News: Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies

Faculty Member Brings Shipyard Experience Into Welding Lab

A mock-up of a oil tanker's bulkhead has been fabricated by Steven J. Kopera's welding students ...

A mock-up of a oil tanker’s bulkhead has been fabricated by Steven J. Kopera’s welding students …

Cutaway drawings help Kopera's students envision the scope of the work.

Cutaway drawings help Kopera’s students envision the scope of the work.

... who are living an on-the-job scenario in their Penn College lab.

… who are living an on-the-job scenario in their Penn College lab.

Benefiting from the real-world experience of an alumnus turned faculty member, Penn College students are simulating how the watertight bulkhead of an oil tanker is assembled, welded and pressure-tested. “Often times, the day-to-day lab projects we do in class can become very monotonous, and leave students asking, ‘Is this really what it’s like out in the field?’and “When am I ever actually going to need to do this?'” said Steven J. Kopera, a welding lecturer in the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies. Kopera earned degrees in welding technology (2007) and welding and fabrication engineering technology (2009) before embarking on a career that included time at the Aker Philadelphia Shipyard. While course work provides necessary practice in fundamentals and technique, he said, it is done under the most ideal circumstances – conditions that are atypical of industry. “The intent behind this project was to get the students out of their routine and their comfort zone,” he said, “and to expose them to a situation that they will be faced with in the workforce.” Kopera has been brainstorming the exercise for some time and, with only seven students in his unusually small class this semester, the time was right. He explained how hull sections are put together and showed them various pictures and sketches in the classroom, supplementing the instruction with stories of his “overwhelming” encounters as a young welder newly exposed to large-scale fabrication. “This project will apply those skills they have been honing to a realistic industry scenario,” Kopera said. noting that they will be using the flux-core, arc-welding process that they have been learning in lab. “I believe it will not only be a good learning experience for them, but also a testament to how well our normal class routine prepares them for an actual on-the-job application.” Having fashioned a small mock-up of a watertight bulkhead, the students plan to do the welding and pressure-testing on Thursday.
Photos provided

Eighth-Graders Tour Manufacturing Lab in After-School Visit

A Williamsport Area Middle School eighth-grader handles the controls of an industrial robot.

A Williamsport Area Middle School eighth-grader handles the controls of an industrial robot.

Penn College student John M. Good IV (in hat) demonstrates computer-aided drafting to a pair of middle-schoolers.

Penn College student John M. Good IV (in hat) demonstrates computer-aided drafting to a pair of middle-schoolers.

Middle-schoolers take a close look at a CNC-machined wrench before watching the process.

Middle-schoolers take a close look at a CNC-machined wrench before watching the process.

Eighth-graders in Williamsport Area Middle School’s after-school program visited a Penn College gem on Thursday: its automated manufacturing lab. There, Penn College students showed them the ropes of computer-aided drafting, CNC machining, robotics and hydraulics. The session was led by John M. Good III, instructor of automation and computer integrated manufacturing. Students in the after-school program visit the college once a week in a partnership coordinated by the college’s Outreach for K-12 Office. The program is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

Penn College Manufacturing Students Share $10,000 in Scholarships

From left, Penn College scholarship recipients Austin R. Ayars, of Nazareth; Dakota J. Endress, of Josephine; and Austin R. Schaeffer, of Oley, gather in the Haas Technical Education Center within Penn College's automated manufacturing lab. A fourth recipient, Samuel N. Schwyter, of Williamsport, was absent.

Four students in the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies have each been awarded $2,500 scholarships from the Gene Haas Foundation, furthering the generous benefactor’s longtime partnership with Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Scholarship recipients are automated manufacturing technology majors Austin R. Ayars, of Nazareth, and Austin R. Schaeffer, of Oley; and machine tool technology students Dakota J. Endress, of Josephine; and Samuel N. Schwyter, of Williamsport.

Penn College has a long-term relationship with Haas Automation Inc. and its distributor, Haas Factory Outlet (a division of Lance Co. in Bensalem), and a portion of College Avenue Labs is designated as a Haas Technical Education Center.

