MAY 2, 2023
12:45 PM – 1:45 PM


An Innovation Experience at New York Tech’s Entrepreneurship & Technology Innovation Center (ETIC)

This event is part of the Industry Leaders Lecture Series, sponsored by the College of Engineering and Computing Sciences.

In November 2021, the Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovation Center (ETIC) at New York Tech College of Engineering and Computing Sciences was awarded a one-year prototyping contract from the NASA Technology Transfer Program (T2X). The contract was to build four functional high-technology prototypes originating from NASA patents provided to the design team. The successful creation of those four technologies at the ETIC and a subsequent second-year contract award in 2022, now fosters a rich and robust prototyping program at the ETIC where New York Tech students are the stars of the show.

In this seminar, you will hear from Dean of the College of Engineering and Computing Sciences Babak Beheshti, Ph.D., on the value of the contract award to the college, to the region, and to the state of New York; Michael Nizich, Ph.D., director of the ETIC and project lead for the prototyping program about the process of establishing and building the program; and Christie Funk, program manager for NASA T2X on the value of the program to NASA and to the nation. You will also hear from the New York Tech student engineers who make it all possible.

Learn about the program details, licensing opportunities, and various program technologies created under the contract, and how the ETIC and NASA agreement benefits both their organizations through collaboration with the T2X office and their services to companies of all sizes.


About the Industry Leaders Lecture Series

Dean Babak D. Beheshti, Ph.D., New York Tech College of Engineering and Computing Sciences, hosts the Industry Leader Lecture Series, offering students and practitioners a chance to hear from and interact with distinguished professionals in the tech industry.

Working professionals and undergraduate and graduate students are welcome to attend and learn from these leaders’ insights. The series offers participants a unique opportunity to ask questions about career choices and hear advice and stories directly from experts in the field. All talks will be live-streamed and web-based, and some speakers will present in-person at either the New York Tech New York City or Long Island campus.

Certifications will be awarded to New York Tech students, by request, for those who attend two of the three sessions.


Dr. Michael Nizich

Dr. Michael Nizich, New York Tech, Director, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Technology Center

Michael Nizich is the director of the Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovation Center (ETIC) and an adjunct associate professor of computer science at New York Institute of Technology. He has more than 25 years of professional experience in information technology in a variety of industries, including aviation, education, law enforcement,biotechnology, and cybersecurity. Nizich has held IT leadership positions in both private and publicly held companies.

Full Bio »


Christie J. Funk, T2X Program Manager, NASA Headquarters

Christie Funk is NASA’s Technology Transfer Expansion (T2X) program manager. In her T2X role, she drives the expansion of technology commercialization through entrepreneurial engagements, strategic partnerships, and network and pipeline creation leading to new venture sustainability.

Throughout her career, Christie has contributed to NASA’s missions in various capacities, stemming from aerospace engineering to specialized work in economic development. She is a graduate of Old Dominion University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and Saint Leo University, earning her Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering, Master of Aeronautical Science, and Bachelor of Arts in Business Management degrees, respectively.


Babak Beheshti

Babak D. Beheshti, Ph.D., Professor and Dean, New York Tech College of Engineering and Computing Sciences

Babak’s experience in higher education spans over 35 years, where he has served as a full-time faculty member, president of the Academic Senate, associate dean, and dean. As dean, Babak led the engineering college to the introduction of its first two Ph.D. programs, in computer science and engineering, two new bachelor’s degree programs, and one new master’s degree program, in addition to leading the college through its fastest climb in national rankings: #33 Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs (National – no doctorate)—a climb of 13 places since 2020, and #191 Best Computer Science Undergraduate Programs (National – no doctorate), a new ranking in 2021—a climb of 40 places since 2020.

In line with the career-oriented mission of New York Tech, Babak has led the College of Engineering and Computing Sciences in building a strong partnership with industry and government organizations, including NASA, Zscaler, IBM Red Hat, Xilinx, Soter Technologies, and Zebra Technologies.