Denis Bonnet, chief innovation officer at Thales Avionics was on campus on Monday, January 29 to host a presentation and a discussion with Vaughn College students.

Bonnet is based in France, where he has worked with Thales for 15 years. He currently oversees innovation processes for the avionics business line which includes: Flight avionics, in-flight entertainment, electrical systems, training and simulation and medical devices. He has also led the company’s efforts in the areas of cockpit innovation, human engineering for the Cockpit Center of Competence, safety, software engineering and project management.

His presentation focused on the history of Thales, the evolution of avionics systems and where this particular industry may be heading in the future due to the increase in prominence of drones and the development of autonomous vehicles.

“After seeing Mr. Bonnet’s presentation I felt that I was able to get a better understanding of the advancements happening in the aerospace industry,” said Niki Taheri ’20, a mechatronic engineering major who attended the event. “It was interesting to hear how Thales wants to use new technologies to move the industry forward.”

On February 2, following Bonnet’s presentation, seven Vaughn College students and Dr. Mudassar Minhas, assistant professor in the engineering and technology department were given a tour of Thales’ avionics facilities in Piscataway, New Jersey where Richard Flocco, vice president of operations, emphasized the importance of education as preparation for a successful career.

“I am excited to know that the skills students acquire through courses in Vaughn’s engineering and technology curricula will meet the needs of the industry,” said Minhas. “Visiting Thales’ facilities was a fantastic supplement to our students’ classroom learning, and we’re very grateful for the opportunity.”