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Students, Faculty Treated to IT-Related Conference in Indiana

Penn College students, faculty among conference attendees

Penn College students, faculty among conference attendees

Five students and two professors recently traveled to Indianapolis to attend the COMMON 2014 Fall Conference and Expo, sponsored by the world’s largest professional association of IBM technology users. Their attendance was made possible through a scholarship from the COMMON Education Foundation, which provided registration, travel and lodging. Participating Penn College students were information technology: network specialist concentration majors Michael A. Gideon, of York, and Connor M. Ream, of Lititz; Kyle J. Rosales, a software development and information management student from Blandon; Benjamin S. Welch, of State College, enrolled in information technology: information assurance and security concentration; and Dominic D. York, of Williamsport, an information technology sciences-gaming and simulation student. Accompanying them were Lisa R. Bock and Anita R. Wood, assistant professors of computer information technology. The Oct. 27-29 event provided education on a broad range of IBM i, AIX and Linux topics. “Students took the COMMON Business Computing Associate certification exam, and four passed,” Bock noted. “It was a great experience for the students, and they look forward to attending another COMMON conference.”
Photo provided

No Mess, No Seeds … and No Pumpkins Harmed in CAD Lab Activity

The handiwork of Francis J. Quigley, of Coatesville, incorporates the college mascot and Centennial logo.

The handiwork of Francis J. Quigley, of Coatesville, incorporates the college mascot and Centennial logo.

Katherine A. Walker checks out her students' creations during their Halloween morning lab work.

Katherine A. Walker checks out her students’ creations during their Halloween morning lab work.

WBRE's Valerie Tysanner gathers video for evening newscast.

WBRE’s Valerie Tysanner gathers video for evening newscast.

The intricate design by Ethan J. Kinsey, of Dushore, draws the attention of faculty member J.D. Mather.

The intricate design by Ethan J. Kinsey, of Dushore, draws the attention of faculty member J.D. Mather.

Denise R. Holland, of Montoursville, has fun with the day's assignment.

Denise R. Holland, of Montoursville, has fun with the day’s assignment.

More than 40 first-year students in Penn College’s engineering design technology major participated in a Halloween exercise that applied their 3-D computer prowess to a creative seasonal activity. “Halloween is the perfect time for some well-earned fun with students applying their modeling skills, not to a real pumpkin, but a computer model of a pumpkin – a virtual pumpkin-carving contest!” said Katherine A. Walker, assistant professor of drafting and computer aided design. “Students have been practicing skills that might be helpful in the competition, but more importantly, the 3-D parametric modeling skills they apply to the pumpkin will help them with challenging designs they may encounter in industry. The friendly competition helps motivate students to research and practice techniques they might otherwise brush over.” Students in Walker’s morning class and an afternoon session taught by J.D. Mather, assistant professor of engineering design technology, used SolidWorks, a 3-D computer aided drafting and design application, in the competition. School of Industrial, Computing and Engineering Technologies administrators – David R. Cotner, dean; and assistant deans Stacey C. Hampton and Nathan D. Smyth – served as judges. Walker and Taylor W. Lewis, of Dunmore, whose design was chosen as the winner of the morning session, were interviewed by WBRE’s Valerie Tysanner for Friday night broadcast. Rick A. Day II, of Tyrone, was the afternoon winner.

Penn College IT Students Capture Digital ‘Flag’

Pennsylvania College of Technology students reached the virtual summit during a recent competition for information security practitioners. A team consisting of four information technology majors won the wireless “capture the flag” event during the Security B-Sides DC Conference in Washington, D.C.

Competing against students from other schools, as well as IT professionals, the Penn College team successfully employed radio frequency signals to access the opposition’s computer system and capture the “digital flag” stored on the system.

Members of the winning Penn College team were information assurance and security concentration majors Jeremy W. Rennicks, of Williamsport; David M. Mossop, of Newark, Delaware; Douglas S. Wilson, of Wellsville; and Zachary L. Lundberg, of Warren.

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‘Race to Zero’ Presentation to Be Held Thursday in ACC

"Race to Zero"

“Race to Zero”

Want a $0.00 energy bill? It is possible! The Penn College community can learn how at Thursday’s “Race to Zero” presentation, set for 3:30 p.m. in the Klump Academic Center Auditorium. Everyone will learn about current standards that can be used to design houses that produce as much energy as they use. All students are invited to be part of the U.S. Department of Energy Student Design Competition team, putting their combined skills – architecture; surveying; construction management; estimating; interior design; landscaping; and mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems – toward a Habitat for Humanity home to be built in the Brodart neighborhood of Williamsport in the summer of 2015. Their design will be submitted in the DOE contest, intended to inspire and develop the next generation of building science professionals.

