NACME Press Releases

The Applied Sciences NYC Project Will Have Deep Impact on New York City’s Economy, STEM Education and Careers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                    Contact: Brenda Krulik
Monday, October 27, 2014                                                                                                                                              (914) 539-4010, ext 291
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Applied Sciences NYC Project Will Have Deep Impact on
New York City’s Economy, STEM Education and Careers

The Applied Sciences NYC Project Panelists Believe City-Based Tech Centers Will
Help Make New York City a Technology Hub Like Silicon Valley


                             White Plains, N.Y. — On Wednesday, October 15, 2014, the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Inc. (NACME), held a unique panel discussion entitled, “Celebrating Successful Partnerships: Applied Sciences NYC Project” with all of the key partners in the groundbreaking initiative that will help make New York City the “Silicon Valley” of the east.

Hours before kicking off its 40th Anniversary Awards Dinner and Celebration, the in-depth panel discussion was opened with remarks from former New York City Deputy Mayor for Economic Development, Robert K. Steel, who is now the Chief Executive Officer at Perella Weinberg Partners.

“[Former] Mayor Bloomberg and I liked the idea that higher education institutions could come together with government and really make something happen,” said Steel. “This project will have an impact on the entire economy of the city. As it stands, there isn’t an aspect of the workforce in the city that is not currently affected by technology.”

“We are inventing a completely new education system,” said Dr. Lance Collins, Joseph Silbert Dean College of Engineering at Cornell University. “And the exciting part is that everything will be integrated in New York City. This will truly be a new era for technology and education in the city.”

“We applaud the vision for the Applied Sciences NYC Project, and are delighted that NACME Partner Institutions are leading this effort. As a native New Yorker, I am especially proud to witness the beginning of the next Silicon Valley in my hometown,” said Dr. Irving Pressley McPhail, President and Chief Executive Officer of NACME. “NACME intends to work closely with the Applied Sciences NYC Project and other partners to ensure that talented African American, American Indian, and Latino young women and men in New York City are fully engaged in the opportunities for innovation, invention, and entrepreneurship in STEM. Since our founding four decades ago, NACME has been committed to the view that diversity drives innovation and that its absence imperils our designs, our products, and most of all, our creativity—all components of competitiveness.”

Panel moderator, Dr. Eugene Michael Maximilien, Chief Architect for Cloud Innovations

IBM Cloud Labs and NACME Alumnus from Florida International University asked the panelists if they believed the Applied Sciences NYC Project will help change the mind set of people in the east. “I have spent a lot of time out west, particularly Silicon Valley, and they do have a different way of thinking… Failure is not necessarily seen as a bad thing. When something fails, they look at it, alter their plans, and try again, or try something new. Is it possible for this mindset to take hold in the east?”

Panelists such as Dr. Collins believe this possible. He stated that the Applied Sciences NYC Project is paradigm shifting. He and the other panelists anticipate that in addition to the change in attitudes this will, over time, entice more technology-based companies to come to the region to create a new Silicon Valley.

NACME, the National Academy Foundation (NAF) and Project Lead the Way (PLTW) are founding partners in establishing Academies of Engineering, a NAF network of career-themed academies. High school students and teachers from Manhattan Bridges High School and the High School Construction Trades, Engineering, and Architecture (CTEA) in Ozone Park, N.Y., also attended the riveting session.

Students at Manhattan Bridges are still abuzz about their experience. “They were motivated and enthusiastic about college and career prospects available to them as engineering students. They were also delighted to realize that NACME is an organization designed and dedicated to supporting students like them in attaining their goals,” said George R. Lock, Assistant Principal of STEM at Manhattan Bridges High School.

“We brought 14 students who heard from representatives from Cornell University, Carnegie Mellon, NYU, Columbia University, and IBM. Afterward, the students met with other representatives from IBM with whom we are hoping to develop a partnership,” Steven Wynn, Assistant Principal at CTEA.

Participants in this session also included:

Dr. Steven E. Koonin, Director, Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP), New York University    

Dr. Philip R. LeDuc, Founding Director, Center for the Mechanics and Engineering of Cellular Systems, Carnegie Mellon University   

Dr. Kathy R. McKeown, Director of the Institute for Data Sciences and Engineering, Henry and Gertrude Rothschild Professor of Computer Science, Columbia University