News about Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies

Penn College Team Excels at International Competition

Nathan M. Eckstein, of Cambridge Springs, navigates the Penn College (No. 71) car during the four-hour endurance race at Baja SAE Rochester. Penn College claimed fifth place in the event.

A determined group of Pennsylvania College of Technology students enrolled in manufacturing-related majors proved to be among the best in the world at a recent high-powered international competition.

The nine-member Penn College contingent produced three top-five showings for individual events and finished 11th overall out of 98 collegiate teams at Baja SAE Rochester. The demanding Society of Automotive Engineers competition held at Rochester Institute of Technology required students to design and build a single-seat, off-road vehicle to be inspected by industry judges and to survive various performance tests.

“I am very proud of these students. They worked so hard, and it was great to see their effort pay off against tough competition,” said John G. Upcraft, instructor of automated manufacturing and machining and the team’s adviser. “We’ve participated in Baja SAE for about 10 years, and this is the best we have done overall. The students proved that they can beat teams from much larger schools.”

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Manufacturing Student Among Competitors on ABC’s ‘BattleBots’

Team Hammertime includes Penn College student Alexander J. Horne (far left).

A student in Penn College’s manufacturing engineering technology major will compete on ABC’s “BattleBots” when the popular series begins its second season at 8 p.m. Thursday. Alexander J. Horne, of West Chester, co-designed and built the 250-pound robot – named SubZero – that will face off for Team Hammertime in the show’s opening round. An article about Horne (and his longtime fascination with bot-building) was published in a recent edition of his hometown paper, the Daily Local News.

Memorial Service Thursday for Professor Emeritus

Barbara Helen Williams

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday for Barbara Helen Williams, a professor emeritus at Penn College, who died Monday. The service for Williams, a member of the engineering drafting technology faculty at the college (and its Williamsport Area Community College predecessor) from 1980-96, will be at Muncy First United Methodist Church, 602 South Market St., Muncy.

Alberts Family Scholarship Established at Penn College

Linda and Ed Alberts

A local couple has recognized the excellence of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s plastics program with a new scholarship.

Established by Ed and Linda Alberts, the Alberts Family Scholarship will benefit students enrolled in the plastics and polymer engineering technology bachelor-degree major and the plastics and polymer technology associate-degree program.

The Alberts own Montoursville-based Ralph S. Alberts Company Inc., known as one of the country’s most resourceful full-service, multifaceted, custom molder of plastics and foams.

“We have been challenged by the world’s continuing demands for creativity and technology,” according to Ed and Linda Alberts. “This has enabled our business to grow and provide jobs for the past 53 years. We thank Penn College for providing the education needed in our industry.”

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Penn College Graduates Commissioned in ROTC Ceremony

From left, Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour, Daniel G. Curtin, of Berwick; Craig W. Robbins, of Newton, New Jersey; Daniel H. Pulinski, of Penfield, New York; Kyle A. Csorba; of Trenton, New Jersey; and Carolyn R. Strickland, vice president for enrollment management/associate provost.

Four new Pennsylvania College of Technology graduates experienced a second milestone during the college’s commencement weekend: commissioning as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Kyle A. Csorba, of Trenton, New Jersey; Daniel G. Curtin, of Berwick; Daniel H. Pulinski, of Penfield, New York; and Craig W. Robbins, of Newton, New Jersey, received the honor during an Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps ceremony at Bucknell University.

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Penn College Faculty Earn ‘Excellence in Teaching’ Awards

Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour stands with Kirk M. Cantor (left) and Craig A. Miller, recipients of Excellence in Teaching Awards presented at commencement.

Two faculty members at Pennsylvania College of Technology were honored with Excellence in Teaching Awards during Spring Commencement ceremonies held May 13-14 at the Community Arts Center, Williamsport.

As part of the Distinguished Teaching Awards program at Penn College, President Davie Jane Gilmour presented Excellence in Teaching Awards to Kirk M. Cantor, professor of plastics technology, and Craig A. Miller, assistant professor of history and political science.

