Cyber Security Events Come to NEIT

cyber securityIn collaboration with the Rhode Island SANS Cyber Aces State Competition, New England Tech will host the awards presentation for the winners of SANS Cyber Aces Online, a national cyber security contest for high school students as well as adults interested in exploring the skills needed to be successful in the cyber security field. The SANS Institute is a global leader in cyber security training.

The course covers the three foundation areas of information security that include networking, operating systems, and systems administration. Top performers of the competition will be invited to an online State Championship on June 27, 2015, to compete for honors and scholarships. The competition is free to participants and is now open for registration. To qualify for the national championship, competitors must complete the three required program areas by June 4, 2015. New England Tech will offer scholarships to the top three winners. Visit for more information.

The CyberPatriot competition is a national contest involving middle and high school teams. The CyberPatriot program is sponsored by the National Air Force Association program. The Rhode Island Chapter of CyberPatriot is organized by the Rhode Island State Police, Rhode Island Air Force Association, and the University of Rhode Island. Dean Plowman, NEIT’s department chair of Electronics and Mechanical Engineering Technologies, serves as President of the Rhode Island Air Force Association.

At the recent 2014-2015 CyberPatriot awards ceremony held on May 6th at New England Tech, Dean Plowman and Erik Van Renselaar, department chair for Information Technology, spoke to the high school students about cyber security opportunities offered at NEIT. Several Rhode Island high schools offer CyberPatriot programs such as Warwick Area Career and Tech, LaSalle Academy, The MET School (East Bay), Middletown High School, Portsmouth High School, Rogers High School, Tiverton High School and The Wheeler School.

NEIT will be hosting the Rhode Island CyberPatriot Open House on Wednesday, June 3, 2015, from 3:00-5:00 p.m. in Room S330 at the East Greenwich campus. This CyberPatriot recruitment event is open to Rhode Island educators, students and their families to learn more about the program. For more information visit



Scholarship Established in Memory of NEIT Alum

Brian F. Sullivan 1964-2014

Brian F. Sullivan

New England Tech is pleased to announce the establishment of the Brian F. Sullivan Memorial Scholarship Fund.  This scholarship was established with the assistance of Micro Technology Group (MTG) with additional support provided by the Kaplan Simons Family Foundation. These organizations each donated $2,500 which will be awarded to eligible students enrolled in NEIT’s Electronics Technology programs.

Brian was an NEIT alum who graduated in 1984 with an Associate in Science Degree in Electronics Technology.  Until his untimely death this past summer, Brian was employed at MTG as a manufacturer’s sales representative and became a close colleague and personal friend of Ed Renola, a senior executive at MTG. During a recent visit to the college to discuss the scholarship fund, Ed shared that Brian credited his professional success to the education he received at New England Tech.  To honor Brian and recognize the impact that NEIT had on his life, Ed, along with another MTG executive, Spencer Simons, established a scholarship in Brian’s memory.

Joelle DeQuattro-Sullivan, Alex Bucci, and Spencer Simons

Joelle DeQuattro-Sullivan, Alex Bucci, and Spencer Simons

MTG had one special request with the establishment of the scholarship.  Ed mentioned that he and Brian had a close mutual friend, Al Bucci. Ironically, Al’s grandson, Alex Bucci, is currently a NEIT student so MTG requested that Alex receive a scholarship in memory of Brian. A very industrious individual, Alex is currently a bachelor’s candidate in the Architectural Building Engineering Technology program.   He also earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Construction Management in September, 2013 and an Associate in Science Degree in Building Construction & Design in March, 2012. Alex is also the co-owner of a construction company.

On January 14, 2015, much to his surprise, Alex was presented with a $1,000 scholarship as the first recipient of the Brian F. Sullivan Memorial Scholarship by Joelle DeQuattro–Sullivan, Brian’s wife, along with Spencer Simons from MTG.    A well-deserving student was honored while remembering a well-respected grad.

2014-2015 FIRST Tech Challenge Winners

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The top four teams advancing to the Eastern Super Regional in Scranton PA in March will be #121 Aquidneck Island Robotics, #154 Burrillville, #5030 Mt. Hope HS and 8129 Warwick Veterans Memorial High School. 

Team in the Final match were  

Winning Alliance Award

This award will be given to the winning alliance represented in the final match of the competition, usually consisting of three teams.

#154 Burrillville, #8129 Warwick Veterans, #121 Aquidneck Island Robotics 

Finalist Alliance Award

This award will be given to the finalist alliance represented in the final match of the competition, usually consisting of three teams

#4531 Mt. Hope HS, #6217 The Fellowship, #5030 Mt. Hope HS 

FIRST Judges Awards 

Inspire Award

This formally judged award is given to the team that truly embodied the ‘challenge’ of the FTC program. The team that receives this award is chosen by the judges as having best represented a role model FTC Team. This team is a top contender for all other judging categories and is a strong competitor on the field.

