There’s excitement in the air—literally. The aviation industry is seeing a comeback in commercial air travel as passengers are feeling more confident taking to the skies amidst the continuing rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine. As air travel demand returns, airlines are starting to hire pilots again. Many are saying that domestic leisure travel has almost completely recovered at this point, after hitting an all-time low a year ago. Airlines are also promoting more pilots to captain and allowing them to bid on new positions to meet the demand. It’s an exciting time for the travel industry!

Domestic air travel comeback

According to Moody’s, an American credit ratings agency, the outlook for the global airline industry has been upgraded to “positive,” as this agency expects a strong rebound in U.S. domestic travel. To date, the countries leading the recovery are China, the United States and Australia. The business market, on the other hand, is seeing a slower recovery, since people continue to work remotely and are taking fewer business trips. Overall, the industry is adjusting and reevaluating their operations for a strong post-COVID-19 rebound.

Making connections

Pent-up travelers are expected to spread their wings this year and take long-awaited vacations to visit family, friends and popular tourism hot spots such as Florida, Hawaii and Las Vegas. This is good news for airport workers, security staff, air traffic controllers and maintenance technicians as more people are flowing through airports. The COVID-19 vaccine is proving to be an industry game changer, as it is giving people the comfort, security and safety to travel and venture out again. Airports have made safety a top priority.

Positive shifts for passengers

Slower business travel may mean greater perks for leisure travelers. Airlines are considering reconfiguring their cabins to make the business-class cabin area smaller and by improving the remaining space for premium-leisure passengers with the placement of premium-economy cabins. “The need for airport and aircraft layout designers has increased as a result of the pandemic, as airports are creating more outdoor spaces and airlines are making economy cabins larger,” said Dr. Maxine Lubner, Chair of the Management Department at Vaughn. “Our management programs are poised to prepare students for the changing demands of the industry.”

Vaughn programs continue to soar

For almost 90 years, aviation enthusiasts have flocked to Vaughn College to study the fields of aviation, engineering and management. As much as the industry has changed over the years, one thing has remained the same: Vaughn has adapted to the changes by offering new and cutting-edge coursework, programs and employment connections to meet industry demand. Vaughn’s faculty and staff have worked in the industries they teach, so they are deeply rooted and tuned in to industry and employer trends, especially as they’ve shifted throughout the pandemic.

Vaughn continues to educate, train and inspire future pilots, engineers and aviation professionals through its renowned bachelor’s, associate and certificate programs and experienced faculty. Vaughn’s aircraft operations and aeronautical sciences bachelor’s degrees are accredited by the Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI).

Looking to advance your career in aviation management? Vaughn’s master’s in aviation management degree program gives mid-level professionals the ability to rise in the ranks at aviation-related organizations.

The post-COVID-19 comeback is one more reason why flight students have an edge in pursuing a futureproof career as a pilot. And with the ongoing pilot shortage that has left airlines waiting in the wings, there’s no better time than now for students to earn their degrees.

Are you seeking a career as a pilot? Vaughn College has the aviation program to help you earn your wings in this futureproof career. Looking to keep your feet on the ground? Check out the other aviation degree programs, along with our degrees in engineering and technology and management. Discover all that’s possible with an aviation degree from Vaughn. Apply today!

There’s a new look on the horizon for commercial airline cockpits—and we’re not talking about the instrumentation. The airline industry is embracing its restart with a comeback that will be better than ever, with diversity and inclusion taking center stage.

Working the numbers

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 93.7 percent of professional pilots are white and 92.5 percent are male. The new industry initiatives hope to change these percentages. And the timing couldn’t be better as it comes on the heels of the nation’s ongoing pilot shortage.

Getting on board

Airlines are realizing they must broaden their scope when it comes to searching for talent. Many have pledged to make diversity a priority—at all levels—within their companies, and this encompasses hiring practices, management and company culture. Women, people of color and other underrepresented groups will be part of the industry restart initiative, keeping these demographics front and center when it comes to opening the doors of opportunity for careers in aviation.

United Airlines announced its new diversity goal and plans to train 5,000 new pilots by 2030, with at least half of them being women and people of color. Delta Air Lines committed to improving their efforts on a year-by-year basis. Last December, Delta joined forces with the founding members of OneTen, an organization of American corporations committed to hiring, training and promoting one million Black Americans over the next 10 years. American, Alaska Southwest and JetBlue are also making commitments to racial inclusion. Globally, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) launched its 25by2025 initiative, which aims to make aviation more gender-balanced by increasing the number of women in the industry by 25 percent by the year 2025.

Breaking barriers

For inner-city children of color, working in the aviation industry may not even be on their radar due to the lack of exposure and the high cost of becoming a pilot. Chairman of the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP) Joel Webley said airlines should increase their efforts with minority groups by putting an emphasis on providing paid internships for college students. Luckily, one of the many missions of Vaughn’s career services department is to create opportunities for students to get paid internships.

How Vaughn embraces diversity

The faces of the Vaughn College community are reflective of the diversity found in its home borough of Queens and of its core values of embracing diversity, welcoming students from all cultures, heritages and economic backgrounds. Also worth noting is how Vaughn’s aviation, engineering and technology, and management programs have attracted more women in recent years, and Vaughn President Dr. Sharon B. DeVivo is committed to growing female enrollment across all programs at the College.

