News: Automated Manufacturing & Machining

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 →

New Penn State President Makes First Visit to Penn College
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Penn State President Eric J. Barron (left) is joined on the verdant grounds of the Victorian House by (from right) Robert E. Dunham, chairman emeritus of the Penn College Board of Directors; state Sen. Gene Yaw, current board chairman; and Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour.

Penn State President Eric J. Barron traveled to Pennsylvania College of Technology on Tuesday, his first visit since assuming the presidency in May. In a timely trip to a main campus observing its 25th anniversary as a special mission affiliate of Penn State – as well as its yearlong Centennial celebration – Barron met with students, viewed three recent art installations, toured Madigan Library and student housing, explored the college’s role in the natural gas industry, and visited a variety of instructional labs. Joining Barron and his wife, Molly, on the tour were Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour; retired Penn College Board of Directors Chairman Robert E. Dunham and his wife, Maureen; Paul L. Starkey, vice president for academic affairs and provost; and police Chief Chris E. Miller. A reception in the Victorian House and dinner at Le Jeune Chef Restaurant, where the group was joined by state Sen. Gene Yaw, board chairman, followed.

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Manufacturing in Spotlight as College Hosts ‘Make Cool Stuff Day’

Entrepreneur Nick Gilson, of Gilson Boards, talks with high school students about the importance of error in developing a quality product.

Entrepreneur Nick Gilson, of Gilson Boards, talks with high school students about the importance of error in developing a quality product.

Richard K. Hendricks, seated, instructor of machine tool technology/automated manufacturing, shows Loyalsock Township High School students the 3-D modeling that comes before parts are fabricated on the computer-numerical control machines in the Advanced Manufacturing lab.

Richard K. Hendricks, seated, instructor of machine tool technology/automated manufacturing, shows Loyalsock Township High School students the 3-D modeling that comes before parts are fabricated on the computer-numerical control machines in the Advanced Manufacturing lab.

Automated manufacturing technology student Bryce L. Kuszmaul (foreground, holding controller) demonstrates a robotic process.

Automated manufacturing technology student Bryce L. Kuszmaul (foreground, holding controller) demonstrates a robotic process.

John G. Upcraft, instructor of machine tool technology/automated manufacturing, shows an optical comparator in the college’s metrology lab …

John G. Upcraft, instructor of machine tool technology/automated manufacturing, shows an optical comparator in the college’s metrology lab …

… and a prototype that was 3-D printed in the college’s additive manufacturing lab before being fabricated and placed on the college’s award-winning, student-built Baja off-road vehicle.

… and a prototype that was 3-D printed in the college’s additive manufacturing lab before being fabricated and placed on the college’s award-winning, student-built Baja off-road vehicle.

Nearly 100 students from six area high schools visited Penn College on Friday as the campus served as a host site for National Manufacturing Day activities. Dubbed “Make Cool Stuff Day,” the high schoolers began their morning with a talk by Nick Gilson, the entrepreneur behind Gilson Boards, a growing manufacturer of innovative snowboards based in nearby Winfield. Gilson talked about the successes and failures in the company’s first prototypes and encouraged students to find their passion and make what interests them. The visitors then toured Penn College laboratories – where they learned about various manufacturing processes, from thermoforming to welding and machining to additive manufacturing – and the facilities of several local manufacturers.

A Family’s Heritage Helps to Shape Its Future

Manufacturing engineering technology student Andrew R. Klimek monitors a project on a piece of wire-cut electric discharge machining equipment.

Manufacturing engineering technology student Andrew R. Klimek monitors a project on a piece of wire-cut electric discharge machining equipment.

Klimek shares a close bond with his grandparents, Genevieve and Andrew.

Klimek shares a close bond with his grandparents, Genevieve and Andrew.

From the Fall 2014 One College Avenue magazine: A journey that began in 1941 with a 12-year-old refugee who learned metalsmithing to survive winds its way to a grandson pursuing a degree in manufacturing engineering technology. Read the full story.

Articulation Agreements Reached With Corning Community College

Richard K. Hendricks Jr., left, instructor of machine tool technology/automated manufacturing at Penn College, leads a Spring 2014 tour of College Avenue Labs for Corning Community College’s Michael Reynolds, center, associate professor of math/physics/technology, and Dale Crandall, assistant professor of mechanical technology.

