News: Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies

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.

Eight Penn College Students Headed for SkillsUSA Nationals

Eight first-place winners from Pennsylvania College of Technology have advanced to the 51st annual National SkillsUSA Conference, to be held from June 22-26 in Kentucky.

Five other students from the college finished in the top four places in a variety of categories during the SkillsUSA Pennsylvania Leadership and Skills Conference held April 8-10 in Hershey.

“The students did very well representing the college. It was the first time competing for some of the students, but they will be back next year for another go-around,” said James N. Colton II, assistant professor of welding and the college’s SkillsUSA adviser. “Many of the students advancing have been to nationals before, either as a college competitor or when they were in high school. We’re looking forward to the change of venue, as nationals will be in Louisville instead of Kansas City.”

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Software Donation Enhances Manufacturing Curriculum

A recent donation of computer-aided manufacturing software is enhancing the education of Pennsylvania College of Technology students.

SolidCAM has provided a one-year, 75-seat license for the college’s manufacturing majors. The software is an add-on to SolidWorks, a prominent 3-D design and analysis program used for the development of parts and assemblies for manufacturing products.

With SolidCAM, users have the ability to create tool paths and computer-numerical-control code to produce parts in CNC machines.

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College Included in Plastics Video Shown at High-Profile Expo

Penn College’s Plastics Innovation & Resource Center is included in a five-minute video being shown this week at NPE: The International Plastics Showcase in Orlando, Fla. Portions of the video, presented by the state Department of Community & Economic Development and focused on the commonwealth’s plastics industry, were shot Feb. 10 on main campus. A number of Penn College plastics students and faculty, as well as PIRC representatives, are attending the conference/trade show.

Original Equipment Manufacturer Sponsoring College Baja Team

Acero Precision representatives present a $2,000 donation in support of the Penn College student chapter of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers’ entry in the upcoming Baja SAE competition. From left, are Joanne Fitzgerald, director of human capital for Acero Precision; Clinton R. Bettner, of Beaver Falls, Baja team captain; James A. Depasquale, of Simsbury, Connecticut, president of the SME Penn College chapter; John G. Upcraft, instructor of automated manufacturing and machining and the students’ adviser; and Michael Fitzgerald, president/CEO of Acero Precision.

An industry-leading original equipment manufacturer is supporting the quest of Pennsylvania College of Technology manufacturing students to succeed at an international competition.

Acero Precision recently donated $2,000 to sponsor the college’s student chapter of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and its entry in this spring’s Baja SAE. The Society of Automotive Engineers competition requires students to design and build an off-road vehicle to be tested in various categories.

“The sponsorship is huge. I’m ecstatic about it,” said John G. Upcraft, instructor of automated manufacturing and machining and the students’ adviser. “The students initiated the drive for sponsorship, and now we are seeing the benefit of that.”

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IT Students Share Strategies for Staying Safe Online

William C. Blessing talks about the malicious methods employed to compromise computer security.

William C. Blessing talks about the malicious methods employed to compromise computer security.

Zachary L. Lundberg addresses the benefits (and more than occasional pitfalls) of geolocation, which pinpoints and shares one's physical whereabouts.

Zachary L. Lundberg addresses the benefits (and more than occasional pitfalls) of geolocation, which pinpoints and shares one’s physical whereabouts.

Several "cloud"-based systems for information backup are assessed by Adam T. Check.

Several “cloud”-based systems for information backup are assessed by Adam T. Check.

David M. Mossop (left) and Jeremy W. Rennicks cover multiple security considerations, including password strength, wireless security and the endless shelf life of Internet posts.

David M. Mossop (left) and Jeremy W. Rennicks cover multiple security considerations, including password strength, wireless security and the endless shelf life of Internet posts.

Members of Penn College’s Information Security Association observed Data Privacy Month on Wednesday with brief presentations on relevant topics about online protection. Intended mainly as a peer-to-peer supplement to the introductory Information, Technology and Society course, the afternoon program included valuable tips for anyone concerned about his or her digital footprint. Sharing their knowledge in the Student & Administrative Services Center were William C. Blessing, of Muncy; Zachary L. Lundberg, of Warren; Adam T. Check, of Great Falls, Virginia; David M. Mossop, of Newark, Delaware; and Jeremy W. Rennicks, of Williamsport. Blessing is enrolled in the information technology: network security concentration; the others major in information technology: information assurance and security concentration.

Professor Serves as Judge for On-Campus STEM Competition

David S. Richards

A Pennsylvania College of Technology professor served as a judge for the regional Governor’s PA STEM Competition held recently on the college’s main campus in Williamsport.

David S. Richards, professor of physics, was one of four judges for the high school competition coordinated regionally by BLaST Intermediate Unit 17. While learning about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers, teams were required to design, build and present a device addressing a real-world problem with the goal of improving the quality of life for Pennsylvania residents.

Teams from Williamsport Area High School and Hughesville High School competed to be the top school from Intermediate Unit 17’s four-county region and advance to the state finals in May at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology in Lancaster.

