University appoints three new members to Engineering Advisory Board

The SUNY New Paltz Division of Engineering Programs is pleased to announce the appointment of three distinguished new members of the Engineering Advisory Board.

The three new members – Alethea Schaeffer, Sandeep Bansal and Bobby Ferrante ’18 – join a team of successful science, technology and engineering professionals and researchers in helping set a course and a strategy for New Paltz’s programs in Mechanical, Electrical and Computer Engineering.

The Engineering Advisory Board at SUNY New Paltz helps foster the growth of the Division of Engineering Programs and the student experience in many ways, including by providing industry perspective and feedback on the current business climate for engineers, both nationally and within the Hudson Valley; connecting students and faculty with industry for projects, internships, and other collaborations; supporting the recruitment and retention of undergraduate and graduate students; assisting with accreditation; and acting as advocates for the SUNY New Paltz’s engineering programs within industry and to the general public.

Please join us in welcoming these new Engineering Advisory Board members:


Alethea Schaeffer, Vice President of Sales & Engineering, Usheco, Inc.

Alethea Schaeffer helps lead sales & engineering at a family-owned, custom plastic manufacturing company, Usheco, Inc., in Kingston, New York. Usheco’s broad range of capabilities includes cut-sheet thermoforming, inline thermoforming, injection molding, CNC routing, die cutting, heat bending, ultrasonic welding and assembly. Schaeffer guides customers from concept, through design for manufacturability, and to production, using her 22 years of experience in manufacturing, engineering education, and background in industrial lighting, metal machining and fabrication, project management for design and builds, engineering management and design experience.

Beyond her work with Usheco, Schaeffer serves on the steering committee for Hudson Valley Pathways Academy, a project-based high school/college experience for students with a strong aptitude for hands-on learning. She enjoys connecting and collaborating on projects with the local education community and other manufacturing partners. Schaeffer holds a master’s degree in engineering management from Clarkson University, a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an associate of applied science degree in drafting and design from SUNY Ulster.


Sandeep Bansal, Cyber Security Program leader, IBM

Sandeep Bansal is a Cyber Security Leader with 20+ years of experience working at top companies like IBM and Deutsche Bank in the financial, retail, public and healthcare sectors. He brings to his work hands-on expertise in infrastructure security, privacy, cloud security, app security, risk management, incident response, cyber policies, cyber governance, business resilience, and agile and digital transformation.

Bansal holds an MBA and an MS in computer science, cyber security certifications like CISSP and CISM, and several other professional certifications in Cloud, Agile, PMP®, HIPPA, PCI and GDPR. He is credited with transforming IBM’s Chief Information Security Office (CISO) and building a strong partnership between the Chief Privacy Office, Chief Counsel and Chief Security Office to make IBM more agile and responsive in countering emerging cyber threats. He published several white papers around security hygiene and insider threats. He is a member of IBM Academy of Technology and has been a keynote speaker at various cyber security conferences worldwide. In his current role as Cyber Security Program leader at IBM, Bansal leads a Cyber Advisory Committee comprising of senior VPs and business leaders, oversees cyber policies, advises the IBM board and CIO on organizational risk posture, drives adoption of cyber technologies and standards, and manages data loss prevention (DLP), data classification and privacy, among many other duties and responsibilities.


Bobby Ferrante ’18 (Mechanical Engineering), Transmissions Design Engineer, Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company

Bobby Ferrante is a SUNY New Paltz alumnus currently working at Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company, with specialization in gearbox configurations for the CH-53K helicopter. Ferrante joined Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company, in early 2020 and has since had a hand in gearbox housing and gear development and testing procedures leading up to full-rate production approval by the Navy in December 2022.

Prior to his current position, Ferrante worked for Ceres Technologies, as an ASML co-developer, as a Mechanical Engineer for two years. He led design and testing of high purity gas boxes and tooling fixtures for semiconductor manufacturing within Grade 2 clean room specifications.

Ferrante has also served his alma mater as an adjunct professor in the Division of Engineering Programs. He feels fortunate to have the opportunity to give back to the program at New Paltz from which he learned so much.