“Vaughn’s diversity is our ‘super power,’” notes DeVivo. With 80 percent of our students coming from minority backgrounds and a majority, minority faculty and staff, we are committed to serving individuals from underrepresented groups and our graduates are changing the industry.”

DeVivo is also the national chair for the Youth in Access to Aviation Jobs in America Task Force and is working with a group of 20 national leaders to grow the pipeline of young people, specifically from underrepresented groups, pursuing careers in aviation and aerospace. The Task Force hopes to make their final recommendations to the Federal Aviation Administration and Congress in 2022.

Vaughn makes it affordable

Vaughn College offers federal, state and institutional funding to help students pay for their education. In fact, 90 percent of Vaughn students are eligible for some type of financial aid, with the average package totaling more than $15,000 per year. Vaughn also offers several scholarships and programs like HEOP (Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program) that help students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds to attend college.

Vaughn ranked number one in upward mobility

Part of Vaughn’s success is reflected by its impressive position of having been ranked as the nation’s number one college in upward mobility. According to a 2017 study published in The New York Times, Vaughn College is noted as “an institution doing more to impact social mobility for those who start from less fortunate means,” and is also listed as the top institution for moving students from the bottom percentages to the top 40 percent in income. The article stems from a study conducted by The Equality of Opportunity Project entitled, “Mobility Report Cards: The Role of Colleges in Intergenerational Mobility.”

In addition, Vaughn ranks high in both economic and ethnic student body diversity among US colleges and is also a federally designated Hispanic-serving institution.

Do you have a passion for flying? An aviation degree from Vaughn College can set your career soaring. Apply today!

When we hear the word “aviation” our minds typically turn to airplanes and pilots. But did you ever wonder who is working on the ground to keep the industry moving and keep travelers, pilots and flight attendants safe?

This month, we spotlight the exciting careers you can pursue in the airport and airline management industry. If you have a passion for aviation—but would prefer to keep your feet on the ground—your futureproof career may lie within one of these sectors. Read on to learn more about these in-demand careers and the success stories of graduates from Vaughn who have landed their dream jobs doing what they love.

Air Traffic Controller

If becoming an air traffic controller has been on your radar, you may want to learn more about this exciting career. Air traffic controllers (ATCs) are so much more than “eyes in the sky.” On a daily basis, air traffic controllers are responsible for monitoring aircraft through the use of radar and other equipment. Air traffic controllers require a particular set of skills and a talent for teamwork to be successful.

Responsibilities of an Air Traffic Controller

In addition to coordinating and monitoring the movement of aircraft within safe distances—both in the air and on the ground—they have other responsibilities that include:

  • Controlling ground traffic at airport runways and taxiways
  • Issuing landing and takeoff instructions to pilots
  • Transferring control of departing flights to other traffic control centers and accepting control of arriving flights

Aviation enthusiasts from all walks of life are flocking toward a career in air traffic control for its unique benefits. If you are one of these enthusiasts, benefits of being an air traffic controller include:

  • Potential to earn a six-figure salary after first few years of service
  • Consistent work schedule
  • Mandatory retirement age at 56—with full federal benefits
How Vaughn Can Get You There

Vaughn can prepare you for this exciting career as an air traffic controller, and in less time than you might have imagined. Vaughn partners with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to offer the Air Traffic-Collegiate Training Initiative (AT-CTI). Why is that important? By attending an AT-CTI institution like Vaughn, you get to bypass the biometric screening that’s required by the FAA and could enter the training program faster. Vaughn is one of only 30 colleges in the country to offer this program and is the only program of its kind in the Northeast.

Vaughn Student Success Story: Air Traffic Control
Jessenia Diaz
Jessenia Diaz ’10

Vaughn College graduate Jessenia Diaz ’10 landed her dream job as an air traffic controller at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens. In December 2010, she graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor of science degree in airport management and general management, received the board of trustees award at spring convocation and was selected as the student commencement speaker for 2011.

“Pilots may have the best equipment on the plane, but they depend on us to navigate them from the ground. I love my job and wouldn’t trade working in New York for anything. My time at Vaughn gave me the knowledge and experience to get me where I am today.”

Learn more about what a day in the life of an air traffic controller is like.

Airport Security Manager

The role of an airport security manager is considered one of the most complex security jobs anywhere. There’s no doubt that the safety of airline passengers is a priority. Internationally, safety managers follow the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices (SARP) to help manage aviation safety risks in coordination with their service providers.

Airport Security Manager Job Functions

In the US, safety managers are responsible for promoting safety awareness by adhering to regulations from the FAA and other agencies, which include the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Homeland Security. Here are some of the essential responsibilities of a airport security manager:

  • Maintain the safety and security of the airport
  • Review and revise airport safety and security plans
  • Develop and implement employee safety policies and practices
  • Inspect runway lighting
  • Keep runways clear
  • Ensure airfield is protected
How Vaughn Can Get You There

Vaughn College offers an airport management degree program to prepare students for the various functional areas of aviation and business management. Located across from New York’s newly-renovated LaGuardia Airport, the learning environment at Vaughn College provides unsurpassed experiences for students. If airport management is a career you are considering, Vaughn will prepare you to work full-time in either an airport or related industry.

Vaughn adjunct professor Al Graser, who teaches airport and operations management at the College, shared his insights about the planning and security measures that were taken in preparation for the 2016 Olympic games, which were held in Brazil.

