The 3rd Annual OBHS “Engineers Breakfast” Enlightens and Inspires Students
The biggest challenge facing college graduates today is finding jobs. High School and younger students may want to consider charting a course for their future through Engineering. A majority of the people who are currently holding jobs in Engineering are rapidly approaching retirement age and the field does not have enough young Engineers to fill the vacancies.
Two years ago, Oyster Bay High School hosted its first “Engineers Breakfast.” A group of local Engineers were invited to spend time with OBHS students to talk and answer questions about careers in Engineering. It was great success and valuable learning experience.
On December 16, 2016 OBHS hosted its third annual Engineers Breakfast. Each year the Breakfast is improved upon. This time, the guest Engineers were each asked to submit a problem they have faced in their jobs ahead of time. The students spent time exploring possible solutions to these problems. Then, at the Breakfast, the Engineers spoke with the students about the solutions.
The OBEN School District is actively addressing this situation. Science and Technology Supervisor Janna Ostroff had this to say, “Our vision is to make Oyster Bay High School a hotbed for high school engineering research in Long Island. OBHS Science Teacher Andrew Schlendorf and I have been collaborating with Science and Technology faculty K-12, community members, Stony Brook professors, and fellow administrators to strategize how to realize this vision. Instructional initiatives in our K-12 engineering, design, coding and robotics programs are enabling us to prepare students for these experiences:
- We Do Robotics at Roosevelt, Lego Robotics at Vernon and FTC robotics in our high school
- Incorporation of Engineering into 3rd -6th Science Courses
- K-12 Hour of Code
- Incorporate of Engineering by Design into the Middle School Technology curricula
- A full year Engineering elective was introduced in the 2014/15 school year
- Approved Stony Brook University Accredited Engineering course was added in 2015/16
Students in Mr. Schlendorf’s Introductory Engineering class found and interviewed local engineers for a project. We were excited about the idea of pulling together a group of local engineers to 1) learn about how to best prepare our students for the field and 2) to create opportunities for internships and shadowing programs for our students.”
Local engineers shared their insight and information about the field. Students posed thoughtful questions and learned from our visiting professionals:
1) What are the most amazing feats you observed engineers accomplish?
“Engineers accomplish amazing feats every day.” – Ms. Cantileno
“Most technological changes come incrementally, but there are some extraordinary people that allow us to leap ahead through hard work.” – Dr. Kukta
2) What are the largest problems facing engineers and how can we best prepare our students to overcome them?
“I believe that there is no problem for which human cannot design a solution. The challenge is having sufficient time and money.” – Dr. Kukta
3) Which fields of engineering do you predict to be the fastest growing both throughout the country and specifically in New York in the next 10 years and why?
“I cannot find enough structural engineers” – Nick DeSantis
“The fields of cyber security and app design” – Ms. Cantileno
4) How can the field of engineering best attract and benefit from a diversity of perspectives?
“It is when you present your idea to people who are different from you that you will get the best feedback” - Ms. Cantileno
“The more diversity, the more perspectives, and the better the solutions. – Mr. Gluck
“Engineering is about learning from failure and not being afraid to fail.” – Dr. Kukta
“There is no such thing as ‘can’t’ at CISCO. Engineering is hard work, but it is about designing solutions.” – Ms. Cantileno
“Engineering requires adaptation when new challenges arise.” – Mr. Gluck
“One of the biggest challenges we will face is learning how to recycle and reuse things; how to take things apart.” – Ms. Meyland
“I bring people, places and things together so that there is communication; I am a networker.” – Wagner Ortuno
Ms. Ostroff proudly discusses another aspect to the Breakfast. “The OBEN Engineering Partnership Awards were established to thank individuals and companies who have gone above and beyond in supporting our engineering endeavors. Each year, the recipients are announced at the Breakfast of Engineers. In the Spring, students attending shadowing programs with the respective engineers will present the plaques to recipients. This year’s honorees are:
Jerritt Gluck, a district resident who greatly supported our early efforts, provided us with collegial contacts, shadowed our students and provided opportunities for student internships. He was a great catalyst for our growth and development of engineering initiatives.
Claude Bahnik generously sponsored our robotics team and hosted our annual shadowing program at Mill Max.