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College’s Centennial Colloquia Culminate in Panel Discussion

Moderator James E. Cunningham, retired vice president for information technology and business process improvement, notes that campus lectures will continue as the Dan Doyle Science, Technology and Society Colloquia Series. Doyle, faculty emeritus and the college's Master Teacher in 1984, was a driving force behind the college's just-ended Centennial celebration.

Moderator James E. Cunningham, retired vice president for information technology and business process improvement, notes that campus lectures will continue as the Dan Doyle Science, Technology and Society Colloquia Series. Doyle, faculty emeritus and the college’s Master Teacher in 1984, was a driving force behind the college’s just-ended Centennial celebration.

Faculty panelists drawn from this past year's Centennial Colloquia Series field a question from the audience. From left are Dorothy J. Gerring and Robert A. Wozniak, associate professors of architectural technology; Lisa R. Bock, assistant professor of computer information technology; Mark D. Noe, professor of English-composition; Rob Cooley, assistant professor of anthropology/environmental science; and Craig A. Miller, assistant professor of history/political science.

Faculty panelists drawn from this past year’s Centennial Colloquia Series field a question from the audience. From left are Dorothy J. Gerring and Robert A. Wozniak, associate professors of architectural technology; Lisa R. Bock, assistant professor of computer information technology; Mark D. Noe, professor of English-composition; Rob Cooley, assistant professor of anthropology/environmental science; and Craig A. Miller, assistant professor of history/political science.

A biometric image on a smartphone – technology only recently embraced by Bock (third from left) – recalls her September lecture on identity protection.

A biometric image on a smartphone – technology only recently embraced by Bock (third from left) – recalls her September lecture on identity protection.

While recognizing the role of technology in effecting change, Gerring said it is but one factor in converting public will into progressive action.

While recognizing the role of technology in effecting change, Gerring said it is but one factor in converting public will into progressive action.

Nursing major Sadie E. Bebko, of Allegany, N.Y., defends her generation against the suggestion that reliance on technology has left her peers unable to read a map or finish a book. While she and her peers avail themselves of shortcuts, she rebutted, they are more than capable of processing and retaining the complex information necessary to be critical thinkers and responsible citizens.

Nursing major Sadie E. Bebko, of Allegany, N.Y., defends her generation against the suggestion that reliance on technology has left her peers unable to read a map or finish a book. While she and her peers avail themselves of shortcuts, she rebutted, they are more than capable of processing and retaining the complex information necessary to be critical thinkers and responsible citizens.

Six Penn College faculty members, who combined for four enlightening and provocative lectures during 2014’s Centennial Colloquia Series, reconvened on campus Wednesday night for a roundtable recap. The discussion, titled “Riding the Wave of Technological Change: Revolution or Evolution?” was held in the Klump Academic Center Auditorium. The group (Dorothy J. Gerring, Robert A. Wozniak, Lisa R. Bock, Mark D. Noe, Rob Cooley and Craig A. Miller) ably kicked around the connection between technology and progress, entertaining questions from moderator James E. Cunningham and the audience.
Photos by Elizabeth S. Greis, student photographer

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 →

Video Crew Visits Plastics Labs in Advance of International Trade Show

Dave Pinskey (center) and Mike Lomma prep for an interview with Brittany L. Delmo, a plastics and polymer engineering technology major from Milford, about why she chose Penn College.

Dave Pinskey (center) and Mike Lomma prep for an interview with Brittany L. Delmo, a plastics and polymer engineering technology major from Milford, about why she chose Penn College.

Before the camera rolls, producer Nell Abom conducts a pre-interview with plastics and polymer engineering technology student Cody J. Fisher, of Blandon.

Before the camera rolls, producer Nell Abom conducts a pre-interview with plastics and polymer engineering technology student Cody J. Fisher, of Blandon.

Christopher J. Gagliano (left), the PIRC's program and technical service manager, leads a tour for the day's guests.

Christopher J. Gagliano (left), the PIRC’s program and technical service manager, leads a tour for the day’s guests.

Seth E. Cook (above) and Heith A. Hicks – students of Timothy E. Weston, associate professor of plastics and polymer engineering technology and department head – are filmed during a practical exercise in the injection molding lab. Cook, of Mountville, is pursuing a bachelor's degree in plastics and polymer engineering technology; Hicks, of Williamsport, is enrolled in the two-year plastics and polymer technology major.

Seth E. Cook (above) and Heith A. Hicks – students of Timothy E. Weston, associate professor of plastics and polymer engineering technology and department head – are filmed during a practical exercise in the injection molding lab. Cook, of Mountville, is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in plastics and polymer engineering technology; Hicks, of Williamsport, is enrolled in the two-year plastics and polymer technology major.

Kirk M. Cantor, professor of plastics and polymer technology, coolly awaits his opportunity to discuss the industry-relevant research, development and education available in the college's plastics labs.

Kirk M. Cantor, professor of plastics and polymer technology, coolly awaits his opportunity to discuss the industry-relevant research, development and education available in the college’s plastics labs.