“Brazil put forth a major effort to prepare for the 2016 Olympic games. It appears this type of investment will ensure the security, service and operations for all users of the airport during the Olympic games and into the future.”

Airport Operations Manager

Airports operate under Part 139 Certification, issued by the FAA to ensure safety in air transportation. With that being understood, the role of an operations manager is to supervise and coordinate the day-to-day landside and airside operations of the airport. They must possess outstanding management and communication skills and have full knowledge of FAA rules, among other requirements. Here is snapshot of how it all breaks down:

Landside responsibilities:
  • Managing various airline terminals and concourses
  • Ensuring the safety and flow of roadways for buses, passenger cars, etc.
  • Overseeing retail operations, such as shops and restaurants
  • Assisting in the preparation of annual budgets for airport operations
Airside responsibilities:
  • Ensuring runways and taxiways are open and clear
  • Coordinating ground operations, including baggage and catering
  • Managing aircraft fueling
  • Communicating with air traffic control
  • Planning and coordinating the arrivals and departures of very important people (VIPs)
How Vaughn Can Get You There

Vaughn’s faculty, staff and curriculum work together seamlessly to ensure their students’ success. For Vaughn airport management graduate Otha Ward ’19 a summer internship, leadership roles and outstanding professors proved to be a winning combination in helping him land his position of airport operations agent at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).

Vaughn Student Success Story: Airport Operations
Otha Ward
Otha Ward ’19

Otha credits Vaughn with helping him to pursue his dream of securing a rewarding career at an international airport.

“Vaughn is a special place,” he stated humbly. “The College has connections that set it apart from other institutions—making that one of its greatest assets. I’m grateful to everyone at Vaughn for helping me get to where I am today.”

Air Cargo Manager

The air cargo market has seen a recent surge in demand, as airfreight and cargo companies have become an essential part of transporting medical supplies and other life-saving equipment during the coronavirus pandemic. According to a recent market report—Global Air Cargo Market 2020-2024—released by Technavio (a global technology research and advisory company), the air cargo market is expected to grow by 16.75 million tons during this four-year timeframe. Freight and cargo managers are an integral part of this growing industry, as they are responsible for revenue management, quality control and understanding the needs of shippers to ultimately enhance profitability.

Advantages of Choosing Vaughn

Vaughn’s long-term relationship with Atlas Air has resulted in many alumni landing internships and ultimately full-time positions with this renowned aviation cargo company. Karen Batson ’04, Vaughn alumna and adjunct faculty member, has been instrumental in hiring more than 30 of the College’s recent graduates to work at Atlas Air because she knows how Vaughn prepares graduates for successful careers in the aviation field.

Vaughn Student Success Story: Air Cargo
Vladislav Makarov
Vladislav Makarov ’16

Vaughn College alumnus Vladislav Makarov ’16 landed his job at air cargo company Atlas Air in 2015, never imagining how valuable his dual bachelor’s degrees in airport and airline management from Vaughn would become—especially during an unforeseen pandemic.

“Vaughn’s curriculum prepares you for the field you’ll be working in by providing real-world practical examples that you can use right away,” Makarov said. “Unlike my experiences at other colleges, at Vaughn, you jump right into the core of what you will be doing in your field after graduation.”

Earn a Master’s Degree in Airport and Aviation Management at Vaughn

At Vaughn, you can take your passion to the next level with a master’s degree in either airport management or aviation management.

Master of Science in Airport Management

Did you know Vaughn College offers one of the few graduate-level programs in airport management in the Northeast? Our airport management degree program applies modern management concepts to the aviation environment by incorporating the most current research and state-of-the-art technology so that students can be prepared and adaptable to this ever-changing industry. If this career choice interests you, a master’s degree in airport management will not only expand your career opportunities but also enhance your risk assessment, management and leadership skills.

The master’s in airport management degree program requires 34 credits and includes a master’s project or thesis. Vaughn’s close proximity to world-class airports gives students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience and knowledge from instructors who are industry leaders. You can complete the master’s in airport management degree program in one year, but you also have the opportunity to schedule your courses over your own timelines.

Master of Business Administration (MBA) Degree in Aviation Management

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) Degree in Aviation Management will provide entry- or mid-level professionals with the skills and knowledge needed to advance in general management and aviation-related organizations. This course of study will provide the opportunity to learn and apply scientific methods to understanding and addressing business and aviation topics. Depending on a student’s academic background, they may be required to complete some basic business training. The Master of Business Administration (MBA) Degree in Aviation Management has at its core 35 credits and will include an industry analysis project.

We hope you enjoyed learning about the various careers you can pursue in the aviation and airport management fields. Feeling inspired? Join us for our Virtual Open House on April 8 at 6 p.m. and “Meet The Future You.” We look forward to seeing you there!

As technology continues to advance, engineering roles in the manufacturing industry have evolved considerably. Despite all of these changes, manufacturing remains an in-demand career field with a bright outlook.

How technology is changing manufacturing

Yes, you might think that evolution and technical advancements in robotics, automation, artificial intelligence, 3D printing and machine learning would reduce manufacturing and engineering jobs. These breakthroughs, however, are actually creating jobs requiring more education and skills since some tasks are being covered by robotics and automation. As you might imagine, these highly skilled employees are also getting paid more. Manufacturing is becoming more efficient and precise in less time, increasing profit margins and customer satisfaction. For example, before 3D printing, it would take weeks to design and develop a prototype. Additive manufacturing has reduced that time to just a few hours so that more time can be devoted to testing and design optimization.

