News about Automated Manufacturing & Machining

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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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

Scholarship Established in Memory of Joseph E. Logue

Joseph E. Logue

An alumnus of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s predecessor institution will be memorialized through an endowed scholarship established by his mother.

The Joseph E. Logue Memorial Scholarship, initiated by Elizabeth Stark Logue, will benefit students who are enrolled full time in the college’s four-year manufacturing engineering technology major or the two-year majors of automated manufacturing technology or machine tool technology. Logue, who died in May 2015, was a 1983 graduate of Williamsport Area Community College’s machinist general program.

“Joe really enjoyed his college classes and never complained like he did when he was in high school, especially about his homework,” his mother said. “He learned a lot in college because he really enjoyed his trade.”

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Penn College Team Primed for International Competition

Nathan M. Eckstein, a manufacturing engineering technology major from Cambridge Springs, practices driving the Penn College car that will compete in Baja SAE Tennessee Tech.

A dozen dedicated Pennsylvania College of Technology students are driven to succeed at Baja SAE Tennessee Tech. The students are aiming for a stellar showing at the demanding Society of Automotive Engineers competition, featuring 100 collegiate teams from throughout the United States and four other countries.

As members of the college’s Baja SAE Club, the students, all in manufacturing-related majors, have been preparing since the fall semester for the April 14-17 competition in Cookeville, Tennessee. The event tasks teams with designing and building a single-seat, off-road vehicle to complete various performance tests.

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Alumni Sweethearts Feted on Penn College Campus

Penn College’s 2016 Alumni Sweethearts, Timothy and Whitnie-rae Haldeman, relax on the porch of the college’s Victorian House, where they stayed this past weekend.

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s 2016 Alumni Sweethearts, Timothy D. and Whitnie-rae (Mays) Haldeman, visited campus recently to stay overnight in the Victorian House and dine in Le Jeune Chef Restaurant.

The Haldemans, of Hanover, won the fifth annual Alumni Sweethearts contest conducted on Alumni Relations’ Facebook page. Of the 14 couples vying for the honor, the Haldemans received the most votes (or “likes”) – 531 – for their photograph taken on the college’s Victorian House lawn on their wedding day, May 16, 2015.

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Global Company Donates Cutting Tools to Penn College

From left, Elizabeth A. Biddle, director of corporate relations at Penn College; Don Graham, manager of education and technical services for Seco Tools Inc.; and Richard K. Hendricks Jr., instructor of automated manufacturing and machining.

Pennsylvania College of Technology is one of just a dozen schools nationwide – and the only institution in the commonwealth – to receive equipment recently donated by Seco Tools Inc.

A leading global provider of metal-cutting solutions for milling, turning, holemaking and toolholding, Seco donated equipment to the college’s manufacturing programs, including a variety of Niagara Cutter-brand carbide and high-speed end mills and carbide and high-speed steel drills.

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Daniel G. Curtin Named Penn College ‘Student of the Month’

Daniel G. Curtin

Daniel G. Curtin, a manufacturing engineering technology major from Berwick, has been chosen as the February Student of the Month at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Affiliated with the Bison Battalion, the Bucknell University-based ROTC program that includes Penn College, Curtin served two years as captain of the Color Guard team and one term as president of Cadet Council. He has also participated (among other activities) in the Cultural Understanding and Language Proficiency program to Thailand, the Cadet Leadership Course, Drill Cadet Leadership Training, and the Scabbard and Blade Society.

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Alumnus Endows a ‘Sweet’ Scholarship for Major

The past president of the nation’s largest independent honey company and his wife have endowed a scholarship for machining students at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

The Kitt and Bill Gamber Scholarship will benefit full-time students enrolled in the college’s machine tool technology associate-degree major. Typical careers for graduates of the program include toolmaker, machinist, CNC (Computer Numerical Control) technician, production technician and manufacturing assistant.

Gamber graduated from Penn College predecessor Williamsport Technical Institute in 1959 with a certificate in tool making. Married for more than 50 years, Gamber and his wife, Kitt, have two children and seven grandsons.

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Number of ‘Tech Scholars’ Grows at Penn College

Penn College Tech Scholars include (from left): Logan T. Beidleman, Hope Mills, N.C.; Nicholas C. Moore, Lock Haven; Kelsey L. Shaak, Quakertown; Brandon A. Biesecker, Waynesboro; Connor L. Winslow, Blanchard; Christopher R. Zimpelman, Reading; Alexander M. Barlow, Hanover; Ethan M. Yoder, Denver; and Colton A. Laughman, New Oxford. Not pictured: Rylee A. Butler, Bellefonte; Margot S. Rinehart, Downingtown; and Thomas P. Tyler, Vienna, Md. (Photo by David S. Richards, professor of physics)

With support from the National Science Foundation, the number of Tech Scholars at Pennsylvania College of Technology continues to grow. Eight new students in STEM majors have been awarded scholarships of up to $10,000 per year for a maximum of four years.

