry. After working at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), he returned to the NTSB, having previously served there for several years. In 2009, he was sworn in as a member, where he held several positions. Five years later, President Barack Obama nominated Hart to serve as the agency’s thirteenth chairman—a position he held until 2017. Hart holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in aeronautical engineering from Princeton University, and a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School.

Notable Accidents in Transportatio­­n

Metro Collision, Washington, DC—2009

Hart opened the discussion with the metro collision of 2009 in Washington, DC, which he described as a failure of automation. At that time, Hart said there was “some automation” in place and explained how a defect in the system’s design led to the fatal train collision. Here’s what transpired. First, Hart began by describing a dispatch board that shows the entire transit system and where the trains are located. A defect in the system resulted in a train on the tracks being “electronically invisible”—which gave no warning to the second train traveling miles behind it that there was another train ahead. Thinking that the rail was clear, the operator of the second train accelerated as it approached a curve. As it made its way around this curve, the operator saw the first train and applied the emergency brakes. Tragically, it was too late and the operator and eight passengers were killed. Working at the NTSB at the time of this accident, Hart said there is a lesson to be learned.  “Automation needs to assume reality,” he said. “The software should have picked up that the train was there. The failure is obvious. If the signal disappeared, then still assume the train is still in place.”

Human Factors “Error Trap” in Strasbourg, France—1992

Hart described this tragic airplane crash in Strasbourg, France as “fascinating”—because the fate of the passengers and crew came down to a simple decimal point. Wondering how that could be? Here are the details of the crash. As he began, Hart outlined several risk factors of the flight which he described as an “accident waiting to happen.”

These were the situational risk factors:

  • Flight occurred at night
  • Mountainous terrain
  • No ground radar
  • No ground-based ground slope guidance
  • No airborne terrain alerting equipment

Although the plane was equipped with a sophisticated autopilot, Hart claimed it was “autopilot ambiguity” that caused the crash. Here’s what happened: While preparing for landing, the pilot programmed the autopilot system incorrectly by not including a decimal point in the speed at which the plane should descend. The correct programming should have been “3.2” in the window—which means to descend at a 3.2-degree angle (about 700 feet per minute at 140 knots). Instead, the pilot failed to include the decimal point and entered “32” (without the decimal point) in the window, which indicated that the plane should descend at 3,200 feet per minute.

Due to this gross error—in addition to flying at night—the pilots didn’t know they were approaching the ground as quickly as they were and crashed before reaching the airport. “This is a textbook example of threats and errors,” he said. “We need to correct situations that can lead to mistakes. In this case, a simple decimal point was the difference between life and death.” So, what could have prevented this accident? Hart said the industry needs the human factor in situations like this: Experts who will fly in a simulator to help investigators understand what happened. He continued by emphasizing how a proactive flight data recorder readout program could have helped safety experts identify this problem before the crash.

Landing on the Hudson: Unanticipated Circumstances—2009

The landing of U.S. Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River—or more popularly known as the “Miracle on the Hudson”—will go down in aviation history as one of the most remarkable landings in our lifetime. Here is what happened:

On January 15, 2009, the Airbus A320 was on its regularly scheduled flight from New York City to Charlotte and Seattle when it struck a flock of birds shortly after takeoff—causing all the engines to lose power. Unable to reach an airport, pilots Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and Jeffrey Skiles had to make a split-second decision to attempt a water landing in the river without any power. The pilots were unaware that the plane was equipped with phugoid damping, which inhibited three and one-half degrees of nose-up alpha during flare. This resulted in a higher vertical speed upon impact. Hart—who says this landing is not a miracle at all—credits several factors for the successful outcome that resulted in no fatalities. Some of these factors included:

  • Good engine design
  • A robust system
  • Well-trained pilots

He stated in this particular situation, stick and rudder skills and discipline played major roles in the successful outcome of this accident. “We need to train commercial pilots with these skills,” Hart said. “For this accident, the human factor was the most reliable.” As amazing as this water landing was, Hart said had the pilots known of the phugoid damping, it may have reduced damaged and injuries.

Hart’s Final Thoughts

Hart concluded his presentation with some closing thoughts on automation in aviation:

  • Automation has a proven track record of benefits.
  • As automation becomes more reliable, complex and capable, the challenges will increase—both when the automation is not functioning as designed, as well as when it is functioning properly.
  • Automation failure is rare. Problems are more likely to be related to human factors and/or unanticipated circumstances.
  • Checklists will face many of the same challenges as automation since they are simply operator-enabled automation.

