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Apr 26 2013

NYIT Competes at the 2013 VEX Robotics College Challenge World Championship

Old Westbury, N.Y., April 26, 2013 – A team of talented and dedicated engineering students from New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) headed to Anaheim, Calif., for the 2013 VEX Robotics College Challenge World Championship, a gathering of top robotics teams from around the world to celebrate their accomplishments and compete with and against each other. The 2013 VEX Robotics World Championship, held last week, included 52 top teams representing several U.S. states, Puerto Rico, and eight countries. 

NYIT’s  2013 Vex World Championship team members included (pictured left to right): Thomas Pe Aguirre (Westbury, N.Y., Class of 2014, Electrical and Computering Engineering); Saverio Marsicano (NYIT senior lab technician and team technical advisor); Richard E. Mortimore III (San Diego, Calif., Class of 2014, Mechanical Engineering); Nicholas Corso-Passaro (Danbury, Conn., Class of 2015, Computer Science, concentration in Network Security); Jesus Moo (Oxnard, Calif., Class of 2016, Mechanical Engineering); Vito Catacchio (Floral Park, N.Y., Class of 2014, Electrical and Computer Engineering); and Matthew J. Wighton (Farmingdale, N.Y., Class of 2015, Mechanical Engineering/Robotics Engineering). All are members of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) chapter at NYIT-Old Westbury.

NYIT experienced formidable foes and extremely challenging conditions, even before the final competition began. “Our robots arrived in California broken into pieces,” explained Marsicano, the team’s technical adviser. “We spent long days and nights attempting to repair the robots and be able to compete.  Many components had to be replaced, including motors, gears, the power expander board, wireless keys, and more. But, I told the team that they can learn more from failure than from success, and they never gave up,” he added.

Despite significant obstacles, the team performed admirably, placing 35th out of 52 teams. “The VEX Robotics Competition is one of many challenges that bring out the best in our students – enthusiasm, leadership, creativity, perseverance, and school pride,” said Nada Marie Anid, Ph.D., dean of NYIT’s School of Engineering and Computing Sciences. “I am extremely proud of them.” 

Reflecting on the competition, Vito Catacchio said, “Being able to experience the VEX tournament first-hand felt like a once-in-a-life time experience. I enjoyed working with my colleagues and pushing to achieve great things. It was interesting to see the different countries and states that participated in this tournament, from high school to college level. Taking what we worked on this past year and looking at others’ approach to the task at hand really opened my mind. I definitely want to return next year and bring home the gold, as an electrical and computer engineer at New York Institute of Technology.”

Richard Mortimore, president of NYIT-Old Westbury’s IEEE chapter, added, “This year I have learned to be a leader, but also a team player. The VEX championship was a great learning process, and the knowledge we gained can be used for the next World Competition. I look forward to learning each day and gaining the knowledge that I will use in the engineering field someday.”
In the 2013 championship, college teams played the game Sack Attack, in which they aimed to build the most innovative robots possible and to work together to obtain the most points possible. For information about Sack Attack, to view animations about the game, and find rules and documentation, read more.

About NYIT
New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) offers 90 degree programs, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees, in more than 50 fields of study, including architecture and design; arts and sciences; education; engineering and computing sciences; health professions; management; and osteopathic medicine. A non-profit independent, private institution of higher education, NYIT has 14,000 students attending campuses on Long Island and Manhattan, online, and at its global campuses. NYIT sponsors 11 NCAA Division II programs and one Division I team.

Led by President Edward Guiliano, NYIT is guided by its mission to provide career-oriented professional education, offer access to opportunity to all qualified students, and support applications-oriented research that benefits the larger world. To date, 92,000 graduates have received degrees from NYIT. For more information, visit


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