Pennsylvania College of Technology and Corning Community College have approved several articulation agreements.

Corning students will be able to plan their transfer to Penn College with minimal loss of credit and complete a degree at  Penn College’s in-state tuition rate. To receive the tuition discount, students must earn an associate degree from Corning in a major that has been aligned with a four-year pathway at Penn College.

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Manufacturing Students Present Baja Trophy to College President

Baja trophy presented to Penn College president

Baja trophy presented to Penn College president

Three members of the student team that placed third in the international Baja SAE endurance race this past spring – Penn College’s highest-ever finish in nearly a decade of competition – delivered the trophy to President Davie Jane Gilmour on Thursday. From left are John G. Upcraft, instructor of automated manufacturing and machining and the students’ adviser; and manufacturing majors Andrew R. Klimek, of Cherry Hill, New Jersey; Gilmour; James A. Depasquale, of West Simsbury, Connecticut; and Jason B. Miller, of Mount Joy. The trophy was presented in the president’s office, but will be moved to a display area on campus.
Photo provided

Penn College Professor Visits Chinese Manufacturing Facility

Inside the Chinese facility making the Zeepro 3D printer, a worker positions part of a cell-phone case in a precision milling and engraving machine.

Manufacturing students at Pennsylvania College of Technology will be exposed to international insights this fall, thanks to the unique summer travels of one of their professors.

Eric K. Albert, associate professor of automated manufacturing and machining, recently returned from China where he toured a midsized manufacturing facility for Zeepro Inc., a company producing consumer market 3-D printers.

“The Chinese facility had machines similar to the ones in our own manual and automated manufacturing labs,” Albert said. “I got a fantastic look at the level of technology and processes they were using to make finished goods. I was given permission to photograph the entire plant, including their manufacturing lines. Those photos alone will be valuable for class use.”

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Now Showing: ‘SMART Girls in 3-D’
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Three SMART (and pleasant) Girls pause during preparation of their Monarch Butterfly display ...

The “mock” trade show that ended this week’s four-and-a-half-day SMART Girls session proved to be the real deal, indeed, offering display after display by young women who showed as much heart as they did skill. The rising ninth- to 11th-graders from across Pennsylvania used three-dimensional technology to create projects on behalf of causes near and dear to them, then presented their finished work to the Penn College community Thursday morning. Chosen by attendees as the top presenters were First Place: Monarch Butterfly (Tori May, McCartney Register and Rebecca Piergallini, Keystone Central School District); Second Place: BeeKeeper (Hanna Yu, State College Area School District, and Carlisle’s Anna Lippert and Grace Echevarria); Third Place: Polar Bears (Lauren Clay and Violet Burbank, Carlisle Area School District, and Mikhayla Browne, Midd-West Area School District).

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SMART Girls ‘Dream It – Design It – Do It’ in 3-D Summer of Exploration

Eric K. Albert, associate professor of machine tool technology/automated manufacturing, leads participants (who come from a wide variety of Pennsylvania counties) through an "Innovation Station: Product Design" session.

Eric K. Albert, associate professor of machine tool technology/automated manufacturing, leads participants (who come from a wide variety of Pennsylvania counties) through an “Innovation Station: Product Design” session.

Intently tending to the project at hand

Intently tending to the project at hand

SMART Girls wave from the Hiawatha riverboat.

SMART Girls wave from the Hiawatha riverboat.

Pizza in the park!

Pizza in the park!

Relaxing on the riverside

Relaxing on the riverside

The summer edition of Penn College’s popular SMART (Science & Math Applications in Real-World Technologies) Girls program gave each participating ninth- through 11th-grader an opportunity to experience the art of 3D printing from beginning to end. The girls worked in teams to design and print their 3-D creations, which will be displayed at a public event Thursday morning. Members of the campus community are invited to attend the mock trade show to be held from 10-11 a.m. in Room 157 of College Avenue Labs, which culminates the weeklong residential program coordinated by Outreach for K-12 and aided by corporate donations through the state’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit program. In addition to the project-based learning exercise, the SMART Girls learned about career, economic and workforce development … and had more than a little fun in the bargain.
Photos by Cindy D. Meixel, writer/photo editor, and Dalaney T. Vartenisian, student photographer

Manufacturing Students Excel at International Baja Competition

Benjamin D. Lopatofsky, a manufacturing engineering technology major from Williamsport, navigates the college's car during the four-hour endurance race at Baja SAE-Kansas. He and his teammates came in third, the highest finish Penn College has recorded in the marquee event at the Baja SAE competition.