A management or aviation degree can prepare you for an exciting and in-demand career. Here’s how Vaughn can get you there.

Vaughn’s Aviation and Management Programs

Vaughn offers a range of bachelor’s, master’s, associate and certificate programs in aviationmanagement and aviation maintenance. As a leading institution in these industries, the College is setting the pace by providing its students with the skills they need to land jobs in these in-demand fields. Are you ready to pursue your futureproof career? Discover the possibilities of a lifelong career through one of our programs. Apply today!


The management department at Vaughn College welcomed Breeze Airways president Tom Doxey to its Industry Insights Speaker Series, sponsored by ATL Partners. Hosted by Dr. Maxine Lubner and Adjunct Professor Loretta Alkalay, Doxey discussed the exciting ventures of Breeze Airways—a new low-fare airline that is making a name itself with Seriously NiceTM flights and fares. At this event, students learned the benefits of earning Vaughn’s Safety Management Systems Certificate Program—as well as the exciting ways of how they can apply their aviation and management degrees at airlines such as Breeze Airways.

About Doxey

Last spring, industry veteran Tom Doxey was appointed president of Breeze Airways after having held senior positions for six years at United Airlines. Doxey’s job titles at United Airlines included chief financial officer of operations and, most recently, senior vice president of technical operations, where he oversaw the airline’s global technical operations and a team of more than 13,000 employees. With more than 16 years of combined industry experience, Doxey also credits his time at Allegiant Airlines—prior to his roles at United Airlines—as having given him the foundational experience for where he is today.

The Breeze Airways business model

Founded by aviation entrepreneur David Neeleman, Breeze Airways is known on the map as being the industry’s “nicest” airline, as its business model is customer-focused with flexibility, accessibility and integrity at the helm. Doxey outlines the company’s business model as “Seriously Nice.” Here are some key points:

Saves time
  • Non-stop flights avoid crowded hubs for easier, quicker travel
  • Convenient airports
  • Less drive times
  • Shorter TSA lines
Saves money
  • Low fares—simple, affordable price structure for a “nice,” “nicer” and “nicest” experience
  • Creates affordability and accessibility for travelers from all walks of life
  • More affordable airport parking
Peace of mind
  • No change or cancellation fees, allowing travelers to cancel 15 minutes prior to flight
  • Service to convenient, smaller airports, including 93 percent of unserved airports by other carriers
  • Beautiful, new aircraft with on board entertainment—with Wi-Fi coming soon
  • Families can sit together without additional charge
  • Travelers may have a flight credit that’s good for 24 months

Earning their wings

Doxey explained that although Breeze Airways was created during the COVID-19 pandemic, its management team of industry experts overcame several challenges to become one of today’s up and coming low-fare airlines. “Adversity creates strength,” said Doxey. “It helps you to grow through hard, challenging times.” Hard work is surely paying off, as Doxey outlined some of the airline’s impressive accomplishments in its first year of operation.

Travel + Leisure Ranking

Just this year, Travel + Leisure ranked Breeze Airlines as second of the 10 best U.S. domestic airlines in 2021, calling attention to its ease, affordability and seriously nice team members.

Record-setting first year
  • Breeze Airways has raised $200 million, establishing this airline the best-funded aviation start-up in history.
  • Operated 9,000 flights across 90 routes.
Future programs and operations
  • Customer loyalty program
  • International routes that include the Caribbean and Mexico

How Breeze embraces diversity, culture and the environment

Doxey explained how Breeze is taking tangible steps to address the topics of diversity, inclusion and culture adaptation within the company. “We’re not just talk,” he said. “We have conversations at the senior level that address these topics.” These are two of the steps they are taking:

  • Values committee—Breeze executives discuss the importance of inclusion and ways to ensure the company is doing everything possible to recognize people of all races, places and orientation as well as celebrating holidays such as Juneteenth and Veteran’s Day, among others.
  • Listening sessions—Addressing the different perspectives of women and giving them a voice where they may address their needs in the workplace.

And where the environment is concerned, Breeze Airways takes the health of citizens and the planet seriously. Doxey discussed the important ways in which the company is dedicated to keeping noise—and environmental pollution—to a minimum.