Promising careers that aspiring engineering students can look forward to considering include additive manufacturing or 3D printing, composite manufacturing and CNC machining (computer numerical control machines). And as these advancements continue, the demand to fill these positions will only become greater.

Vaughn is prepared to meet the engineering challenge

The COVID-19 pandemic has made manufacturers implement operating strategies that are flexible, resilient and innovative, which require skillsets to match. Much of the manufacturing workforce is on the verge of retirement, which is good news for engineering graduates who will be looking for jobs in the next few years. Vaughn’s engineering program prepares students for the ever-changing industries they will enter, like manufacturing. Vaughn’s professors have experience working in the fields in which they teach, which makes them able to help students apply their knowledge to real-life situations they’ll encounter on the job. This makes a Vaughn education that much more valuable. Vaughn students graduate with the skills they need to be successful in their fields right away.

The engineering and technology programs at Vaughn run the gamut from avionics to mechatronic engineering, among many other specialties. Two programs worth special consideration—which will give students who apply to them a competitive advantage—are our programs in mechatronic engineering and mechanical engineering: computer-aided design. Each program provides students with a well-rounded education that is complemented by hands-on experience, resulting in a solid foundation for a career in engineering. Vaughn also offers many certificate programs which can help working professionals advance their careers post-graduation.

There is a great demand for engineering professionals. If a career in engineering and technology is of interest to you, contact Vaughn College to get started.

Top Technology Trends: The Jobs to Look for in 2021

Technology is amazing. Even in the midst of a pandemic, technology is proving to be immune to any setbacks by constantly evolving and setting the pace for rapid advancements and exciting careers to come. This is promising news for engineering and technology students who are looking to build their futures around the industry.

Check out these top technology trends to watch for in 2021 and the jobs being created so you can take full advantage. See how a degree from Vaughn can be instrumental in giving you a competitive edge in these growing fields.

Artificial intelligence is a real thing

You may not realize it, but we use artificial intelligence (AI) more often today than ever before. How many times a day do you use your smart device to ask “Siri” a question? Lost count, right? Or did you ever wonder how social platforms like Facebook can recognize someone’s face in a photo you posted? The answer is AI and facial recognition. Yes, AI has been in our lives for the better part of this century, but new advancements have the market projected to soar to a $190 billion industry by 2025. And when it comes to cognitive and AI systems, global spending is expected to exceed $57 billion in 2021. (That’s billion with a “b.”) Along with these impressive numbers comes a lucrative salary—one of the highest in the industry—for those professionals who are skilled in the AI field. (Consider this: A machine learning engineer earns over $125,000 per year and an AI architect earns $145,000 per year.)

Some of the new job titles that are expected to be created—and filled—by this technology trend include:

  • Development, programming, testing, support, and maintenance.
  • Machine learning and automation—robot monitoring professionals, data scientists, automation specialists and content curators. It is predicted that AI, machine learning and automation will create nine percent of new US jobs by 2025.

Virtual reality and augmented reality: An industry game changer

Gamers know the excitement surrounding virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) all too well. Did you know 14 million AR and VR devices were sold in 2019? If you’re not up to speed on these technologies, here’s a simple explanation to refresh your memory: VR places the user in the environment while AR enhances the environment. So, how are these two technologies critical to our lives outside of the gaming world? Consider the example set by the US Navy, Army and Coast Guard. All three branches of the service use simulation software called VirtualShip to train their ship captains. Similarly, Vaughn aviation students have the opportunity to experience the thrill of flight in its $1-million, state-of-the-art flight simulator laboratory. And we civilians can expect 2021 to bring VR and AR into our lives on many different levels that include entertainment, marketing, education and even rehabilitation after an injury. This billion-dollar industry is a real game changer that will create more jobs and increased revenue. The AR and VR global market is projected to grow to $209.2 billion by 2022.

How to score a job in the VR and AR industry:

Employers in this exciting technology field consider candidates who have acquired basic programming skills as well as a positive, forward-thinking attitude. One does not need a specific skill set to work in the field, although some employers may require optics to get started. This is one technology trend to keep on your list!

Robotic process automation redefines jobs and creates new career opportunities

Robotic process automation (RPA) is another technology trend that’s worthy of great consideration. Although RPA entails the use of software to automate business processes typically done by live workers, it also creates new jobs in the industry. Research revealed less than five percent of occupations can be totally automated—which means RPA may be a way to redefine jobs instead of eliminating them.

Job opportunities for IT professionals:

  • Developer, project manager, business analyst, solution architect and consultant

A message from Vaughn

As 2020 comes to a close, we look to 2021 with fresh eyes for an exciting new year filled with hope and opportunity. Vaughn is dedicated to the success of each of its students. With technology changing before our eyes, now is the time to pursue the engineering and technology degree you’ve always dreamed of. Discover the possibilities of a futureproof career. Apply today!

What do the Empire State Building, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Panama Canal all have in common? If you said they are among some of the top engineering wonders of the modern world, you are correct—so get ready to see one of the latest to hit the stage!