Joseph Heaney worked closely with us and devoted hundreds of hours to teaching our students. Mr. Heaney and his team at Walden conduct an intern selection process and interview that provide new work-related opportunities for aspiring engineers. In addition to sponsoring paid internships, he hosts our shadowing program and continually opening his doors to us. Mr. Heaney initiated an annual engineering challenge for students to compete for scholarship money. We are deeply grateful to Mr. Heaney for his generosity, time and expertise.”
The participating engineers are:
Michael Angelone, a professional engineer with a background in mechanical and industrial engineering and a B.A. from City College of New York. After working as an Engineer in Design and Construction at Johnson Controls, Brookhaven National Lab, and Verizon, Mr. Angelone launched his own consultancy business in Oyster Bay in 1982.
Nora Brew of Walden Environmental Engineering P LLC, a New York State licensed Professional Engineer and Project Manager with over 20 years of experience in environmental engineering. She has a B.S. in Agricultural Engineering from Cornell University and an M.S. in Environmental Engineering from Manhattan College. Ms. Brew is an expert in environmental regulatory compliance, environmental assessments, and remedial alternative development and evaluation, project bid documents and specifications, grant writing and management, permitting and budgeting. In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, she was closely involved in strategic planning and coordination with many municipal clients to maximize dollars received for recovery and restoration of impacted communities
Richard Cameron, who founded Carson Optical Inc. in 1990 and now serves as President of the company. Carson specializes in magnifiers, binoculars, and consumer optical products. Mr. Cameron graduated in 1984 from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in Finance and currently oversees a large engineering team. Carson Optical’s design laboratory includes advanced CNC machines, 3D printers, and advanced optical testing equipment. The design lab allows the research and development team to tine-tune concepts before production. As a result, Carson has built a patent portfolio encompassing more than one-hundred patents ranging from magnifiers to complex optical testing procedures.
Philip Coniglio, who serves as the Founding Engineering Co-op Director and Assistant Adjunct Professor at Hofstra University’s Fred DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Science after 40 years’ experience as an engineering and operations executive for six High Technology companies on Long Island. These companies specialized in AC/DC power supply manufacturing, electron beam accelerators, robotic system integrator, military combat systems, and fabless semiconductor manufacturing. Mr. Coniglio grew up in Woodside Queens, earned a B.S. in electrical engineering from City College of New York, and earned his Master’s degree in Engineering Management from the NYU Tandon School of Engineering while working as an engineer at Lambda Electronics Corporation in Melville.
Nick DeSantis, a Licensed New York State Professional Engineer and possesses twenty (20) years of engineering and construction management expertise. Mr. DeSantis has a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering and was employed by one of Engineering News Record’s Top Ten Engineering Firms, Stone & Webster Engineering Corp., where he served as Lead Project Engineer on complex projects. Nick DeSantis is the owner and Principal Engineer of Newport Engineering located in Oyster Bay.
Laurie Gathman Kowalsky, who serves as the Principle IP counsel for Philips Intellectual Property & Standards. She attended Stony Brook University for an undergraduate Engineering degree and received her law degree from the Maurice A. Deane School at Hofstra University. Ms. Gathman Kowalsky specializes in intellectual property management including patent and trademark litigation, intellectual property counseling, offensive and defensive patent licensing, patent valuation, risk management, and patent scouting.
Jerritt Gluck, an engineer specializing in building systems. Mr. Gluck has evaluated NYC building energy usage for over 25 years. His career has included hardware design and product development as a member of Stony Brook University’s MRI development laboratory directed by Nobel Laureate Paul Lauterbur. Mr. Gluck is a consultant, researcher, and educator and currently serves as a member of the Building Performance Institute's Multifamily Buildings Technical Standards Committee. Mr. Gluck is currently CEO-Bonded Building & Engineering. He has been a thermal spray technologist, and an MRI/NMR sensor/probe designer. Mr. Gluck, a graduate of Stony Brook University, has a B.S. in Engineering, and Biology, M.S. in Technical Systems Management, and an M.S. in Materials Engineering.
Wagner Ortuño, a resident of East Norwich, NY. He came to the United States at the age of 18 and studied Mechanical Engineering at The City College of New York. Today, he is a Telecommunications Professional with over 21 years of business experience in Information Technology. Currently, he is working as a Senior Solution Engineer at Vodafone Americas. Mr. Ortuño is the design authority for the end-to-end technical and service solution deals with multinational corporations.
