News: Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies

3-D Printers Build Penn College Students’ Expertise

3-D printing is much more than a buzz term at Penn College. The printers are a reality for students, who long have engaged in additive manufacturing in the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies. “They are driving the car instead of just looking at it from a distance in the showroom,” says Eric K. Albert, associate professor of machine tool technology/automated manufacturing, in a video added to the college’s YouTube Channel. “A number of our students are actually directly hired into a company because they can, in fact, either work in an already set-up environment or set one up themselves.”

Plastics Professionals Converge on Penn College Campus

Aided by student Madison T. Powell (left), a part-time Plastics Innovation & Resource Center research assistant, Gary E. McQuay (right), PIRC engineering manager, preps attentive participants for the hands-on portion of the workshop.

The renowned Plastics Innovation & Resource Center at Pennsylvania College of Technology extended its expertise to plastics professionals throughout the country by hosting the seventh annual Hands-On Rotational Molding & Advanced Materials Workshop earlier this month.

With support from the Association of Rotational Molders and the Society of Plastics Engineers Rotational Molding Division, the PIRC’s workshop brought 31 individuals to campus, representing various sectors of the plastics industry and 11 states.

“It was tremendous to host diverse plastics professionals from throughout the country for this year’s workshop,” said Gary E. McQuay, PIRC engineering manager. “Attracting such talent on an annual basis speaks to the high quality of both the workshop and our plastics facilities at Penn College.”

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Peggy Madigan Scholarship Awarded to Jersey Shore Student

Sapphire Naugle is awarded the 2015 Peggy Madigan Memorial Leadership Scholarship by state Sen. Gene Yaw (left) and Robb Dietrich, executive director of the Penn College Foundation. Naugle, a senior at Jersey Shore Area High School, will be a plastics and polymer engineering technology major at Penn College starting this fall.

A Jersey Shore Area High School student was presented with the 2015-16 Peggy Madigan Memorial Leadership Scholarship at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Sapphire Naugle, of Jersey Shore, will enroll in the plastics and polymer engineering technology baccalaureate major at Penn College for Fall 2015.

The scholarship – named in memory of the late wife of former state Sen. Roger A. Madigan, who represented the 23rd District – may be used to help defray the costs of tuition, fees, books, tools and other required supplies. Applicants are required to write an essay describing the community service they have performed and the value that service has added to the community.

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Welding Students Bring ‘Student Bodies’ to Life in YouTube Video

Following the lead of metal sculptor and welding instructor Michael K. Patterson, welding majors at Penn College employed their skills to create “Student Bodies,” abstract human forms that line the main campus mall. The project, one of three outdoor art installations dedicated during the college’s 2014 Centennial celebration, is chronicled in a new YouTube video. “The school obviously gives us a lot. A lot of skills. A lot of stuff we can take out into the world,” says Peter K. Ptacek,  a welding and fabrication engineering technology major from Lewisburg. “It’s just really nice to be able to leave something behind.”

Faculty Trio Receives ‘Excellence in Teaching’ Awards

Pennsylvania College of Technology bestowed Excellence in Teaching Awards upon three faculty members during commencement ceremonies held May 15-16 at the Community Arts Center in Williamsport.

As part of the Distinguished Teaching Awards program, Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour presented Excellence in Teaching Awards to Roy H. Klinger, instructor of collision repair; Charles R. Niedermyer II, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts; and John G. Upcraft, instructor of machine tool technology/automated manufacturing.

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Penn College Honors Three Alumni at Commencement

Pennsylvania College of Technology bestowed honors upon three alumni during Spring 2015 commencement ceremonies held May 15-16 at the Community Arts Center, Williamsport.

Adam J. Yoder, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, received the Alumni Volunteer of the Year Award on May 15. Joseph H. and Barbara A. Reynolds, of Williamsport, were presented with the Humanitarian/Citizenship Award during the same ceremony. Michael K. Patterson, of Oval, received a Mentorship Award on May 16.

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NPR Correspondent’s Visit Yields Second Story on Natural Gas Career Opportunities

Claire E. Kerstetter: ETEC-trained, wellfield-employed

Claire E. Kerstetter: ETEC-trained, wellfield-employed

A second National Public Radio report to emerge from a national correspondent’s recent visit – a three-and-a-half-minute piece on women’s increasing accessibility to energy jobs – aired Friday on “All Things Considered.” Jeff Brady’s “Oil Companies Look to Fill Employment Gap With More Women” includes interviews with Stephanie M. Puckly, a welding and fabrication engineering technology major from Spartansburg; Claire E. Kerstetter, of Lock Haven, who completed short-term training at Penn College’s Energy Technology Education Center; and college President Davie Jane Gilmour. (The latter two are also featured in the story’s print version.)

Graduation Ends (for Now) Family’s 20-Year History at Penn College

The Bird family, of Canton, has sent five sons to Penn College since 1995. From left, Ross; Guston; their mother, Janice; Mitchell; their father, the late James ("Jim"); Jennings; and Seth.

