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Farmingdale State College

From left, Madeline Quintyne, John King, Chancellor, SUNY; Dr. John Nader, President, Farmingdale State College. Photo courtesy of Farmingdale State College

Farmingdale State College (FSC) has been awarded more than $750,000 in funding for innovative, faculty-led proposals aimed at advancing offshore wind technology training and education on Long Island. FSC received three out of ten proposals funded from university centers, colleges of technology, and community colleges across the SUNY system.

A founding partner in the Offshore Wind Technology Institute (OWTI), FSC is a hub of wind technology and sustainable energy research, development, training and education, with certificate and  microcredential programs in wind energy technology.

“Farmingdale is leading the way in the commitment to advance our use of offshore wind to power both our lives and our economy,” said John S. Nader, PhD, president of Farmingdale State College. “We are simultaneously creating jobs and an environmentally sustainable future for Long Island and throughout New York State.”

In total, the OWTI awarded more than $8M in two rounds of funding to support SUNY institutions in preparing students and workers for a sustainable energy future. FSC was awarded nearly $900,000 in the first round announced last May.

SUNY Chancellor John B. King, Jr. said, “To meet climate goals set by both President Biden and Governor Hochul, the offshore wind workforce needs to grow significantly over the next several years. That’s where SUNY and the Offshore Wind Training Institute come into play by developing programs to prepare the highly skilled, in-demand workforce that will power New York’s sustainable energy future. All of these projects represent the significant strides SUNY is taking toward advancing New York State’s climate goals.”

The recipients of the OWTI funding from FSC include:

  • Khosro Shirvani and Marjaneh Issapour, awarded $282,700 to embark on groundbreaking research exploring additive manufacturing techniques for the repair of wind turbine components. Their project seeks to enhance the efficiency and sustainability of offshore wind infrastructure.
  • Paulo Castillo and Supriyo Karmakar, awarded $371,914 to develop a cutting-edge workforce microcredential program. This initiative involves the acquisition of state-of-the-art equipment designed to detect blade defects, such as micro-cracks and erosion, ensuring the highest standards of safety and reliability in offshore wind energy systems.

In addition to the core projects, FSC received the following subawards:

  • Marjaneh Issapour was awarded $100,000 to partner with the University at Buffalo to prepare instructional content for a wide audience to better understand the offshore wind supply chain.
  • Lijian Xu, PhD is partnering with Stony Brook University and the Advanced Energy Center to create a power systems laboratory for renewable energy transmission experiences.

The initiatives align with the priority focus areas outlined by the OWTI, addressing the expanding needs of the offshore wind industry, and fostering equity, diversity, and inclusivity in clean energy education and training.

About Farmingdale State College

Farmingdale State College offers 46-degree programs focused on emerging, high-demand, and relevant careers to help prepare the next generation of leaders in technology, engineering, business, healthcare, science and the arts. With nearly 10,000 students, FSC is SUNY’s largest college of applied science and technology. More than half of our graduating seniors leave debt-free and 94% are employed six months after graduation or enrolled in graduate school. FSC is home to Broad Hollow Bioscience Park, which supports the development of biotech start-up companies and partners with surrounding businesses and research institutions along the Route 110 Business Corridor. Our engaging student experience, highly inclusive campus and sustained commitment to accessibility, affordability, and student support, helps make FSC one of the best values in higher education.

One of the 2023 Nissan Leaf EV cars, parked in front of the FSC Campus Center. Photo from FSC

Farmingdale State College (FSC) recently announced the addition of two new electric vehicles to its campus vehicle fleet, bringing to five its total of electric (EV) or hybrid vehicles, and moving closer to its goal of going fossil fuel free by 2035.

The two 2023 Nissan Leaf vehicles are four-door compact size cars and join a 2013 Nissan Leaf, a 2013 Toyota Prius, and a 2013 Chevy Volt, all of which are driven by Campus Vehicles authorized operators. The cars are branded with the FSC logo on the front doors and a “FSC Electric Vehicle” logo on the rear doors, with the motif of a globe blanketed by a leaf. The cars retail for a base price of $36,000.