Top 3 Teams for this award were: #121 Aquidneck Island, #5030 Mt. Hope HS, #6527 N. Kingstown HS,

The winner was #121 Aquidneck Island Robotics

Think Award

This judged award is given to the team that best reflects the “journey” the team took as they experienced the engineering design process during the build season. The engineering notebook is the key reference for judges to help identify the most deserving team.

Top 3 teams for this award were #8129 Warwick Veterans, #6527 N. Kingstown HS, #5030 Mt. Hope HS

The winner was #8129 Warwick Veterans Memorial High School

Connect Award

This judged award is given to the team that most connected with their local community and the engineering community.

The top 3 teams for this award were: #6527 N. Kingstown HS, #6217 The Fellowship, #6891 Central Falls HS

The winner was #6527 North Kingstown High School 

Rockwell Collins Innovate Award

The Rockwell Collins Innovate Award celebrates a team that not only thinks outside the box, but also has the ingenuity and inventiveness to make their designs come to life.

The top 3 teams for this award were: #154 Burrillville, #4531 Mt. Hope HS, #8129 Warwick Veterans

The winner was #154 Burrillville 

PTC Design Award

This judged award recognizes design elements of the robot that are both functional and aesthetic. All successful robots have innovative design aspects; however, the PTC Design Award is presented to teams that incorporate industrial design elements into their solution.

The top 3 teams for this award were: #4578 N. Providence HS, #6527 N. Kingstown HS, #5030 Mt. Hope HS

The winner was #4578 North Providence High School 

Motivate Award                                                                                                                                                 This judged award celebrates the team that exemplifies the essence of the FTC competition through team spirit and enthusiasm. They show their spirit through costumes and fun outfits, a team cheer or outstanding spirit.

The top 3 teams for this award were: #6217 The Fellowship, #9009 Scituate HS, #252 The Wheeler School

The winner was #6217 The Fellowship 

For more information on the FIRST Tech Challenge or programs at New England Tech contact Erin Flynn at or 401-739-5000

FIRST Robotics 2014-2015 events scheduled

Rhode Island's New England Tech hosts robotics competition

2013 FIRST Robotics competition

The FIRST Robotics mini tournaments will be held at the New England Tech East Greenwich campus.  The events will bring as many as 16 Rhode Island High School robotics teams to NEIT for all-day competitions.

FIRST Qualifier

Saturday 11/ 22nd, Snow day Sunday 11/23

FIRST Qualifier

Saturday 12/6, Snow day Sunday 12/7

FIRST Qualifier

Saturday  1/3/15, Snow day Sunday 1/4

The Rhode Island State tournament will be held on Saturday February 7th at the Access Road campus.

For more information about FIRST Robotics contact Erin Flynn by phone at 800-736-7744 ext. 3462 or by email at

New material could make smartphones paper thin

This looks like really exciting new technology that could really change not only smartphones but could have endless possibilities!


We’ve been hearing about the potential of graphene in the electronics industry for years. Just last month, Samsung announced that it had discovered a new production method that could bring graphene to commercial products even sooner. Taking advantage of the material’s flexibility, Samsung believes that flexible displays will be much more than a gimmick in the coming years.

Sadly, we haven’t yet had the chance to see that potential in action as manufacturers continue to research ways to implement the recently discovered material into phones, tablets and other devices. As graphene hasn’t yet been used in commercial applications, most of us are entirely unaware of what the “miracle material” actually consists of, and why so many companies are spending time and resources on the production of graphene.

The Loop’s Dave Mark has pointed us in the direction of a video from The One Showon the BBC, which explains graphene in terms that anyone should be able to comprehend. As the show’s host explains it, graphene is “stronger than diamond, more conductive than copper, more flexible than rubber and it’s so thin you can barely see it with the naked eye.”

If you’re at all interested in what could be one of the landmark discoveries of the 21st century, it’s worth your time to understand some of the basics of graphene.

via This is the incredible material that could make our smartphones paper thin – THE TECH GETS.

FIRST Robotics Winners Announced – Congratulations to the Rhody Girls!

Congratulations to the Rhody Girls from Providence Career & Tech, beating out 24 other teams in the FIRST Robotics Competition on Saturday, Feb. 16, at New England Institute of Technology.

Girls win big at FIRST robotics competition held at New England Tech

[Click Image For ABC6 News Video]

FIRST Robotics Competition Postponed

The Rhode Island FIRST Tech Challenge high school robotics tournament has been rescheduled to Saturday, February 16th, at the New England Tech Automotive Center, 101 Access Road, Warwick. The event is free and  open to the public at 9:00 am.  For any questions please contact Erin Flynn in Admissions at


Five Questions with Erin Flynn, New England Tech’s FIRST Robotics event coordinator

The manager of admissions outreach and events at the New England Institute of Technology talks to PBN about the upcoming FIRST high school robotics competition.