Check out the engineering wonder of The Guitar Hotel at Seminole Hard Rock and Casino in Hollywood, Florida—the world’s first guitar-shaped hotel and the most unique structure to climb the stairway to the sky.

Opening act

In October 2019, the 35-story, 638-room Guitar Hotel made its solo debut, soaring 450 feet into the skies of South Florida. This architectural wonder took three years to create and is part of the $1.5 billion expansion of the flagship casino resort of Hard Rock International, owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The hotel is designed to resemble back-to-back guitars. The neck of the guitar extends 75 feet above the roof with light cannons blazing through. Illuminated strings, guitar faces, and floor-to-ceiling glass panels complete the look of a jam that will have you yelling: “Encore!”

So, why the guitar shape? A hotel operations executive explained how the guitar has worldwide recognition as a symbol of music. Additionally, it is the iconic symbol of the Hard Rock. Designed in collaboration with Klai Juba Wald Architects of Las Vegas, De Simone Consulting Engineers worked in strict coordination through all design specialties to complete this challenging, exciting and rewarding project.

Hard Rock Hotel Guitar at night

How did they build that?

The architectural and engineering genius behind this amazing structure involved skills and expertise across several engineering and construction platforms. Tight controls and flexible designs were key components throughout the project. Experts in the areas of structural, mechanical, electrical and civil engineering—along with contractors in the construction and related industries—combined forces to meet the demands of this challenging project with its “sexy curves.” Here is a snapshot of how they built this one-of-a-kind guitar-shaped hotel:

  • Detailed models of the guitar tower—The models of the guitar tower and other on-site projects were critical decision-making tools to address logistical challenges and ensure precision.
  • Preparing the site for construction—A multiacre retention pond was filled in, along with the excavation of another pond, to create balance of onsite water retention. Crews used vibro compaction to prepare the site for construction and this allowed them to begin vertical construction.
  • Laying the foundation—Concrete companies partnered to install 36,000 cubic yards of concrete that were used on the guitar tower. Meticulous detail was required for in-slab coordination to ensure that embeds for the curtain wall system, slab edges, plumbing sleeves, mechanical system openings and other openings were precise.
  • Structural design—Nine inch thick, post-tensioned slabs were used on levels four through-28 to allow for thinner floor plates. This system allowed the crew to install the curtain wall and the guitar shaped design. This was a critical step to ensure the curtain wall embeds were precisely located on the slab edge.
  • Addressing the curves—Several columns needed to be sloped by as much as 40 degrees, since each floor narrows and widens in the guitar shape. Additional thrust reinforcement was designed into the slabs to help hold back horizontal forces from sloping columns.
  • Height restrictions—The hotel property lies within the flight path of Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport. Design teams worked cautiously to save inches anywhere they could to maximize space for the hotel rooms. More inches could potentially turn into additional floors, thus jeopardizing the height restriction of the structure.
  • Cost consideration—As you can imagine, a project of this magnitude required laser-focused cost management. The team used 3D, 4D (time) and 5D (schedule) to communicate their ideas about the project.

How an engineering degree from Vaughn can be music to your ears

The Guitar Hotel at Seminole Hard Rock and Casino is one of today’s coolest and innovative examples of engineering at its finest. As you can see, the field of engineering and technology continues to play a critical role in defining modern day life and society. As technology and infrastructure continue to develop at a rapid rate, the demand for well-trained electrical, mechanical, and mechatronic engineers is greater than ever. Vaughn’s industry-focused degrees and add-on certifications will prepare you for an ever-changing and dynamic career in your chosen field.

Are you seeking a futureproof career in the engineering and technology field? Discover the possibilities. Apply today!

November is National Aviation History Month. From the first glider flight over 100 years ago by the Wright Brothers to the largest aviation wonders of present, advancements in aviation engineering and technology have soared to new heights—literally. Airplanes are likely the first things that come to mind when we hear the word “aviation.” But where do helicopters and other vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft fit in to the mix?

This month, Vaughn College turns its sights to the history of personal VTOL aircrafts and chronicles the advancements, benefits, and future of this amazing technology. Did someone say “flying cars?”

For nearly 90 years, Vaughn has been steeped in aviation history. From opening its doors in 1932 as the Casey Jones School of Aeronautics to its present day ranking as one of the nation’s Best Colleges in the Regional North by U.S. News and World Report, Vaughn has remained true to its vision of educating and training its graduates for futureproof careers.

What are VTOL vehicles?

Vertical takeoff and landing aircrafts are vehicles that have the unique ability to depart, hover and land vertically. In addition to their unique take off and landing abilities, they can fly slowly and land in small spaces, unlike conventional aircraft. Today, there are two types of VTOL technology: rotary wing aircraft and powered lift. Here is how they compare:

  • Rotary wing aircraft or rotorcraft—These vehicles use lift to become airborne. Lift is generated from spinning rotor blades revolving around a central mast. The helicopter is a popular example of a rotary wing aircraft.
  • Powered-lift aircraft—These aircraft have a fixed wing design. Although they take off and land vertically, they perform differently than rotary wing aircraft when in flight. Some rely on the rotor for lift, and then switch to a fixed-wing lift while in flight, while others involve tilting the aircraft forward to achieve horizontal flight. Today, some powered-lift aircrafts are considered vertical and/short takeoff and landing (V/STOL) vehicles that can switch to conventional takeoff and landing (CTL).

