Scientific possibilities took center stage at Vaughn College on Thursday (April 28) in a showcase of technological and engineering innovation.

The College’s third annual Technology Day Conference brought together industry advisers, faculty and Vaughn students in an engineering issues discussion and demonstration of future possibilities. Dr. Hossein Rahemi, chair of the engineering and technology departments, called the program “essential,” and said it gave Vaughn students a leg up on career possibilities.

“The industry advisers know what the emerging technologies are,” Dr. Rahemi said. “It gives our students an edge when it comes to getting employed in the industry.”

Students from Vaughn, LaGuardia Community College and the Academy of Information and Technology in Stamford, Conn., demonstrated their latest innovations to panelists from Sikorsky Aircraft, RMC Technologies, Rockwell Collins, the Federal Aviation Administration and others. Panelists judged the presentations, and named Vaughn’s Isaac Bendkowski and Marvin Blackman, Joseph Kamel and Shahidul Islam joint winners.

But the three-hour conference was about more than competition. Students received valuable networking opportunities and, as Vaughn’s Chandra Mauli Nautiyal said, a chance to “showcase the college and get to know what industry people are looking for.”

Nautiyal and teammates Brian Linhares, KinLok Poon and Marlon Medford made two demonstrations Thursday. The first was a crowd control robot, manufactured from a toy gun, that can be used by law enforcement. That invention placed third in the 2010 Latin American and Caribbean Consortium of Engineering Institutions competition; on Thursday, they debuted a mobile utility that can sniff out chemicals used by terrorists.

Bendkowski’s winning paper analyzed reliability issues in unmanned aerial vehicles. Blackman, Kamel and Islam demonstated the airport cargo screening system that earned them top student prize recently at the American Society for Engineering Education’s sectional meeting.

Student presentations lasted more than 10 minutes each. Medford, a junior, said they gave students an opportunity to “enhance people skills” as they networked with industry influentials.

One such influential was evaluator John Pavon, a 2002 Vaughn graduate whose aerospace services company recently secured a patent for a method of protecting U.S. servicemen from landmines and improvised explosive devices.

“Today is an opportunity to give back part of what I learned here,” Pavon said. “Vaughn gave me a strong foundation to do what I am doing now.”


VAUGHN COLLEGE TECHNOLOGY DAY CONFERENCE: Students Isaac Bendkowski (above) and Shahidul Islam, Marvin Blackman and Joseph Kamel (below, from left) receive their first-place awards from Dr. Hossein Rahemi.