Penn College Cisco Networking Academy to Host Technology Demonstration

Cisco Networking Academy

Cisco Networking Academy

NetBrain Technologies Inc. will provide Penn College students with a demonstration of its map-driven, network-automation software during a virtual conference, scheduled from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6, in Room E140 of the Breuder Advanced Technology and Health Sciences Center. The presentation will feature Christel Glaser, an account executive with the Burlington, Massachusetts-based company, the mission of which is to empower professionals by making network management simple and visual with transformational technology. NetBrain’s customer base includes organizations in health care, financial services, the government and telecommunications, including AT&T, BP, MITRE, Lockheed Martin, NASA and the U.S. Army. The presentation will demonstrate to students the power of NetBrain’s map-based automation to discover, document and troubleshoot business-critical, enterprise-grade networks to simplify and reduce the efforts associated with network management. The demo, hosted by the Penn College Cisco Networking Academy, is an opportunity for all information technology students to learn about some amazing technology from network professionals. For more information, contact Jeff B. Weaver, associate professor of electronics, or Lisa R. Bock, assistant professor of information technology.

Chevron Provides $60,000 for Scholarships to ShaleNET Partners

As part of its $20 million Appalachia Partnership Initiative, Chevron Corp. will provide $60,000 for scholarships to the four colleges in the ShaleNET grant consortium, including Pennsylvania College of Technology.

ShaleNET features participation from Penn College, the grant administrator; Westmoreland County Community College, Youngwood; Navarro College, Corsicana, Texas; and Stark State College, Canton, Ohio. Key employers participating in ShaleNET include Chevron, Shell, Anadarko Petroleum Corp., Chesapeake Energy, XTO and Encana.

Penn College will use $9,000 of $15,000 provided by Chevron to offer scholarships for  Roustabout training that prepares participants for entry-level careers in the natural gas industry. The remaining $6,000 will be designated for scholarship assistance to students enrolled in the college’s mechatronics engineering technology associate-degree major, which integrates electrical, mechanical and computer engineering into one field, offering various options for careers in manufacturing and the natural gas industry.

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Anthony Gobbi SGA’s Latest ‘Student of the Month’

Anthony D. Gobbi

Anthony D. Gobbi, of Haymarket, Virginia, a junior in the building automation technology: heating, ventilation and air conditioning concentration, has been chosen as October’s Student of the Month at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

“He is very good at getting people involved and excited about Penn College,” his nominator noted. “Anthony has a natural talent for leading people and making them feel included in whatever he is doing.”

For Gobbi, “whatever he is doing” crisscrosses a lot of territory: He is a Presidential Student Ambassador, a director of the Blue Crew, social chairman of the Phi Mu Delta fraternity, and a participant in the Penn College Lacrosse Club and intramural athletics.

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Plastics Students, Faculty Mentor Attend Industry Conference

On hand for presentation of SPE's Carrie Fox Solin Memorial Scholarship awards are (from left) John R. Bartolomucci, assistant professor of plastics and polymer engineering technology at Penn College; scholarship recipients Bryan T. Robinson, of Penn College, and Samuel Moore, of Pittsburg (Kansas) State University; and Paul M. Herring, an associate professor of plastics engineering technology at Pitt State.

On hand for presentation of SPE’s Carrie Fox Solin Memorial Scholarship awards are (from left) John R. Bartolomucci, assistant professor of plastics and polymer engineering technology at Penn College; scholarship recipients Bryan T. Robinson, of Penn College, and Samuel Moore, of Pittsburg (Kansas) State University; and Paul M. Herring, an associate professor of plastics engineering technology at Pitt State.

Robinson and Julia I. Gilchrist (joined at the conference by classmate Thomas J. Ryder, who is not pictured) represented Penn College at a display table.

Robinson and Julia I. Gilchrist (joined at the conference by classmate Thomas J. Ryder, who is not pictured) represented Penn College at a display table.

Three Penn College students and a faculty member, including a Society of Plastics Engineers national scholarship recipient, attended the recent 30th annual SPE Blow Molding Division Conference in Chicago. Thomas J. Ryder, of Muncy; Julia I. Gilchrist, of Hanover; and Bryan T. Robinson, of Gilbertsville – all plastics and polymer engineering technology majors – helped staff a tabletop display and represented the college throughout the exhibits area, conference sessions, and among students attending from other colleges and universities. During the event, Robinson received the second half of his two-year $6,000 Carrie Fox Solin Memorial Scholarship from the organization. The group was accompanied by John R. Bartolomucci, assistant professor of plastics and polymer engineering technology, who was one of five panelists in a “Training Resources for Blow Molders” discussion. Moderated by Geoff Ward, of Argi Industrial Plastics, the panel also included Penn State Erie, the Behrend College; Ferris State; Calhoun Community College and Paulson Training Programs.
Photos provided

Penn College Information Technology Students Excel at ‘Hackathon’