When T. Mitchell Bird walks across the Community Arts Center’s stage on May 16 and receives a bachelor’s degree, he will turn the page toward a new life and end one of the longest, unique chapters in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s history.

Mitchell will become the last of five siblings to earn a degree from the college. Since 1995, at least one “Bird brother” has been enrolled at the institution. Counting Mitchell’s pending graduation, the five brothers, all Dean’s List students, have earned eight degrees.

“Some people will say they can’t afford Penn College. I say, ‘You cannot afford not to go to Penn College,’” says matriarch Janice Bird, 69. “You get a good job in your field after you graduate. All our boys are doing well. They received an education to obtain not only a beginning position, but they all moved up. I’m 100-percent Penn College.”

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Agreements Provide Continuing-Ed Pathway for Delaware Tech Grads

From left, Carol A. Lugg, assistant dean of construction and design technologies at Penn College; Kathern R. Friel, acting dean of instruction at Delaware Technical Community College; and Stacey C. Hampton, assistant dean of industrial, computing and engineering technologies at Penn College, attend Delaware Tech’s Engineering Technology Fair to inform students of an agreement establishing a path for Delaware Tech graduates to pursue bachelor’s degrees at Penn College.

Students earning associate degrees in several majors at Delaware Technical Community College will benefit from recently signed agreements that provide an avenue to a bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania College of Technology.

The agreements provide students from four Delaware Tech majors with a streamlined transition to junior-level standing in bachelor-degree majors, without duplicating courses.

“We are excited about these transfer agreements with Penn College,” said Brent Mitchell, department chair and program adviser at Delaware Tech. “This partnership provides our graduates with more opportunities to pursue a bachelor’s degree in fields that are in-demand.”

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Welding Pros Share Tips on What Drives True Success

Ryan Eubank (left) and Jesse Srpan talk with welding and automotive/collision repair students in CAL.

Ryan Eubank (left) and Jesse Srpan talk with welding and automotive/collision repair students in CAL.

Srpan's custom chopper awaits a curious public.

Srpan’s custom chopper awaits a curious public.

Students didn't soon tire of assessing Srpan's meticulous handiwork ...

Students didn’t soon tire of assessing Srpan’s meticulous handiwork …

.. snapping photos and taking notes throughout the visit.

.. snapping photos and taking notes throughout the visit.

A packed house of Penn College students got a motivational push Friday from an unlikely source: a self-described dyslexic with a third-grade reading level who has taught welding to some of highest-ranking engineers in the world. Ryan Eubank, a longtime instructor at Lincoln Electric and Willoughby Career Academy in Ohio, was among the industry professionals to visit on the last day of spring classes. “Show up, shut up and do a great job,” he told the overflowing College Avenue Labs classroom, sending students off to graduation and/or summer employment with a heaping platter of food for thought. “Welding is a tool that can’t be taken away from you. If you keep your eyes open, your ears open wider and your mouth shut … and have a good work ethic … you’ll never, ever not have a job.” Eubank was joined by one of his former students – Jesse Srpan, a master motorcyle builder, owner of Raw Iron Choppers and welding instructor at Lakeland Community College. The two men toured the Avco-Lycoming Metal Trades Center, impressed by the welding labs and the work of the SAE Baja team. “You’re lucky,” Eubank told students. “You get to learn in one of the most amazing schools imaginable. A lot of your names are forgettable, but not the ‘a-ha’ moments that you’ve had with these instructors.” The visit was arranged by one of those faculty members, welding instructor Timothy S. Turnbach, who met Eubank during a training last summer. Turnbach intended for the presentation to invigorate students, to boost an energy level that typically sags at the end of the semester, and the Eubank/Srpan team didn’t disappoint. With the passion of a preacher and the optimism of a winning football coach, Eubank paced and gestured and engaged. And with a naturalness that comes from friendship, Srpan seamlessly interjected his thoughts, dovetailing on issues raised by his one-time mentor. “Someone told me there’s no such thing as giving 110 percent, that there’s 100 percent and that’s it,” Srpan said. “The other 10 percent is in the extra work, the giving back.” His words were echoed by Eubank, who urged students to look past their paychecks to the benefits beyond. “And don’t ever forget where you came from,” he told them. “Pay it forward – whether it’s mentoring, hiring former students, being a friend.” After the two-hour pep talk, the group traveled to the nearby collision repair lab, where students got a close look at the chopper Srpan custom-built for Discovery Channel’s “Biker Live” show.

Electrical Instructor Sparks Student Interest During Off-Campus Outreach

Vince R. Fagnano engages students with tools of the electrical trade.

Vince R. Fagnano engages students with tools of the electrical trade.

