Vaughn Hosts Seventh Annual Manufacturing Conference: Industry Professionals Offer Insight on Latest Innovations

November 30, 2021 Student Life

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

About the conference

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

The presenters

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

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

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

Jefferson Maldonado ‘16: Senior Robotics Engineer at ArcBest Technologies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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