Penn College IT majors had a strong showing at the recent Altamira Hackathon in Fairfax, Virginia. College participants were (front row, from left) Evelyn E. Hill, of Muncy; Madelyn M. Lanoue, of Dallastown; David M. Mossop, of Newark, Delaware; Zachary L. Lundberg, of Warren; Donald E. McCoy, of Watsontown (2014 graduate); and Brian S. Stringer, of McVeytown. Back row, from left: Derek E. Teay, of Northampton; Tucker J. Harner, of Leesport; Drew Pacell, of Ottsville; Jeremy W. Rennicks, of Williamsport; Jerome T. Czachor, of Dickson City; and Adam T. Check, of Great Falls, Virginia. (Photo by Sandra Gorka, associate professor of computer information technology)

Information technology majors from Pennsylvania College of Technology proved their prowess at a recent cybersecurity competition. A five-member Penn College contingent finished second at the Altamira Hackathon in Fairfax, Virginia.

Conducted at George Mason University, the competition required participants to test their skills around the Atari game Scram. Team members controlled various aspects of a nuclear reactor while protecting their computer network and attacking the computing resources of other teams.

“Events such as the Altamira Hackathon give students an opportunity to exercise their skills in a competitive environment,” said Sandra Gorka, associate professor of computer information technology, who accompanied the students with Jacob R. Miller, associate professor of computer information technology. “We are very impressed with the performance of our second-place team and all the Penn College students who participated. They did an outstanding job representing the college.”

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Penn College Plastics Students Recognized for Research

Research conducted by plastics and polymer engineering technology majors at Pennsylvania College of Technology has been recognized by the Rotational Molding Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers.

Larry Schneider, representing the board of directors of the SPE Rotational Molding Division, recently commemorated the students’ work by traveling to campus and presenting plaques to Julia I. Gilchrist, of Hanover; Thomas J. Ryder, of Muncy; Benjamin G. Robertson, of Hummelstown; and Taylor J. Smith, of Williamsport.

The four students researched powdered polyethylene and micro-pelletized polyethylene. Earlier this year, Gilchrist and Ryder delivered the team’s findings in Cleveland at RMD TOPCON, a forum for SPE members to exchange information regarding rotational molding.

“It’s quite appropriate that these four students have been recognized for their commitment to the plastics field,” said David R. Cotner, dean of the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies. “Their hard work in conducting the study is a great example of how students can enhance their education outside of regular class and lab sessions. Presenting their research at a well-respected industry event speaks to the quality of their work.”

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Winning Their Share: WTI Students, Faculty Support WWII Efforts

Williamsport Technical Institute students examine a gas mask, circa 1941.

Williamsport Technical Institute students examine a gas mask, circa 1941.

An aviation mechanic student works on an airplane engine. The student was later placed as an Army Air Corps aviation mechanic.

An aviation mechanic student works on an airplane engine. The student was later placed as an Army Air Corps aviation mechanic.

From the Fall 2014 One College Avenue magazine: To help train men and women for war-related production, the institution overhauled its curriculum from 1940-45, reinforcing a growing national reputation. Read the full story.

Countdown to the Centennial logo

2014 marks a milestone in the institution's rich history, from the inception of adult classes in the Williamsport Area School District in 1914, through its evolution into Williamsport Technical Institute, Williamsport Area Community College, and present-day Pennsylvania College of Technology. Read about the institution's history →

Penn College Dedicates ‘Student Bodies’ Centennial Sculpture

Abstract human forms, crafted from thousands of pounds of scrap metal, parade up the mall on the main campus of Pennsylvania College of Technology. Titled "Student Bodies," the Centennial art installation features 78 life-size structures created by more than 50 welding students.

As part of its Centennial anniversary, Pennsylvania College of Technology welcomed 78 new “students” this fall, many of which just might be around for the institution’s bicentennial.

Some of these “freshmen” could sustain a broken body part, and others might corrode. But if welding majors, faculty and staff did their job correctly, the “Student Bodies” Centennial Sculpture will be still standing in 2114.

Augmenting the campus mall, the large-scale project features 78 abstract human forms made of scrap-metal pieces welded together. The college formally dedicated “Student Bodies” today during homecoming festivities. It’s the third recent art installation meant to enrich the college’s outdoor environment.

“This work of art is a testament to the creative abilities and technical skills of our college community,” said Davie Jane Gilmour, president. “It’s very rewarding to know that students, faculty, staff and visitors will be able to marvel at these creations for generations to come.”

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Countdown to the Centennial logo

2014 marks a milestone in the institution's rich history, from the inception of adult classes in the Williamsport Area School District in 1914, through its evolution into Williamsport Technical Institute, Williamsport Area Community College, and present-day Pennsylvania College of Technology. Read about the institution's history →

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