Posted by Providence Business News on January 9, 2013

Erin Flynn is the manager of admissions outreach and events and the New England Institute of Technology. Flynn has been employed at New England Tech for 25 years and also serves as the contact person for the RI FIRST Tech Challenge.

FIRST stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology” and is a nationwide is a robotics competition for high school students.

Flynn, who holds a Masters in technical education as well as a Bachelor’s in communications from Rhode Island College, talked to Providence Business News about the upcoming FIRST competition taking place at New England Tech.


Can you explain a little bit about what the FIRST robotics competition is?


FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology).

FIRST was founded in 1989 to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, N.H., the charity designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge and life skills.

There are three levels of FIRST Robotics for Rhode Island students to get involved. Rhode Island FIRST Lego League, ages 9- 14. The Championship is this weekend at Roger Williams University with 60 RI teams. Once the students have “aged out” of Lego League, our hope is that students will continue on to the FIRST Tech Challenge. Currently, we have several students on multiple teams who have done this. The FIRST Tech Challenge is for students ages 14-18 years old. The teams are comprised of 10-12 high school age students and can be run through the high school, after school, or club team. High school students have the option to get involved with the third level FIRST Tech Challenge, of which there are five teams in Rhode Island.

New England Tech is serving its seventh year as the Rhode Island Affiliate Partner for the FIRST Tech Challenge and as a major sponsor. I serve as the point person for the college. I work with the high school educators and after school teams, the Rhode Island industry volunteers as well as the National FIRST Office. I ensure that all teams have the information they need, that Rhode Island industry volunteers are ready and well prepared, as well as coordinate all event details.

Rhode Island high school age students in the FIRST Tech Challenge compete head to head with robots they have designed. Each year the game or challenge changes. This year is the game RING IT UP.

FIRST is a great way for Rhode Island students to explore STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers in a hands-on fun way. I like to think of this event as STEM in action! Rhode Island teams of up to 10 students are responsible for designing, building, and programming their robots to compete in an alliance format against other teams. The robot kit is reusable from year-to-year and is programmed using a variety of languages. Teams, including coaches, mentors and volunteers, are required to develop strategy and build robots based on sound engineering principles. Awards are given for the competition as for well as for community outreach, design, and other real-world accomplishments.


How did New England Tech get involved with the competition?


NEIT got involved with FIRST seven years ago. U.S. Rep. James R. Langevin invited FIRST founder, Dean Kamen, to the Business Innovation Factory event to talk about FIRST. After Dean Kamen spoke about FIRST, then Governor Carcieri encouraged all the schools to get involved.

Through the Business Innovation Factory and other funding that NEIT was not involved with, the materials needed for high schools to get started in the FIRST Tech Challenge were purchased. The group needed someone to be the state FIRST Affiliate Partner and run the details of the program. My understanding is that Tech Collective suggested NEIT.

Part of my responsibility at New England Tech is to organize high school events. The college had hosted contests here in the past such as SkillsUSA and the Ocean State Automotive Contest. Our ability to organize the details of this type of tournament was what NEIT could offer. Once the initial funding for the project ran out, NEIT felt strongly that this event was important for RI high school students and took on the fiscal aspect.


The actual building of a robot seems like a tough task for high school students, how much adviser help is there?


The building of the robot is tough, but students can get through it. There is great on-line assistance for teachers, coaches, and mentors. I will also say that the coaches and mentors are in touch with each other and are great about offering support to one another. NEIT does host workshops for educators and students as needed.

One of the important lessons students learn from this experience is how to work on a team. Some students may be better designers, builders, or programmers. Within the team, the students are encouraged to take on various roles. Certainly the educators or parents involved do a great job with the teams.

Teams are encouraged to reach out and work with Rhode Island business partners, which are of great help! Individuals from Rhode Island businesses that specialize in Information Technology, Mechanical Engineering Technology, or Mechanical Design Technology can offer a team a different perspective. Rhode Island high school students meeting and discussing design ideas with Rhode Island industry professionals is a great connection to make.

As part of designing, building, and programming the robot, teams need to keep an Engineering Notebook documenting the process of building the robot. Teams will be judged on this notebook as well. Judges are looking to see what processes the teams utilized to reach their final design.


What is your favorite part of the FIRST program?


My favorite part of the FIRST program is when the Rhode Island high school teams are at the tournament, their nerves have worn off, and they are completely engrossed in the experience. The energy level, the crazy costumes and hats, the fun they have meeting each other all add to the event while they are making sure their robot is competition ready. The last match is like the Superbowl! It makes all the work worth it.


Why do you think programs like this one are important for high school students?


We know that high school students select careers based on what they know and what they have experienced. The FIRST Tech Challenge encourages the Rhode Island high school students to get involved with math, physics, programming, designing and building a robot in a fun, competitive manner. STEM in action!