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Welding Students Add Décor to Campus Dining Unit

Student volunteers (from left): Logan K. Garvey, of Williamsport; Gabriel M. Round, of Butler; Bailey K. Austerberry, of Pitman; Michael R. Allen, of Laughlintown; Sawyer G. Macurdy, of Cabot; Jessica L. Szejk, of Clearfield; Kyle X. Beam, of New Freedom; David P. Young, of Spring Mills; Michael K. Patterson, welding lecturer and project leader; Albert M. Gensel, of Canton; and Hunter M. Comeau, of Freeport.

Sparks of imagination from Pennsylvania College of Technology welding students have produced unique décor for one of the main eateries on campus. A dedicated group of 10 students and one faculty member created original artwork for the college’s Keystone Dining Room.

The students spent approximately 200 hours outside of class over two semesters creating the wall-art project, which consists of brown steel panels depicting cutlery.

“I love that it was made by students,” said Crissy L. McGinness, director of dining services, who arranged for the artwork. “I can’t imagine a more appropriate piece of art for the Keystone Dining Room.”

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Foundation Earmarks Scholarships to Penn College

Acknowledging Haas Automation Inc.’s ongoing support of Penn College students are (from left) Richard K. Hendricks, instructor of machine tool technology/automated manufacturing; Debra M. Miller, vice president for institutional advancement; and Ed Kilgallon, president of the Lance Co. The Bensalem Haas Factory Outlet is an affiliate of the Lance Co.

A prominent American manufacturing education foundation is supporting Pennsylvania College of Technology’s commitment to the field by awarding $20,000 in scholarship funds for the 2016-17 academic year.

The Gene Haas Foundation has earmarked five $4,000 scholarships for students enrolled in four manufacturing programs at the college: manufacturing engineering technology bachelor’s degree, automated manufacturing technology and machine tool technology associate degrees, and machinist general certificate.

“Our country needs a strong manufacturing economy, yet the skills gap in American manufacturing is very real. Careers in manufacturing are many, and they provide a good stable income and lifestyle,” said Kathy Looman, director of the Gene Haas Foundation.

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In Midst of Finals Prep, IT Crowd Literally Enjoys the Ride

Associate professors Sandra Gorka and Daniel W. Yoas (left), as well as Jacob R. Miller (right), accompany students from the IT Living-Learning Community for a day of fun at Knoebels.

Taking in the view from the Scenic Skyway

Gorka snaps a student-laden selfie at the park entrance.

Eight students and three faculty members from Penn College’s Information Technology Living-Learning Community headed to Knoebels Amusement Resort on April 30, savoring their last trip of the 2015-16 academic year. “It was opening weekend, so it was full of people and new rides,” said LLC mentor Ryan Monteleone, an information assurance and cyber security major from Stevens. “It was a great way for everyone to release some stress before Finals Week started.”
Photos provided

Penn College Team Displays Resilience at International Competition

Nathan M. Eckstein, of Cambridge Springs, maneuvers Penn College’s off-road vehicle in the endurance-race portion of the recent Baja SAE Tennessee Tech competition.

Pennsylvania College of Technology manufacturing students proved resilient against nature at the recent Baja SAE Tennessee Tech international competition. The students’ resourcefulness led to a higher finish than the previous year and renewed hope for a championship-caliber performance when they compete again in June.

Penn College ranked 30th overall out of 96 collegiate teams from throughout the United States and four other countries at the demanding Society of Automotive Engineers competition, held recently in Cookeville, Tennessee. Baja SAE requires teams to design and build a single-seat, off-road vehicle, make presentations to judges and complete various performance tests.

The dozen competing Penn College students recorded top-25 showings in maneuverability (12th), cost report (14th), sales presentation (17th), and sled pull (22nd). Only a tree stump separated the team from its main objective: a high finish in the four-hour endurance race, Baja SAE’s marquee event.

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Information Technology Student Honored in National Competition

Sebastian J. Peipher

A Pennsylvania College of Technology student earned first-runner-up honors in a national competition sponsored by COMMON, the world’s largest professional association of IBM technology users.

Sebastian J. Peipher, an information technology: network specialist concentration major from Middleburg, received the accolade for his submission in COMMON’s recent Student Innovation Award contest, geared to undergraduate and graduate students concentrating on information systems, enterprise computing, computing science or information technology.

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Welders Pique Career Interest for Daughters, Sons

Michael K. Patterson shows how the heat of a torch can change the color of metal.

Future Wildcats, perhaps?