“With a maximum range of 250 miles, fast charging port and installed spare charger our electric vehicles are more than capable of handling all of our in-state driving for college business,” said Michael Cervini, Campus Energy Manager for FSC. “These cars will be used by staff traveling for recruitment or professional development purposes.”

“We expanded our EV fleet ahead of Governor Hochul’s executive order for all state agencies to achieve certain sustainability and emissions goals,” said Greg O’Connor, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for FSC. “Combined with our campus bike share program, water conservation initiatives and planned upgrades to our HVAC systems and installation of green energy technology in our new science building, the vision is to exceed those benchmarks.” FSC received an Honorable Mention as a Bike Friendly University from the League of American Bicyclists in October.

FSC hosted Long Island’s Car Free Day and Sustainable Mobility Showcase in September 2023, which promoted all aspects of sustainable transportation including EVs. In partnership with RESC and Transit Solutions, the Office for Sustainability launched the Sustainable Transit Ambassador Program, a focus group which brings stakeholders from across campus together to discuss improving sustainable mobility at FSC. An annual EV Symposium also seeks to educate the public on the benefits of EVs. In addition, students, faculty and staff have access to FSC’s Solar Carport Charging Station, which includes stations for 20 electric-charged vehicles.

O’Connor noted that the green energy program is part of the commitment to environmental issues that students are looking for when choosing a college.

“Students want their school to embrace the values that they do, using less energy, reducing carbon footprint and taking steps that will help to reverse decades of damage to our planet. We believe in those values as much as they do and are embarking on these plans to make a long lasting impact to the environmental health of Long Island.”

About Farmingdale State College

Farmingdale State College offers 46-degree programs focused on emerging, high-demand, and relevant careers to help prepare the next generation of leaders in technology, engineering, business, healthcare, science and the arts. With nearly 10,000 students, FSC is SUNY’s largest college of applied science and technology. More than half of our graduating seniors leave debt-free and 94% are employed six months after graduation or enrolled in graduate school. FSC is home to Broad Hollow Bioscience Park, which supports the development of biotech start-up companies and partners with surrounding businesses and research institutions along the Route 110 Business Corridor. Our engaging student experience, highly inclusive campus and sustained commitment to accessibility, affordability, and student support, helps make FSC one of the best values in higher education.

4-20-23 RIbbon cutting ceremony for the Murray Pasternack Radio Frequency & Microwave Technology lab.

Farmingdale State College (FSC) recently dedicated the Murray Pasternack (’60) Lab for Radio Frequency and Microwave Technology, unveiled during a ribbon-cutting ceremony to also celebrate his $1.4 million gift to FSC, which is also the largest gift made by an individual in the College’s history. Previously he provided two $500,000 gifts to support the launch of an honors program at the College.

The lab will enable students to train using industry-leading equipment including vector network analyzers, spectrum analyzers, RF signal generators, noise sources, mixed domain oscilloscopes, and more. RF components are the active and passive parts that are used to assemble wireless receivers and transmitters. These components are used in many diverse applications including radio, TV, radar, GPS, cell towers, and medical electronics.

 “It was important to me that we build a lab where we can train the next generation in this technology,” said Pasternack, who is the founder and CEO of Pasternack Enterprises, a world-class supplier of radio frequency and microwave components. “The need for wireless is growing at a time when the number of engineers is decreasing. I aim to reverse the trend.”

The lab now provides students with upgraded radio frequency and microwave technology equipment and will support new course offerings for the Electrical Engineering Technology Department in the School of Engineering Technology making it a leader in educating the RF engineers.

“Murray’s gift has modernized and expanded a program that addresses the needs of today’s high technology firms, on Long Island and beyond,” said FSC President John S. Nader. “His commitment to creating opportunities for our students is inspiring, and we are grateful for his generosity.”