The history of VTOL technology

Most would never connect the dots between Leonardo Da Vinci and helicopters. But did you know the famous Renaissance painter sketched an image resembling a helicopter that he named the “aerial screw.” It is believed he made small models of the design but never pursued vertical flight any further. One Italian who did make his mark in vertical flight was Enrico Forlanini. In 1877, Forlanini became the first to build an unmanned steam-powered helicopter that remained in the air for about 20 seconds. This first flight laid the foundation of rotary aircraft for years to come. Test your knowledge on more historic first flights in our blog: “Greatest First Flights in Aviation History in Honor of Aviation History Month.”

Advancements in engineering and technology

From the 1920s through the 1940s, inventors across the globe attempted to design and fly their experimental helicopters. Unfortunately, some met with disastrous results. It wasn’t until the 1950s when the widespread use of turbine engines helped lead the way to building the helicopters and modern VTOL aircraft we know today.

Flying cars

The “flying car” concept was first introduced after World War II. Even Henry Ford predicted it would be a reality in the near future. Ford, along with several automobile manufacturers and the US Army, delivered prototypes of “flying jeeps” The Ford Motor Company created a personal aircraft named the Volante Tri-Athodyne—a 3/8-to-scale concept car model that used three ducted fans to enable VTOL. Unfortunately, Ford abandoned the project. In 1956, the US Army initiated the largest innovation when it began investigating “flying jeeps” as an alternative to helicopters on account of their smaller size and ease of flying. Although the research was dismissed, the concept still lives on today. Read more about the future of flying cars in our blog: “Urban Air Mobility: Transforming Sky Transportation.

Benefits of VTOL technology

Today’s engineers are designing electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft that use electric motors or batteries instead of fuel. This advancement is proving beneficial on several economic and environmental fronts. Here are some benefits of VTOL technology we are seeing today:

  • Lower overall vehicle costs due to a reduction in maintenance and fuel costs
  • Noise pollution and gas emissions reduction with more energy efficient vehicles
  • Combat or rescue situation usage stemming from more landing flexibility in small areas
  • Speed and accuracy due to wing optimization, since they do not control takeoff and landing
  • Faster aircraft due to less drag

The fast and futuristic

Aircraft racing is putting eVTOL on the fast track. Alauda Racing, an Australian aviation firm, is introducing the Airspeeder, the new electric VTOL that was modeled after the 1960s British Formula One race car. With original plans to race this year, Air Race E is organizing a World Cup of electric conventional takeoff and landing (eCTOL) aircraft. Pilots will experience onboard cameras and racing speeds up to 125 mph.

Closer to home at Vaughn

Vaughn’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Team has bragging rights of its own. For the past two years, the team placed first and second place, respectively, at the 2018 and 2019 Micro Air Vehicle Student Challenge Competition. They developed two drones to compete in both the manual and autonomous categories. Both drones were designed to perform VTOL with onboard flight-stabilization and camera. Way to go, team!

Are you ready to pursue a futureproof career? Discover all that’s possible with a degree in engineering and technology, management, or aviation. Apply today.

What do wearable technology, robotics, computer tablets and unmanned aerial vehicles all have in common? Here are some hints: George and Jane Jetson, Mr. Spock and Captain Kirk. If you guessed “The Jetsons” and “Star Trek,” you’re no doubt a sci-fi guru who knows their stuff. But were you aware of how these iconic television shows inspired some of today’s most popular technological innovations?

This month, Vaughn College is taking a fun look back on how the cool gadgets and gizmos used in these shows from the 1960s—and beyond—went from futuristic technologies to current day realities.

The Jetsons

Today’s generation may not be familiar with “The Jetsons,” but they are more than likely familiar with some of the cool technology that was adapted from this animated comic sitcom that premiered in 1962. To get you caught up, the Jetsons were a middle-class family who lived in the future. George and Jane Jetson had two children—Judy and Elroy—and a robot maid named Rosie and their beloved dog, Astro. Here is a flashback to “The Jetsons” and how this show proved to be ahead of its time by predicting some of our everyday technology:

  • Skype, Zoom and FaceTime—When characters on the show made a phone call, they would see the person they were calling on a television screen. Who ever thought back then that we could have face-to-face chats via Skype, Zoom and FaceTime?
  • Roomba—Rosie the robot maid was way ahead of her time. Let’s face it. Who wouldn’t want a robot maid? Rosie cleaned the house by gliding across the floor on wheels, much like the way the Roomba is designed. Today, the Roomba is literally making sweeping strides in today’s market, as this autonomous robotic vacuum cleaner can clean multiple rooms, detect obstacles and sense steep drops. (Sorry, it doesn’t do windows!)
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles—Jane and Elroy didn’t have to worry about missing the school bus. They flew to school in their own personal pods!
  • 3D Printed Food—Cooking was easy for the Jetson family. (No slaving over the stove for Jane.) Their favorite foods were just a touch-of-a-button away. Did you know some of today’s 3D printers allow you to “print” food, too!