  • Use planes with quieter engines
  • Structure and adjust business around demand—will not fly planes with only a few customers
  • Scale back flights in slower months such as September and October

Unique pilot and training programs

Despite the ongoing pilot shortage, Doxey stated that Breeze Airways is focused on building its pilot base. Here are more details about this unique program:

“Breeze Boost” Pilot Program

“Breeze Boost” gives pilots who have less than the required 1,500 flight hours the opportunity to earn the hours they need to flow into its pool of commercial pilots. Doxey says this is an effective way to attract qualified pilots and create a pipeline to the 1,500 hours they need to earn their commercial pilot licenses.

Another unique opportunity for working as a Breeze Airways pilot is the ability to quickly build seniority. As a young airline, pilots who join early on have the opportunity to earn seniority faster than they would from working at larger carriers.

Training Program

Doxey was proud to say that training center and simulators at Breeze Airways are world-class and led by top pilot instructors who are laser-focused on safety.

Doxey’s tips on landing a job in the industry

Doxey was impressed to hear that Vaughn offers the Safety Management Systems Certificate Program. “We look for candidates with safety risk assessment skills,” said Doxey. “Having those tools and mindset is a huge benefit for those looking to be a part of our operations team.” He said the company is hiring for positions across the board—with pilots and technicians as among the more specific openings.

Doxey offered advice to Vaughn students—or anyone—who may be interested in working at Breeze Airways: “We welcome those who are looking to join our team of aviation, hospitality and technology enthusiasts,” he said. “It’s hard work—and you will need to pull up your sleeves—but in the end, it’s an exciting and rewarding opportunity to help create our ‘Seriously NiceTM’ culture.”

Vaughn’s aviation and management programs

Vaughn offers a range of bachelor’s, associate and certificate programs in aviation, management and aviation maintenance. As a leading institution in these industries, the College is setting the pace for providing its students with the skills they need to land jobs in these in-demand fields. Are you ready to pursue your futureproof career? Discover the possibilities of a lifelong career through one of our programs. Apply today!

The management department at Vaughn College welcomed Terry Kilby to its Industry Insights Speaker Series, sponsored by ATL Partners. Hosted by Dr. Maxine Lubner and Adjunct Professor Loretta Alkalay, the live presentation by Kilby—who is a renowned aerial photographer and 3D specialist—focused on drones and the use of 3D scanning for historical preservation and Web3. The event showed Vaughn students new and exciting ways where they can apply their degrees in engineering and technology. Additionally, focus was given to the future direction of the industry as it pertains to the metaverse, Web3, NFT and the blockchain.

About Terry Kilby

For over a decade, 3D capture artist Terry Kilby has been recognized as a leading international expert—both as an aerial photographer and pioneer in the specialties of photogrammetry (3D scanning), panoramic photography (VR photography) and time lapse. Through the use of drones and the application of photogrammetry, Kilby has mastered the higher-level technique of capturing contemporary history and artfully creating photorealistic 3D models for historic preservation, film sets, archaeological sites—and beyond. His groundbreaking work in the documentation of historical sites and monuments is a mind-blowing experience that brings the past to life. Before Kilby found his passion for drones and aerial photography, he worked as mobile software developer and technology lead with a Fortune 50 company.

Aircraft design

Growing up as an avid radio control (RC) hobbyist, Kilby explained how he saw the beginning of the civilian drone industry as a continuation of the RC hobby world. Over the years, he navigated through the drone industry where he witnessed and experienced groundbreaking technology which set the stage for the fascinating work he is known for today.

STEM education

Sharing his love and knowledge for drones and 3D technology led Kilby to become an educator in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). His involvement with foundations and children’s camps was instrumental in spreading the word about drones to the younger generation. Part of his passion with the children was teaching them how to build their first quad copters through the application of 3D printing.

Advanced drone techniques

Blending his creative talents with his experience in software and web development, Kilby developed advanced drone techniques that continue to make a mark in the corporate and historical preservation arenas. Here are some of them:

  • 360o Panoramas: By capturing several 360o panoramic photos and architectural models, Kilby is able to create a working model for a project.
  • Photogrammetry: Through the recording, measuring and interpreting of the images he captures with drones, Kilby is able to obtain reliable information about the object—or environment—to use for his projects.

3D scanning

The highlight of Kilby’s presentation centered on the amazing capabilities of 3D scanning technology. Here are the types of scanning he uses in his work:

Structured Light

structured lightDescribed as an extremely accurate method of 3D scanning, Kilby shared how this technique assisted in extracting a fingerprint from a 3,000-year-old artifact.

LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) and Photogrammetry

LIDARLIDAR is a method of 3D scanning that measures distance through the use of beams of light. For years, it has been used in aviation, being placed under small aircrafts such as Cessnas and terrestrial LIDAR.