Pasternack’s interests include building a pipeline of engineers needed to meet the rapidly growing workforce demands of a dynamic and growing industry including in-demand jobs on Long Island.

“One of the companies I’ve invested in is just down the street from Farmingdale, and we need excellent engineers to succeed, so this is a good arrangement for everyone. Farmingdale educates them in my lab, then we can hire them on after graduation.”

“Like every great engineer and philanthropist, Murray identifies opportunities to “fix things” or make them better and sees giving as a tool to propel the College forward,” said Matthew Colson, Vice President of Development & Alumni Engagement at FSC. “We are so grateful to have him set an example of how extraordinary philanthropy can improve outcomes for students.

See more photos from the event here:


Farmingdale State College (FSC) and The Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) have signed a strategic alliance to drive innovation and support for emerging STEM talent across Long Island. The announcement was made in press release on Feb. 10.  

As part of the collaboration, ELC has leased approximately 40,000 sq. ft. of laboratory and office space at  Broad Hollow Bioscience Park (BHBP), located on the FSC campus. ELC intends to hire talent for more than 30 new scientific R&D roles and in spring 2022 will relocate select teams of employees to the new space.

The collaboration will include an applied learning initiative, which will begin in Fall 2022, and will help prepare students in FSC’s science and engineering programs for potential R&D roles at ELC. It will also include internships and collaborative research activities for FSC students and faculty, adjunct academic opportunities for ELC R&D leaders, and student scholarships.

The arrangement also brings to BHBP an anchor tenant focused on research and development, and marks ELC’s first co-location with an academic institution. The space at BHBP is only two miles from ELC’s skin care, makeup, body, fragrance, basic science and advanced technology R&D labs in Melville.

The Broad Hollow Bioscience Park is a partnership between Farmingdale State College, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and the Research Foundation of the State University of New York (SUNY). BHBP is home to various biotech companies partnering to grow the bioscience industry along the Route 110 corridor.

“We are thrilled to welcome The Estée Lauder Companies to the Broad Hollow Bioscience Park and Farmingdale State College,” said Dr. John Nader, President of Farmingdale State College (FSC). “This extraordinary public-private alliance brings a premier corporate partner to our campus and will lead to scholarship support and collaboration opportunities for Farmingdale State College students and faculty. This is a victory for Long Island, the College, and the region’s bioscience corridor.” 

The new alliance reinforces ELC’s longstanding commitment to investing in and modernizing its Long Island operations and supporting the local communities in New York State. The company currently, which has been on Long Island for more than 50 years, has thousands of employees across R&D, manufacturing, finance, information technology, and other areas working on its Melville, NY campus. ELC has a strong history of hiring SUNY graduates and also has FSC alumni working at the company. 

 “We are very proud to collaborate with Farmingdale State College and SUNY to further fuel R&D innovation and empower STEM leaders of tomorrow across Long Island and New York State,” said Lisa Napolione, Senior Vice President, Global Research & Development at The Estée Lauder Companies. 

“At ELC, our scientists, researchers, engineers, and product developers thrive on combining science, technology and creativity to formulate transformative prestige beauty products. Our collaborations with universities around the world help us stay on the cutting edge and advance our commitment to scientific excellence and delivering the highest quality, breakthrough prestige beauty products to consumers.”

“This partnership between Farmingdale State College and The Estée Lauder Companies at Broad Hollow Bioscience Park is a testament to how SUNY and the private sector can work together to create limitless opportunities within STEM fields,” said SUNY Interim Chancellor Deborah F. Stanley. 

“I’m confident this collaboration will yield hands-on experiences for our students to learn and grow, research and instruction opportunities for our faculty and job creation potential for years to come. Congratulations to Farmingdale State College on this exciting venture, and to our students who are seizing this opportunity and making their mark,” he added.