Pennsylvania College of Technology manufacturing students were driven to succeed at a recent international showcase simulating real-world engineering. The Penn College contingent placed third out of nearly 100 teams in the marquee event at Baja SAE in Pittsburg, Kansas.

The Society of Automotive Engineers competition required students to design and build off-road cars to be tested in various categories. Penn College met the challenge in the four-hour endurance race. The students’ dune buggy-like vehicle completed 52 laps over a rugged 1.5-mile course to finish third, the highest ranking in the college’s nine-year history at the event.

“I am very proud of this group of students for their hard work and dedication in accomplishing this result, as well as their contribution to the overall reputation, standing and prestige of Penn College,” said John G. Upcraft, instructor of automated manufacturing and machining and the students’ adviser.

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Penn College Senior Manufactures Forging Hammer

Daniel J. Ravizza, of Honesdale, with the half-ton forging hammer he built for his senior project at Penn College.

Daniel J. Ravizza wanted to “stretch” himself for his senior project. The Pennsylvania College of Technology student recently met that noble goal by manufacturing a forging hammer, a machine that forms and shapes metal.

“It’s been in the back of my mind to do this for a number of years. Since I wasn’t working full time, I had the time to devote to this and try to do something more involved,” said Ravizza, of Honesdale. “It was a big challenge.”

Designing and building the 1,000-pound machine over three semesters fulfilled the requirements for Ravizza’s third Penn College degree. He’ll receive a Bachelor of Science in manufacturing engineering technology at Spring Commencement. In 2007, Ravizza earned associate degrees in automated manufacturing technology and toolmaking technology.

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Promising Job Outlook Awaits Well-Equipped Penn College Grads

Pennsylvania College of Technology will potentially send more than 900 new employees into the job market this month, and the new graduates are poised for success with their workforce-ready skills and specialties.

“Demand for Penn College graduates remains high,” said Paul L. Starkey, vice president for academic affairs/provost. “Programs across campus are reporting graduates accepting employment offers at a rapid pace.”

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Grant Opens Access to Additive Manufacturing Technologies

Through a grant from the state Department of Community and Economic Development, the Innovative Manufacturers’ Center partnered with Pennsylvania College of Technology to increase access to additive manufacturing among both educators and industry.

Additive manufacturing uses a 3-D printer, which builds an object from a computer-aided design by “printing” thin layers of plastic or other material on top of one another. Often used in industry to quickly prototype products or parts before putting them into production, as the process is refined, it has the potential to revolutionize manufacturing.

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Nine of 12 College Medalists Headed to SkillsUSA Nationals

SkillsUSA-Pennsylvania

Nine Pennsylvania College of Technology students from a variety of majors will compete at the National SkillsUSA Conference from June 23-28 in Kansas City, Mo., after winning gold medals at the state level.

Three other students in the college contingent finished second in their respective categories at the SkillsUSA Pennsylvania Leadership and Skills Conference held April 9-11 at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center.

And a Penn College student/alumnus will attend as a candidate for the highest individual SkillsUSA honor: an International Degree, awarded at the rarely attained upper level of the organization’s professional-development program.

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National Science Foundation Grant to Support ‘STEM’ Majors

The National Science Foundation is recognizing Pennsylvania College of Technology’s commitment to applied technology education with a $616,417 grant to benefit students.

Provided through the NSF’s Division of Undergraduate Education’s Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S-STEM) program, the five-year grant aims to increase retention, degree completion and career preparation for students in the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies at Penn College.

The majority of the grant’s funds will be devoted to scholarships. Approximately 20 students will be awarded scholarships of up to $10,000 per year for a maximum of four years. The first scholarships will be awarded during the 2014-15 academic year.

“This grant allows us to bring high-performing students to Penn College who might otherwise not have the means to do so,” said Paul L. Starkey, vice president for academic affairs/provost. “It is likely to be a life-changing opportunity for these students. They will ultimately gain an education that will prepare them for a lifetime of success.”

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