Notable projects using 3D scanning

By using photogrammetry, Kilby showcased some of his unique techniques in working with historic structures, one of which was the Berlin Wall. Here are some other fascinating projects that Kilby featured via the use of photogrammetry:

Plantation House

Kilby used a Phantom 4 Pro Drone to capture images that were eventually used to create a 3D animated rendering of a plantation house that had been built in the 1600s. His work was used to help in the restoration project of this historical building.

Mayfield Theatre

Kilby was tasked to create a captivating visual of the Mayfield Theatre in Baltimore—the first African American-owned theatre in the U.S.—which fell into disrepair after undergoing a fire. Through his amazing talents, Kilby created a visual that told the story of the theater, and which ultimately gained the attention of an interested developer who restored the building’s facade.

Slave House

Over the course of three years, a team of archaeologists, historians, engineers and artists used Kilby’s 3D scans of a dig site in Annapolis, Maryland to uncover unique features of slave’s quarters from years ago. They then used that information to recreate an accurate depiction of the building’s interior and exterior.

Who uses 3D scanning?

Kilby addressed the three main areas he works in when it comes to drones and 3D scanning. These are:

  • Architecture Engineering and Construction (AEC)
  • Museums
  • Archaeologists/Historic Preservationist

Unique ways to present projects

Just when attendees of the Industry Insights Speaker Series thought they’d seen the coolest applications that used drones and 3D scanning technology, Kilby went on to describe the different forms of asset presentation. Here is the variety of platforms he uses for asset presentation:

  • Sketchfab/Web: Considered by Kilby to be the “YouTube of the 3D,” Sketchfab is leading the way to becoming the go to 3D platform for the web.
  • Virtual Reality (VR) and the Metaverse: Kilby built a virtual reality museum in the Metaverse, where those in the “world” can view his exhibit and communicate with each other.
  • Augmented Reality (AR): Unlike VR—where one is “sunk” into the experience without any situational awareness of what’s going on around him or her—augmented reality merges assets into the real world around the viewer.
  • In Real Life (IRL) Museums: This fascinating form of asset presentation allows 3D exhibits to be “transported” and shared at museums worldwide.

Technology that is influencing the future

Kilby concluded by discussing how his work will fit into the future of the internet – including the blockchain, NFTs and the metaverse.


This decentralized ledger allows multiple individuals to store records or information on a “block” in the chain that’s secured by cryptography—which is the storing and transmitting of data in encrypted formats.

Kilby’s thoughts on the cultural impact of blockchain technology are that it:

  • Democratizes the recording of history
  • Is a fundamental shift in how history is recorded and will be understood moving forward

Non-fungible tokens—or NFTs—are digital assets that are bought and sold online. In 2021, the NFT market was valued at $41 billion dollars.

Vaughn’s certificate and degree programs

The excitement surrounding Kilby’s work with the use of drones and 3D scanning technology is fueling interest in these futuristic career-driven fields. As a leading institution in engineering and technology, aviation and management, Vaughn College is setting the pace by providing its students with the necessary skills to land jobs in these fascinating industries. Which programs interest you? Check each of them out:

Certificate programs

Associate degree

Bachelor’s degrees

Are you ready to pursue your futureproof career? Discover the possibilities of an amazing career with one of our programs. Apply today!


Cybercrime is a lucrative business that is predicted to cost companies—globally—an estimated $10.5 trillion by 2025. With a single cyberattack occurring every 11 seconds, organizations aren’t wasting time in hiring cybersecurity professionals to safeguard their data and computer networks. In fact, experts predict that companies could spend as much as $1.75 trillion for information security. So, who exactly are these professionals that companies are hiring to protect their data?

This month, Vaughn College explores the demand for cybersecurity professionals and the various jobs in this field. Read on to learn how a degree in computer engineering from Vaughn could be your pathway to cashing in on this futureproof career.

Demand for cybersecurity professionals

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, information security analysts are among the fastest growing occupations in the country—with a projected growth rate of 35 percent over the next nine years. In the U.S. alone, it was reported there are more than 700,000 job openings in the cybersecurity-related field, with approximately 1.8 million positions worldwide that will go unfilled this year. With demand at an all-time high—and no end of sight for the need to protect company data—the future is bright for a career in cybersecurity.