A rendering of the approved plan for a Tesla showroom on Route 347 in Nesconset. Image from Smithtown Planning Department

The Tesla Inc. showroom on Route 347 in Nesconset will offer students a chance to delve into the nuts and bolts of how the luxury electric cars work.

The planned $700,000 renovation to the former Sixth Avenue Electronics shopping center at the corner of Route 347 and Hillside Avenue for a new Tesla dealership will initially work as a showroom, a service center as well as an educational and experimental center in an ongoing partnership with Farmingdale State College, according to Mohamad Zoghi, the acting chair of the automotive technology department at Farmingdale State College.

“We are working with Tesla recruiters,” Zoghi said. “They recruit based on the demand of technicians at their locations. So, once there is availability at Nesconset location, [we will have interns there.]’’

“We are working with Tesla recruiters… They recruit based on the demand of technicians at their locations.”

–Mohamad Zoghi

The showroom would be the eighth Tesla-owned facility to open in New York. Normally, New York State law requires all car manufacturers to sell their vehicles through franchises. However, Tesla struck a deal with the state to permit it to operate up to five of its own dealerships.

There is pending legislation in both the state Senate and Assembly that would allow Tesla to open an additional 15 dealerships within the state as long as five of the new locations are in upstate New York. Both bills are currently stuck in committee.

In the meantime, Tesla will use this space for its continued educational partnership with Farmingdale students that was first announced in August 2017. Based on the needs set by Tesla, students in the two-year and four-year automotive management programs can potentially obtain an internship working on Tesla’s electric vehicles and other products.

Smithtown Supervisor Ed Wehrheim (R) said the renovations will give life to a long blighted area off of Route 347.

“They were given permission to go inside and clean up that building, and now that they have their site plan they can go in and start the interior renovation and the exterior facade renovation,” Wehrheim said. “It’s cleaning up a real blighted section of that area.”

It’s cleaning up a real blighted section of that area.”

– Ed Wehrheim

The plans call for a more than 40,500-square-foot showroom with an attached service center in the renovated footprint of the old electronics store. The exterior lot would be relined to provide parking space for more than 300 cars in Tesla’s inventory as well as spots for potential customer use.

The company behind the Tesla property development 1000 Nesconset LLC had its site plan finally approved at the July 17 Smithtown town board meeting. The company filed for a change of zone application for the property to transition from commercial business and neighborhood business to wholesale industrial in order to accommodate the outdoor storage a car dealership needs. Attorney Vincent Trimarco Sr., who is representing the development company, said that zoning on the property has already been changed and construction is close to beginning.

“It’s imminent now that they’re going to start,” Trimarco said.

Other Tesla-owned locations on Long Island include a display gallery inside Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station and a dealership in East Hampton.

Dr. Hal Walker, co-director of the New York State Center for Clean Water Technology, speaks during a symposium at Stony Brook University Thursday, June 23, 2016. Photo by Barry Sloan

By Daniel Dunaief

Water, water everywhere and Harold “Hal” Walker is making sure there’s more than a few drops on Long Island to drink. The head of the new Department of Civil Engineering at Stony Brook is one of two co-directors of the Center for Clean Water Technology. The center received a $5 million commitment from New York State to pilot test a variety of ways to remove contaminants from drinking water.

“The center will be working with water authorities and water utilities to do pilot testing of new technology to deal with emerging contaminants,” Walker said. “One goal of the testing will be to collect information needed to assess new technologies and, if they are effective, to get them approved so they can be used by water utilities.”

Contaminants the center will explore include 1,4-dioxane and perfluorinated compounds, which have “turned up in some regions of Long Island,” Christopher Gobler, the co-director of the center and an associate dean for research and professor at the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, explained in an email.

’One lesson we have learned is that it is critically important to protect the environment, since the environment serves as a natural buffer to these large storms.’ — Harold Walker

The technologies the center will test likely include novel membrane processes, advanced oxidation, novel absorbents and advanced oxidation processes. The center will explore “how these compounds are removed in conventional drinking water treatments processes,” Walker said. “If they are not removed sufficiently, what do novel technologies use and are they ready for the pilot stage?” Walker acknowledges that staying ahead of the curve in being prepared to protect drinking water requires an awareness of numerous new compounds that are a part of modern manufacturing.