  • Smart Watches—Can you believe the Jetsons used watches that incorporated video? Just like our smart watches of today, we can watch videos and do other cool things, such as answer phone calls, send text messages and track fitness goals, among so many other tasks!
  • Capsule Endoscopy—This one will really blow your mind. On one episode, George’s doctor had him swallow a camera as part of his physical exam. Today, doctors use a procedure called “capsule endoscopy,” where the patient swallows a pill-sized camera. This camera travels down the patient’s digestive track and takes thousands of pictures and transmits them to a recorder. Talk about being ahead of the times!
  • Doggie Treadmill—We can’t forget about Astro. After all, they say a dog is a man’s best friend. George Jetson kept his Astro in shape by having him take a walk on the treadmill. Today, we have treadmills to help keep our dogs healthy and fit.

Star Trek

“Trekkies” (which is the nickname for die-hard “Star Trek” fans, just in case you were wondering) will be the first ones to tell you of how the “Star Trek” franchise has inspired some of the most innovative and widely-used technology today. We may not be at the “beam me up, Scotty” phase at the moment—but one never knows, as technology is surprising us at every turn. Here are some amazing similarities to the gadgets used on the starship U.S.S. Enterprise when compared to what we are using here on Earth today.

  • Voice Translators—We may not have the need to translate Klingon (or any other alien language) as they did on the Enterprise, but the invention of today’s voice translators has revolutionized the way we communicate with those who speak foreign languages. This breakthrough technology can be viewed as a decoder of sorts that’s similar to the universal translator used on the show. There’s even an app for that! Trekkies will recall how in later shows, the universal translator was integrated into communication badges. Today, this wearable technology is used in a variety of locations, including hospitals, where communication in real time is critical.
  • Lasers—One can’t think of “Star Trek” without thinking of the fictional phasers the crew used on the show. From stunning an enemy to slicing through materials, one could surmise that phasers may have inspired the invention of laser technology. Some of today’s most widely used electronics and weaponry uses lasers, which stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of R Examples of real-world devices that use lasers include laser pointers, handheld laser cannons and CD and DVD players. Did you know Lockheed Martin designed a prototype laser weapon known as ATHENA (Advanced Test High Energy Asset System) to defeat low-value threats such as drones, improvised rockets and small boats? Now that’s futuristic technology at work!
  • Natural Language Queries: Apple’s Siri and Google Now—Of all the far-fetched gadgets found on early sci-fi shows, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to understand verbal commands may be one of the coolest. Who would have ever imagined having a conversation with a computer, let alone a mobile phone? Today, we turn to Apple’s Siri or Google Now for real-time answers to a plethora of questions, queries and even directions!
  • Tablet Computer—Tablets are so commonplace today that some of us may not realize how futuristic this technology really was on the show. We may not be entering coordinates for the next star system, but the crew also used their PADDs (Personal Access Data Devices) to listen to music and play videos, just as we do today.

Vaughn programs turn science fiction into science fact

As a leading institution in engineering and technology, management and aviation, Vaughn offers programs that meet today’s demands head on. As we discovered in our journey back to sci-fi programming from years ago, technology that seemed unattainable is now part of our daily lives. Vaughn offers programs that are built around this technology. Here’s a snapshot of how they match up:

  • Robotics (Rosie, the Robot Maid)—Our award-winning robotics team is the perfect example of mechatronic engineering at its best. Read about their success at last year’s VEX World Robotics Competition and see how Vaughn graduate Jefferson Maldonado ’16 landed his dream job in the field of mechatronic engineering.
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) (Personal Flying Pods)—George Jetson may not have had an aviation degree, but you must admit the futuristic concept of flying cars was not far-fetched. Vaughn’s UAV club and drone courses take aviation and engineering to a higher level. Read all about last year’s International Drone Day celebration, hosted by the engineering and technology department and Vaughn’s own Adjunct Professor Loretta Alkalay, who teaches a drone law course at Vaughn—the only one of it’s kind in the country. Alkalay brings years of experience as an aviation attorney and former regional counsel for the Federal Aviation Administration.
  • 3D Printing—The world of 3D printing technology comes to life at Vaughn College, thanks to a 3D prototyping innovation center. They may not be printing lunch just yet, but the numerous 3D printers and scanners provide students with hands-on opportunities to transform their concepts into physical objects. Read how 3D printers are revolutionizing the world of prosthetics, as well as how Vaughn graduate Kirei Watson ’18 said having the knowledge of 3D printing helped her land her dream job as a mechanical design engineer.

We hope you enjoyed this technology journey through time. Are you interested in a futureproof career? Discover all that’s possible with an engineering and technology from Vaughn College. Apply today.

Travelers are beginning to spread their wings a bit further these days as air carriers are pulling out all the stops to ease the minds and wallets of passengers who choose to fly during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Despite their eagerness to travel, some passengers may still be on the fence as far as booking their next flight is concerned. The good news is that most US airlines have created new guidelines and restructured their schedules to make travelers feel more confident.

This month, Vaughn College is highlighting five ways airlines have pivoted to make traveling a more passenger-friendly experience during the pandemic.


It comes as no surprise that the influx of customers seeking refunds was staggering, as travelers scrambled to cancel their existing flights that were booked prior to the pandemic striking the US in mid-March.

Here are two ways some airlines are accommodating their customers:

  • Loosening restrictions on vouchers and travel credits
  • Extending time frames for travelers to rebook their trips


Travelers want peace of mind when traveling by plane, especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Airlines have upped their game by making significant changes to their cleaning procedures to minimize the risk of passengers contracting the virus.