Sixth-graders at Williamsport’s Lycoming Valley Intermediate School got a charge from a recent two-class visit by Vince R. Fagnano, instructor of electrical technology/occupations. The Penn College faculty member assisted students with their electronics’ unit. Employing the same devices used at the college level to create circuits, Fagnano helped the students design series and parallel circuits, wire light bulbs, and integrate a binary switch to create open and closed circuits. The students expanded their knowledge by incorporating resistors into the series circuits and calculating the effect of the resistors. In his second visit to the class, Fagnano had the students create a potentiometer by using their own springboards on which they wired a model that imitated a basic dimmer switch. Fagnano concluded his visit by creating lightning with a high-voltage transformer and copper electrodes. The experiment allowed the students to witness the movement of electrons and protons to create electricity. “They asked so many questions that their teacher had to a put a stop on it,” Fagnano said. “I enjoyed it and would do it again!”
Photo provided

Gaming/Simulation Major Set to Graduate First Class

The first graduates of the gaming and simulation major, begun in the Fall 2011 semester, celebrate with faculty.

The first graduates of the gaming and simulation major, begun in the Fall 2011 semester, celebrate with faculty.

After a long and wintry semester, IT students soak up the outdoor ambiance on the CC patio.

After a long and wintry semester, IT students soak up the outdoor ambiance on the CC patio.

The first graduates from Penn College’s information technology sciences-gaming and simulation major, who will be accorded their bachelor’s degrees during May commencement, recently celebrated the occasion with a cookout on the Bush Campus Center patio. IT faculty and the graduating seniors enjoyed grilled hamburgers and hot dogs – prepared by Spyke M. Krepshaw, instructor of computer information technology. The seniors received an additional sendoff from next year’s graduates, as juniors painted “The Rock” in acknowledgment of their upperclass colleagues’ accomplishment.
Photos provided

Video Details Manufacturing Students’ Creation of Battery Pack

Penn College manufacturing engineering technology students Brian J. Pernot and Bryce L. Kuszmaul have spent the past year constructing, impressively from scratch, an intricate battery pack intended for lithium batteries and an electric car. The project – featured in a video added to the college’s YouTube Channel – was exciting and challenging, and serves as a real-world template for the pair. “It’s going to give them a jump on what they’re really going to be doing when they graduate from here and enter the workforce,” said Howard W. Troup, maintenance mechanic/millwright at the college.

College’s Plastics Resources to Be Touted at European Conference

Christopher J. Gagliano (left), program and technical service manager for the Plastics Innovation & Resource Center, leads European visitors through Penn College’s Thermoforming Center of Excellence.

European visitors’ recent first impression of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Plastics Innovation & Resource Center will lead to a second look when they promote the facility to a continental conference next year.

The four international guests and their American host talked with employees and students in labs featuring each of the college’s five plastics processes (injection molding, extrusion, blow molding, rotational molding and thermoforming) during a March tour of the PIRC and its Thermoforming Center of Excellence.

The group also learned from Director C. Hank White about the PIRC’s role in helping the industry remain competitive.

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Plastics Trade Journalists Learn Firsthand of PIRC’s Pre-Eminence

Christopher J. Gagliano, PIRC program and technical service manager, showcases the thermoforming lab.

Christopher J. Gagliano, PIRC program and technical service manager, showcases the thermoforming lab.

C. Hank White, director of the PIRC, answers a question in the extrusion lab.

C. Hank White, director of the PIRC, answers a question in the extrusion lab.

Julia I. Gilchrist, a plastics and polymer engineering technology major and a research assistant for the PIRC, holds court in the rotational molding lab.

Julia I. Gilchrist, a plastics and polymer engineering technology major and a research assistant for the PIRC, holds court in the rotational molding lab.

Gary E. McQuay (left), PIRC engineering manager, and Jared W. Mahaffey, a plastics and polymer engineering technology major and PIRC research assistant, take measurements in the industry lab.

Gary E. McQuay (left), PIRC engineering manager, and Jared W. Mahaffey, a plastics and polymer engineering technology major and PIRC research assistant, take measurements in the industry lab.

Timothy E. Weston, associate professor of plastics and polymer technology and department head, tells visitors that all 12 pending plastics graduates have secured jobs.

Timothy E. Weston, associate professor of plastics and polymer technology and department head, tells visitors that all 12 pending plastics graduates have secured jobs.

The excellence of the Plastics Innovation & Resource Center reached an international audience on Tuesday. Journalists representing plastics trade publications from India, France, Denmark, the Netherlands and the United States toured the PIRC and plastics labs at the college. Facilitated by the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development, the visit promoted the desirability of central Pennsylvania for international companies with a stake in plastics. According to Sarah Thomas, a spokesperson for DCED, Greiner Packaging, one of Europe’s leading plastic packaging manufacturers, opened a plant in Pittston within the past year because of its proximity to the expertise at the PIRC.  Hank White, director of the PIRC; Christopher J. Gagliano, PIRC program and technical service manager; Gary E. McQuay, PIRC engineering manager; Tracy L. Brundage, vice president for workforce development; and Timothy E. Weston, associate professor of plastics and polymer technology and department head, addressed the international contingent. Julia I. Gilchrist, of Hanover, and Jared W. Mahaffey, of Linden, both juniors in the plastics and polymer engineering technology major and PIRC research assistants, demonstrated equipment. The visitors were impressed to hear Weston report that all 12 plastics students scheduled to graduate in May have already obtained jobs.

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