Matt W. Nolan offers a mini-primer in Metal Inert Gas welding.

Forty young men and women, potential Penn College students all, participated in Thursday’s 23rd annual “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.” This year’s national theme was “Sparking ‘Aha!’ Moments,” and what better venue for cultivating a sense of working-world wonderment than the college’s welding labs? Four faculty members – Jacob B. Holland, Matt W. Nolan, Michael K. Patterson and Timothy S. Turnbach – and students in the Avco Lycoming Metal Trades Center led visitors in career-focused activities through demonstrations of various welding processes. The daylong event (financially supported by the President’s Office and organized with the help of David R. Cotner, dean of industrial, computing and engineering technologies) also included a campus tour with Student Ambassadors, lunch in Dauphin Hall and afternoon job-shadowing with parents and other adult mentors. Paul L. Starkey, vice president for academic affairs/provost, welcomed the group; others assisting in the day were Dining Services, Information Technology Services, and the Admissions, Professional Development, and Public Relations & Marketing offices.
Photos by Tina R. Strayer, on-boarding/professional development manager

Historic Number of Penn College Students Headed to Nationals

SkillsUSA Pennsylvania

Seventeen first-place winners from Pennsylvania College of Technology have advanced to the 52nd annual National SkillsUSA Conference, to be held from June 20-24 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Three other students finished in the top four places in their respective categories during the SkillsUSA Pennsylvania Leadership and Skills Conference held earlier this month in Hershey.

“I feel great about the students’ performance at the state competition. It goes to show how well-prepared the students are from their respective fields and how great our instructors are here at the college,” said James N. Colton II, assistant professor of welding and the college’s SkillsUSA adviser. “This is, by far, the most diverse group of students I’ve had go to the competition. The national competition gives us a chance to showcase our technical skills and show everyone why we’re a leader in applied technology. I hope next year we can increase the number going to nationals and continue to make the college proud.”

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Robots Go Head-to-Head in Student-Hosted Competition

Attending to details are William C. Hayden, of Greensburg, an engineering design technology major ...

,,, and Alexander J. Horne, a manufacturing engineering technology student from West Chester.

'bots ready for battle

Assembled in College Avenue Labs are (foreground, from left) Matthew A. Semmel, of Palmerton, engineering design technology; Kaylee R. Tressler, of Howard, electronics and computer engineering technology; Brandon T. Russell, of Nottingham, engineering design technology; and Timothy R. Thompson, Stephens City, Va., electronics and computer engineering technology. At rear is Michael E. Zalatan, an information technology: network specialist concentration major from Center Valley.

Sparks fly in the competitive arena.

The Student Wildcats of Robotic Design, a revitalized campus organization centered in Penn College’s School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies, hosted a robotics competition in College Avenue Labs earlier this month. About a dozen robots, built by students from S.W.O.R.D. and members of the community, were entered in the head-to-head “Wildcat Battle of the Bots.” S.W.O.R.D., which secretary Briana L. Sheehan said looks forward to growing as a club after a period of inactivity, is open to all Penn College students. No experience with engineering or robot-building is required, noted the club officer, an engineering CAD technology student from Windber.
Photos by Caleb G. Schirmer, student photographer

Students Travel to Lebanon to Serve in Children’s Home

Penn College students George Settle III, of Dillsburg, second from left, and Tyler D. Hodge, of Gillett, standing third from left, interact with residents and staff of Home of Hope, near Beirut, Lebanon. At right is Noah George, a missionary who supervised the students.

During their Winter Break, a pair of Pennsylvania College of Technology students traveled to Lebanon, where they spent two weeks volunteering at a children’s home near Beirut.

George Settle III, a student in the welding and fabrication engineering technology major, and Tyler D. Hodge, who is studying building automation technology, stayed, worked and played at Home of Hope in the village of Kehale, Lebanon, about 10 miles from Beirut. The home provides shelter, education, socialization and recreation for street children, many who have been abused or abandoned.

While there, Settle, who hails from Dillsburg, used his welding know-how in the home’s shop, where he worked with a few of the boys to build two steel picnic tables and four steel-framed dining-room tables, along with some smaller projects.

Hodge, a resident of Gillett, spent much of his time helping to clean and organize donations received during the Christmas season.

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