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Inspiring Journey


Inspiring Journey: Mykyta Satanovskyy's Path to Engineering and Environmental Innovation

Mykyta Satanovskyy

For Mykyta Satanovskyy, the road to Kingsborough Community College was an unconventional one. "I took a break straight out of high school for personal reasons. Around a year after I finished high school, I joined KCC since it was conveniently located and offered the major I was interested in, which was engineering," the Brooklynite explains.

Originally from Ukraine, Mykyta came to the United States in 2007. He chose to study engineering science at Kingsborough, drawn by the opportunity to later transfer to a four-year university for mechanical engineering. "KCC is a great community college with a great collective of people always by your side," he notes.

Balancing academics with personal growth, Mykyta faced the familiar challenge of time management as a student. "The challenges I faced while being a student were always keeping track of the time I spent studying so I could stay on course. It is super easy to get distracted," he admits.

Yet Mykyta embraced the full Kingsborough experience, becoming treasurer of the Engineering Club and attending campus events. He also gained valuable professional experience through an internship with Trees New York, where he served as "an environmental educator who taught high school students about trees and how to cultivate, water, and fertilize them."

It was this passion for the environment that ultimately inspired Mykyta's to enter the 2024 CUNY Clash, a competition where CUNY students present ideas with the intent of solving a unique problem and compete to win prizes. His proposal, titled Pluto’s Recycling, involves recycling batteries from single-use vapes. "They contain batteries that can be used repeatedly and contain precious metals like lithium. I take the batteries from donated vapes and turn them into portable battery packs that you can charge your phone with." The idea emerged years ago when Mykyta began experimenting with solar energy harvesting.


Mykyta's ingenuity stems from his love of hands-on building and tinkering. "I enjoy expanding my building prowess so that I can be more productive and proficient as an engineer. Building and taking things apart is something that I can do to de-stress," he shares.

The competition process taught him two important lessons: “I have learned that you just need to go with what you have and not worry if it is going to fit in and be perfect. Like with this project for CUNY Clash, I needed to make videos about my idea. I hated how they came out. But as I found out, the judges loved them, so you need to be the real you, and people will love it," he says.

Mykyta was one of 12 CUNY students who made it to the second round. He competed for $20,000 in cash prizes on Friday, May 3, making a 10-minute presentation of his idea to a panel of judges. Unfortunately, he didn’t win the $10,000 first prize this year but received good feedback from the judges and plans on trying again. If he wins, he plans to "build my recycling project bigger. Expand and eliminate as much e-waste as possible. I am just one person, but that money will help me work more efficiently."

Looking ahead, the aspiring engineer hopes to transfer to City College to pursue his mechanical engineering degree. His ultimate goal? "Having my own company and finishing my master's degree. Hopefully, by that time, my company, Pluto's Recycling, will be up and running at full scale."

For Mykyta, the journey has been one of persistence, creativity, and an unwavering commitment to sustainable innovation. "Something that I would like to share is: Just keep trying new things and failing as many times as possible so you can learn from your mistakes. You can do whatever you set your mind to."