A production team from Harrisburg spent much of Tuesday in Penn College’s plastics laboratories, preparing for a brief video that will be shown at NPE: The International Plastics Showcase from March 23-27 in Orlando, Fla. Gathering footage and conducting interviews for the Team Pennsylvania Pavilion in the Orange County Convention Center were Nell Abom, a communications consultant working with the state Department of Community and Economic Development, and Commonwealth Media Services’ Mike Lomma, director of videography, and Dave Pinskey, audio engineer. The three-person crew toured labs in each of five featured processes (injection molding, extrusion, blow molding, rotational molding and thermoforming) and talked with students, faculty and Plastics Innovation & Resource Center Director C. Hank White about the hands-on education offered both on the curricular side and in helping the industry remain competitive. Penn College is one of only five colleges in the nation offering degree programs in plastics accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET, and boasts unique National Centers of Excellence in rotational molding and thermoforming – distinctions that will be highlighted in the video, as well.

Seminar Augments Manufacturing Students’ Industry Perspective

Chris Washinger, a cutting tool applications engineer for Iscar Metals, talks with students during a seminar in the automated manufacturing lab.

Manufacturing students at Pennsylvania College of Technology supplemented their classroom and extensive hands-on lab work by attending a recent seminar at the institution.

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It’s Safe to Say: IT Students Make Impression at Security Convention

Faculty members, alumni and students alike attend ShmooCon2015.

Faculty members, alumni and students alike attend ShmooCon2015.

A sizable Penn College contingent attended ShmooCon, the East Coast “hacker” convention, held Jan. 16-18 at the Washington (D.C.) Hilton. Three faculty members in the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies – along with 11 graduates, 18 current students and a former student – were among those attending. The annual event covers such related topics as demonstrating technology exploitation, inventive software and hardware solutions to security issues, and provides for open discussions of critical information security issues. Two information technology: information assurance and security concentration majors, David M. Mossop, of Newark, Delaware, and Joseph M. Eak, of Bayville, New Jersey, attended on merit-based “Shmooze a Student” scholarships that paid their $150 registration fee and gave them $200 each to offset travel and meal costs. Students attended presentations and Fire Talks (15-minute presentations that challenge speakers to dive into the core of their content in a more relaxed environment than the traditional 30- to 90-minute conference format), explored Lockpick Village and teamed with professional hackers for the Hack Fortress competition. Each team comprises members playing Team Fortress 2 and members solving hacking challenges. Both gamers and hackers can contribute to the overall score of the team: Hackers can earn points for the gamers to purchase “equipment” in the game and gamers can find clues to assist hackers in solving the puzzles. The Penn College team, which won that event at ShmooCon 2014, placed second this year. Students had the opportunity to speak with the many vendors in attendance about job opportunities, and many submitted resumes for internships and permanent positions.
Photo provided by Sandra Gorka, associate professor of computer information technology

Roundtable to Continue Discussion of Technology and Society

Pennsylvania College of Technology will continue the dialogue engendered by its Centennial Colloquia Series – designed to explore the impact of technology on society – by hosting a roundtable discussion with the series’ faculty presenters.

Scheduled for Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. in the Klump Academic Center Auditorium, the discussion is titled “Riding the Wave of Technological Change: Revolution or Evolution?”

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Penn College Makes Friends, Memories at State Farm Show
Photo gallery

Culinary arts and systems majors Brianna E. Bucklin (left), of Whitehall, and Victoria L. Zablocky, of Jersey Shore, serve vegetable-filled hush puppies and slaw to audience members.

Penn College’s exciting two- and four-year majors were on display throughout the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg (Jan. 10-17), where representatives of the Admissions Office and the college’s six academic schools entertained, educated – and even fed – the throng attending the traditional agricultural expo.

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Penn College Names Director of Corporate Relations

Elizabeth A. Biddle

Elizabeth A. Biddle has been appointed director of corporate relations at Pennsylvania College of Technology, effective Jan. 19.

Biddle has been project manager for the Outreach for K-12 Office at Penn College since 2009. In her new role, she will develop and sustain mutually beneficial relationships with business and industry to benefit students at Penn College.

“We are excited to have Liz join our team in Institutional Advancement,” said Debra M. Miller, vice president for institutional advancement at the college. “Liz brings an excellent technical background and considerable experience working with a variety of constituencies. Her professional demeanor and enthusiasm for Penn College and our mission will continue to be an asset to Penn College and prove valuable in her new role as director of corporate relations.”

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Hawbaker Family Scholarship Established at Penn College

From left: Scholarship donors Daniel R. and Suzie Hawbaker with Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour.

The president and CEO of a well-known State College-based highway construction company and his wife have established a scholarship at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Daniel R. and Suzie Hawbaker recently created the Hawbaker Family Scholarship at Penn College. Daniel Hawbaker heads Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc., a firm established in 1952 that performs asphalt paving, road construction, gas well service and construction, and engineering design services in northern Pennsylvania, southern New York and eastern Ohio.

Two $1,000 scholarships will be awarded from the Hawbaker Family Scholarship Fund for the 2015-16 academic year; the recipients will be presented with $500 each in the Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 semesters.

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