Gobler said the center’s findings would be made public. New York State had previously committed $3.5 million from the Environmental Protection Fund to support the center. With an additional $5 million in funding, the center will develop new technologies to improve drinking water and wastewater quality on Long Island, according to the State Department of Environmental Protection.

The center was formed originally to focus on innovative alternative individual onsite treatment systems for reduction of nitrogen and pathogens. That was broadened this year to focus on the impact of emerging contaminants on water supplies, a representative from the DEC explained in an email.

Walker has built an expertise in developing and applying membrane processes for drinking and wastewater. At Ohio State University, where he worked from 1996 until 2012, when he came to Stony Brook, he spent considerable time analyzing drinking water in the Great Lakes. Gobler appreciates Walker’s expertise.“

He has worked with many federal and state agencies on these topics across the United States,” Gobler explained. “He is also well-versed in wastewater treatment technologies.”

Jennifer Garvey, the associate director for the center, meets with Garvey and Walker at least once a week. She also connects weekly for a call or meeting to discuss administrative and strategic issues. Walker is “at the leading edge of water treatment approaches and he understands where opportunities and obstacles lie,” Garvey said. The center has a sense of urgency about the work because “there is such a clear and immense need for wastewater infrastructure improvements,” she continued. The targeted and strategic work emphasizes near-term solutions. A leading focus is a nonproprietary passive system known as a nitrogen removing biofilter that they will be piloting in Suffolk County soon. “Our hope is that we can make systems available for widespread deployment within the next two to three years,” she said.

Apart from his work at the center, which Walker estimates takes about a third of his time, he is also a professor and the founding chair of the Department of Civil Engineering, which conferred bachelor’s degrees on its inaugural 13 undergraduate students this summer. Those students have all found engineering jobs within their field of interest or continued to pursue additional schooling. The civil engineering department has 10 faculty and is at the end of the first phase of its growth and development, Walker said.

Phase II will include building out the faculty and staff, developing new research and teaching labs and enhancing the recently approved master’s of science and doctoral programs in civil engineering, Walker explained. Resiliency of the coastal communities is a major thrust of his department. He said he recently hired a number of faculty in this area and launched an Advanced Graduate Certificate in Coastal Zone Management and Engineering in partnership with the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. “One lesson we have learned is that it is critically important to protect the environment, since the environment serves as a natural buffer to these large storms,” he explained.

Apart from water and the resilience of the coastal community, the civil engineering department is also involved in transportation. The department works with Farmingdale State College in a new Infrastructure, Transportation and Security Center. In that effort, the department collaborates with the Department of Computer Science, among others at Stony Brook, to bring new approaches to “improving the efficiency, sustainability and safety of our transportation system.”

For his part, Gobler welcomes the talent and expertise the civil engineering department brings to Stony Brook. “This is a tremendous asset” for Stony Brook, Gobler explained in an email. “Civil engineers solve complex problems and I have found that [Walker] and the people he has hired have the skill set and mind-set to address many environmental problems that are important on Long Island.

A resident of Port Jefferson, Walker lives with his wife Alyssa, who is a writer, and their three children, Abby, 14, Halliway, six, and Northie, who is five. They enjoy visiting the beach and traveling east to go apple and pumpkin picking. A native of Southern California, Walker started surfing at the age of 10. He was a four-year varsity letterman in surfing when he was in high school. He has surfed in Hawaii, Costa Rica, Japan, Portugal and Mexico.

As for the department, he said he feels excited by the responsibility for building only the second civil engineering program in the SUNY system. “I’d like the department to quickly become nationally recognized and be the leading source of expertise for the state on infrastructure issues, especially in the downstate area,” he said.