Companies with the greatest need

Every industry—including banking, utility companies, government organizations and healthcare—has come to depend on the world’s cyber infrastructure in order to operate. Last year, the heads of industry giants Google, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon were among the leaders who met with President Biden at the White House to discuss how the nation’s cybersecurity might be improved through a collaboration with the government and private sector. It’s important to note that cybercrime doesn’t discriminate against big corporations. Were you aware that approximately 43 percent of cyberattacks are directed at small businesses? On any given day, owners of these businesses have their hands full in juggling several responsibilities, thus leaving their interests vulnerable to be exploited by cybercriminals. In fact, only about 14 percent of these small businesses are prepared to defend their data.

Cybersecurity careers to meet the demand

As you can imagine, there are several different cybersecurity careers—each with its own set of critical roles—to protect companies from cybercriminals. Here are some career paths to consider:

Cybersecurity engineer

These professionals are responsible for protecting a company’s network and data from unauthorized access—or cyberattack—by designing cybersecurity platforms and building emergency plans in the event of a disaster.

Here are some of the duties and responsibilities of a cybersecurity engineer:
  • Develop and enforce security plans, standards and protocols
  • Collaborate with other teams to maintain overall security
  • Create and install firewalls and intrusion detection systems
  • Update security software, hardware and facilities
  • Running encryption programs
  • Moving data and information after a detected security issue
Required skills:
  • Strong communication skills
  • Ability to explain complex issues to management and offer solutions for current security plans and procedures
  • Ability and willingness to work with law enforcement following a cyberattack
  • Risk assessment
  • Computer forensics
  • Secure coding practices
Education and certifications:
  • A bachelor’s degree—or higher—in computer engineering, cybersecurity, infosec or a related field is required to work as a cybersecurity engineer.

Cybersecurity analyst

Anyone in this role analyzes reports to identify and examine cyber threats that include viruses, worms, bots and Trojans. Cybersecurity analysts develop malware protection tools to ensure that practices are properly implemented and followed. The scope of their responsibilities is expansive.

Here are some of the duties and responsibilities of a cybersecurity analyst:
  • Monitor security best practices, protocols and procedures to detect, contain and remediate threats
  • Control file access and credentialing, network updates and firewall maintenance
  • Perform penetration testing and vulnerability scans
  • Recommend relevant changes to improve security
  • May be enlisted to train employees on cybersecurity hygiene, due to their expertise in security risks and best practices
Required skills:
  • Solid understanding of how data is stored and managed
  • Solid understanding of various kinds of cybersecurity threats
  • Proprietary testing
  • Risk assessment
  • Data encryption
  • Firewall design, configuration, deployment and maintenance
  • Security incident triaging
Education and certifications:
  • A bachelor’s degree in computer science, cybersecurity, infosec or a related field is required to work as a cybersecurity analyst.

Network security architect

Similar to an architect who designs plans for buildings and structures, a network security architect plays a critical role in the design of security structures that are used to prevent malware attacks. In addition to performing vulnerability tests, a network security architect maintains network productivity, efficiency, availability and performance to ensure ongoing security of the company.

Here are some of the duties and responsibilities of a network security architect:
  • Helps translate business needs into functional systems
  • Defines appropriate policies and procedures for the systems
  • Monitors budgetary and operational constraints
  • Undertakes defensive measures such as firewall and antivirus configuration, as well as offensive measures like penetration testing
  • Oversees network changes
  • Stays aware of computer systems’ networking requirements such as routing, switching and trust domains
  • Has knowledge of security best practices, technologies and industry-standard frameworks.
Required skills:
  • Excellent people, managerial and presentation skills
  • Strong IT experience
  • Risk management experience
  • Knowledge of TCP/IP networking and networking security
  • ITIL and COBIT IT process models
  • Intrusion detection systems
  • Knowledge of VPN layers and connections
  • Open Systems Interconnection (OSI): 7-layer model
Education and certifications:
  • A bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field is required, although a master’s degree in cybersecurity is preferred.

How Vaughn can get you there

As you’ve read in this blog, the ever-growing field of cybersecurity and computer engineering demands well-trained individuals for a broad range of industries. Vaughn’s degree program is designed to give students the knowledge and skills that are necessary, and where they each can play an important role in the technologies that define modern day life and society.

The computer engineering curriculum emphasizes two well-defined concentrations: cybersecurity and artificial intelligence (AI). These two concentrations work hand in hand to secure network systems. Although it’s believed that AI will never take the place of cybersecurity jobs, this concentration and machine learning are viable players in the growth of the industry.

Are you interested in an in-demand, high-paying job in cybersecurity? Vaughn’s computer engineering degree program could be your pathway to an exciting futureproof career. Apply today!

Careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are among the top choices of Generation Z (Gen Z) students, according to the 2022 Career Interest Survey, which was conducted earlier this year by The National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS). Read on to learn the factors that are driving these high-achieving students to pursue careers in these in-demand industries and how Vaughn College has the degree programs and partnerships to get them there.

Who are Gen Zs?

Members of Generation Z are individuals who were born after 1997. They are considered the most diverse American generation and are larger than any preceding age group. At more than 90 million members, the oldest Gen Z members are 25 years old. So, why is this generation choosing STEM fields as their top career choices? Let’s find out.

Why are Gen Zs choosing STEM careers?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand in STEM fields is projected to grow by 10.5 percent over the next eight years. The survey revealed how students are shifting their focus from degrees in education, the arts and legal studies and opting to major in fields where they can make an impact on the economy and the world—such as in STEM-related jobs and healthcare. Another finding revealed that not only is the STEM field the number one career choice among respondents, but it continues to grow particularly among female and black students. Careers in these in-demand fields bring job security, high-paying salaries and room for advancement, thus making the degrees more appealing.

Check out our blog, “Engineering Ranked Among Most Valuable College Majors,” to learn why engineering and STEM-related majors top the list as being among the most valuable degrees.

What factors matter most

The survey revealed the goals, preferences and attitudes of high achieving high school and college-aged individuals, as well as their feelings toward employment and career aspirations. As stated earlier, the diverse nature of members of Gen Z places them in a unique category where equity for all is a priority. In fact, more than one-fifth (22 percent) of respondents said their own experiences with racial inequality influenced their career choices, and one-third fluently speak a language other than English. Here are some of the factors that matter most to the Gen Z group when looking for their first full-time job is concerned:

Professional growth
  • Provide in-person training
  • Opportunity to learn skills for the purpose of career advancement
  • Pathway to promotion
  • Professional development opportunities
Personal preferences
  • Reflect and respect diversity
  • Fair treatment of all employees across all genders and races
  • Offer employer flexibility
  • Display corporate social responsibility
  • Have a boss who is like a mentor
  • Upper management must have good communication skills

Listen to our latest podcast featuring Vaughn alumna Kirei Watson ’18 (mechanical engineering major) and how she broke down barriers to land and excel in her job as a rotational program engineer at Collins Aerospace.

How can a Vaughn degree get you there?

Another key takeaway from the survey is the discovery of the love of learning among the Gen Z group—especially when it comes to hands-on training. At Vaughn College, our degree programs in engineering and technology, computer engineering and aviation offer students the best of both worlds: Lecture instructions by professors with real-world experience and hands-on instruction where students put what they’ve learned to work. In fact, the rapid advancements in technology are making these degrees some of the most sought-after by today’s college-bound students. And were you aware that aviation degrees can fall under a STEM-related focus in some instances? Today’s staffing shortage crisis in the aviation industry is increasing the demand for jobs across the board.

Check out our blog, “Virtual and Augmented Reality Shape the Future of the Aviation Industry,” to learn how immersive technologies are a billion-dollar gamechanger in the aviation market.

Vaughn provides invaluable industry connections and experiences

Vaughn is committed to the success of its students. By providing invaluable programs like Employer Engagement Days, Open House and Info. Session events, career fairs, speaker series and our Computer Engineering Summer Boot Camp, Vaughn goes above and beyond to ensure that its students have the opportunities and access to industry leaders who are ready to hire. Here are some industry giants, federal agencies and airports that actively recruit Vaughn students:

  • Atlas Air
  • Boeing
  • Cyient
  • Delta
  • Endeavor Air
  • Federal Aviation Administration
  • Jet Blue Airways
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport
  • LaGuardia Gateway Partners
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Metro-North Railroad
  • NASA
  • Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
  • Pratt & Whitney
  • SpaceX
  • Sikorsky
  • Textron Aviation
  • United Airlines
  • Volvo

What is NSHSS?

The National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) is an acclaimed academic honor society which recognizes and serves high achieving student scholars in more than 26,000 high schools across 170 countries. These academically outstanding students represent the most promising diverse talent for the emerging workforce and their communities.

About the survey

The survey revealed the opinions and insights of over 11,000 of the highest achieving high school students, college students and recent college graduates who represent Gen Z in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. military bases overseas and U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Are you ready to be a part of the next generation of professionals in the emerging STEM-related industry? A degree from Vaughn can make your dream a reality. Apply today!