Andres Rengifo, a Senior Network Designer for Thomson Reuter s in the WAN Network Solutions Design group, where he handles end-to-end design solutions for Thomson Reuters. Mr. Rengifo also serves as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at New York University's School of Professional Studies, Information Technologies Institute, where he most frequently teaches Internetworking Fundamental. The majority of Mr. Rengifo’s professional career was spent in the financial industry providing solutions to customers and clients utilizing multicast, TCP/IP, and various other network protocols. In addition to obtaining an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from the City College of New York in 1992, Mr. Rengifo earned a Master’s degree in Educational Computing from Stony Brook University in 2006 and has over 25 years of experience in data networking.
Jonah Schachner, who has over 20 years-experience working for Lockheed Martin (LM). He currently serves as the Advanced Systems Manager for LM Rotary and Mission Systems in Mitchel Field, NY, primarily supporting the navigation system for the Trident Submarine Strategic Weapon System. Prior to Mitchel Field, he spent 18 years with LM Space Systems Company supporting a variety of satellite, interplanetary, and manned spacecraft programs as well as directed energy weapons and kinetic interceptor projects for missile defense. Mr. Schachner specializes in Guidance, Navigation & Controls, and Systems Engineering and earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Brown University and an M.S. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from Stanford University.
Christina Berardi Tuohy, who has been involved in various projects including the design, construction over sight, operation, and maintenance of groundwater and soil remediation systems. She has also been involved in various state Superfund, and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) closure projects. Her responsibilities included preparation of feasibility studies; completion of pilot tests; remedial design of various in-situ and ex-situ technologies; and operation and maintenance of remedial systems, construction oversight, construction manage- ment, project management, engineering cost analysis, and engineering report preparation. Ms. Tuohy specializes in civil site design, resiliency, landfill design and operation, storm water management, and environmental site investigation. Ms. Tuohy is a Licensed Professional Engineer in the states of New York, Indiana and Connecticut and in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Reed Phillips, who has worked for 20 years as an Oncologist/Palliative Car e Specialist at the Glen Cove Community Hospital in addition to working for 10 years as the Medical Care Director for Hospice. Four years ago he decreased his hours as a physician to part-time to return to the field of applied physics to work on harvesting energy from ocean waves. Dr. Phillips received his BS in Physics from Stony Brook University, where he is now working out of the Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center to improve functional prototypes of energy harnessing devices.
James Wiesenfeld, who specializes in architectural structures and is a licensed engineer in six states. He has been teaching at NYIT for over 30 years and has extensive experience with the design of structural steel, reinforced concrete, light-gauge metal, and wood framing systems. He also has designed sanitary tanks and earth retention and foundation structures. His work includes design, forensic investigations, studies, and expert testimony. He attended SUNY at Stony Brook, SUNY at Buffalo, Polytechnic Institute of New York, and New York Institute of Technology, and holds degrees in Civil Engineering and Energy Management.
Art Zahradnik, who serves as a Senior Hydrogeologist for the international consulting engineering firm, Arcadis. Over his 25-year career, Mr. Zahradnik has been primarily involved with management and remediation of groundwater and soil contamination problems in New York, New Jersey and New England, and has specialized in quantitative analysis of groundwater flow systems. He has developed extensive experience in all aspects of environmental remediation process life-cycle through initial assessment, remedial investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS) and remedial design/remedial action (RDRA) through long term OM&M and regulatory closure. Mr. Zahradnik earned a BS in both Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences from Lehigh University and an MS in Hydrogeology from Wright State University in Ohio. Mr. Zahradnik also holds an Engineer-In-Training (EIT) certification.
This distinguished assemblage of Engineers participated in the 3rd Annual Engineers’ Breakfast at Oyster Bay High School to enlighten and inspire the next generation of Engineers charged with the task of continuing the proud tradition of “American Know How.”
After the Breakfast, the students got to hear from Philip M. Coniglio, Founding Director SEAS (School of Engineering and Applied Science) Co-op Program at Hofstra University. Oyster Bay is way ahead of the curve from other schools in its efforts to educate students about Engineering.