Here are steps some airlines are taking to maintain cleanliness on their planes:

  • Electrostatic spraying with disinfectant before every flight, with close attention to high-touch areas like overhead bin handles and arm rests
  • Deep cleaning each plane for six-to-seven hours every night, from back-to-front
  • Holding flights if airline personnel feels cabin is not clean enough prior to boarding

On the ground experience

A smooth experience in the air begins with a positive experience on the ground. Travelers have been seeing significant changes at airports as they navigate through the coronavirus pandemic. Here are safety measures some travelers may notice which could help reduce the spread of the virus:

  • Plexiglass shields at check-in counters and gates
  • Frequent sanitation of touch points, including kiosks
  • Touch-free transit, using mobile boarding passes
  • Use of electrostatic spraying in the gate areas and jet bridges to help keep pre- and post-flight process areas sanitized
  • Back-to-front boarding or limited number of passengers boarding at once
  • For the lounges that are open, travelers should expect a “scaled-back” experience such as limited capacity, disposable glassware and pre-packaged snacks

Onboard experience

If you haven’t flown in a while, you can expect changes to the onboard experience. Aside from the mandatory mask requirement, passengers may be noticing other significant changes including:

  • Blocked middle seats on larger aircraft, and aisle seats on smaller ones
  • Reduced passenger capacity
  • Limited passenger and flight attendant interactions
  • Refreshments may be provided in individually sealed bags only


Loyalty is more important now than ever before when it comes to airlines supporting their loyal fliers. Here is how some airlines with loyalty programs are supporting their members:

  • Extending the elite status
  • Earning bonuses via credit card spending

We hope this glimse into what airlines are doing today during the pandemic will help you prepare for your next flight.

Are you interested in a futureproof career? For over 85 years, Vaughn College has been training people from all walks of life to work in the aviation field. From pilots and air traffic controllers to aircraft maintenance mechanics and engineers, Vaughn offers the degrees that can give you a competitive edge in some of today’s hottest markets. Discover all that’s possible with an exciting career in engineering and technology, management or aviation.  Apply  today.

Since the coronavirus pandemic struck the United States earlier this year, engineers and technologists have remained in high demand. Dice, a leading technology career hub which connects employers with skilled technology professionals, analyzed the job positions and skills that rose highest in demand between February and March of 2020.

According to the results of the Dice Tech Job Report*, the need for technologists is more critical than ever, as technology plays a key role in making this unexpected transition to a remote workplace a smooth and successful one.

Why techies are critical employees

Source: Labor Insight Jobs (Burning Glass Technologies)

The shift from businesses operating from their headquarters to a remote workplace had employers— almost overnight—examining their remote frameworks. Technologists were needed just as quickly to execute critical components to expedite the widespread conversion.

Here are some examples of how businesses pivoted to maintain communication and operations between employees and clients:

  • Meetings became video calls (Zoom being one of the most popular)
  • Conferences turned into webinars
  • Conversations shifted to instant messaging

To keep business flowing as usual, engineers and tech professionals were needed to work behind the scenes to meet the demands of a changing world and workplace. Here are a few job titles of the tech professionals needed to make all of this happen:

  • Engineers
  • Cloud architects
  • Systems administrators
  • Cybersecurity experts
  • Application designers/developers

And, here are two critical components that tech professionals addressed to keep the remote workplace running smoothly:

  • Ensuring remote frameworks and infrastructure are secure
  • Ensuring employees had reliable connectivity to work from outside the office

Where the jobs are 

Source: Labor Insight Jobs (Burning Glass Technologies)

Technology, or tech giants, consulting agencies and government contractors top the list of tech employers who were hiring during the first quarter of 2020, according to the Dice report. This is great news for Vaughn College students who are currently pursuing engineering degrees, as Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and the Boeing Company fall among the list of the top 25 tech companies listed in the Dice report.

Read about Vaughn graduate Atif Saeed ’20 who started a job at Lockheed Martin this summer working as a mechanical engineer.

Engineers and tech professionals may be interested to learn that between February and March of this year, online retail giant Amazon increased its technology job postings by 110 percent—looking specifically for software developers and network engineers. This comes as no surprise since consumers used Amazon as an alternative to shopping at grocery stores and other essential retailers during the lockdown. Walmart increased its technology postings by 64 percent in March—in addition to the 150,000 employees they pledged to hire—and specifically sought to hire software developers and project managers.

Source: Labor Insight Jobs (Burning Glass Technologies)

According to the Dice report, different states showed varying growth, depending on how each state reacted to the COVID-19 lockdown. In New York, for example, the state was quick to enforce a stricter “stay at home” order, compared to other states that were slower to require that non-essential employees work remotely.

Shift in job postings due to pandemic

Cybersecurity engineering jobs topped the list of having the most uptick in job postings, according to the Dice report. Cybersecurity engineering job postings surged by 20 percent during February and March of this year, as businesses took a proactive approach to combating pandemic-themed phishing and cyber-attacks. System engineers were also in demand, having placed at 11 percent, and showing a clear indication that companies were concerned with maintaining their network and computer infrastructure.

Discover a futureproof career at Vaughn

The job outlook for the engineering and technology fields remains bright, and will remain so, despite the recent surge in demand during the pandemic. If your passion lies within these futureproof fields, then now is the time to capture this opportunity by earning your engineering and technology degree from Vaughn College.

Discover all that is possible. Apply today.

*Source: Dice Tech Job Report