Those students join four returning scholarship recipients from 2014, the first year of a five-year grant designed to increase retention, degree completion and career preparation for students in the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies.

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Federal Reserve Bank President Holds Briefing at Penn College

Instructor John M. Good leads a tour of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s automated manufacturing lab for a group that includes Patrick T. Harker, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. From left are Good; Erica R. Mulberger (hidden), executive director of the Central Pennsylvania Workforce Development Corp.; Shannon M. Munro, executive director of Workforce Development & Continuing Education at Penn College; Tracy L. Brundage, the college’s vice president of workforce development; Noelle S. Baldini, Federal Reserve community engagement associate; Harker; Elizabeth H. Lockwood (also hidden), SEDA-COG project development/grants manager and regional coordinator for Partnerships for Regional Economic Performance; and Theresa Y. Singleton, Federal Reserve vice president and community affairs officer.

The new president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia traveled with his team to Pennsylvania College of Technology for a special-invitation Community Development Briefing on Oct. 14.

Patrick T. Harker has held the position since July 2015 and is touring the Federal Reserve Bank’s region (which includes Lycoming County) to learn about the area and to understand the opportunities and constraints related to workforce, housing and energy.

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Every Day Is Manufacturing Day at Penn College

In honor of National Manufacturing Day, Penn College invited innovative companies Gilson Boards and Pneu-Dart to campus to interact with students, faculty and staff on Friday. The companies fit right in at the college, which features a number of manufacturing-related degrees and a new innovation leadership minor … although many potential students and their parents aren’t aware of the natural connection. “I think the perception of manufacturing still to a great length is that it’s dark, dirty, low-paying, expendable positions that you don’t need a lot of background, experience or training for,” says David R. Cotner, dean of industrial, computing and engineering technologies, in a video added to the college’s YouTube channel. “And that’s really just not accurate.”

State Legislator Gets to Know Penn College During Campus Visit

Sens. Vogel (center) and Yaw (right) talk with David R. Cotner, dean of industrial, computing and engineering technologies, in the college's welding laboratory.

Brass candlesticks pique the lawmakers' interest during a stop in the automated manufacturing lab.

Vogel gets behind the wheel of a 1929 Duesenberg Model J Victoria, powered by a Lycoming engine and being restored by Penn College students – including Ian M. Bachleda, of Schaefferstown – for the William E. Swigart Jr. Automobile Museum in Huntingdon.

State Sen. Elder Vogel Jr., whose 47th District encompasses Lawrence County and parts of Beaver and Butler counties, got acquainted with Penn College during a tour of main campus Wednesday afternoon. A legislator since 2009, Vogel chairs the Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee, and is a member of the Appropriations, Banking & Insurance, Communications & Technology, Environmental Resources & Energy, Local Government, and Majority Policy committees. Accompanied by state Sen. Gene Yaw (chairman of the college’s board of directors) and members of the administration, among others, Vogel got a close look at instructional areas for welding, automated manufacturing, collision repair, automotive restoration, and mechatronics. He also visited a natural gas wellhead used by ShaleNET U.S. in the Center for Business & Workforce Development.

DCED Gets Firsthand Look at College’s Responsiveness to Industry

Anne K. Soucy, assistant professor of plastics technology, and Gary E. McQuay, engineering manager for the Plastics Innovation & Resource Center, show visitors the afternoon project for students in the Blow Molding course.

Dave Cotner, dean of industrial, computing & engineering technologies, talks about the college’s automated manufacturing and machining majors.

Front row: Shannon M. Munro, executive director of Penn College Workforce Development & Continuing Education, and Carol Kilko, special assistant for DCED’s Agency Development Initiatives; second row: Neil Weaver, executive deputy secretary for DCED, Tracy L. Brundage, the college’s vice president for workforce development, and Steve D’Ettorre, director of policy for DCED; back row, David C. Pistner, director of special projects for Penn College Workforce Development & Continuing Education, and Tom Venditti, director of WEDnetPA.

Representatives of Pennsylvania’s Department of Community & Economic Development toured several areas of Penn College’s campuses Tuesday. The contingent was hosted by Workforce Development & Continuing Education at Penn College. Throughout their visit, they saw firsthand the hands-on learning taking place in the college’s labs and learned how the college works with industry, the college benefiting from industry input on curriculum as well as in-kind and monetary donations, and industry benefiting from knowledgeable graduates and customized training and product-development support. Tour stops included the Schneebeli Earth Science Center; Energy Technology & Education Center; Plastics Innovation & Resource Center; and the advanced manufacturing, rapid prototyping, welding, machining, mechatronics, well-trainer, plastics, and electronics and computer engineering labs.

Wondrous Welder Creates Ball-Glove Benchmark for Outdoor Art

A battery of helpers maneuvers the heavy handiwork into place.

Michael K. Patterson (left) with student assistant Jacob D. Poppel, of Burlington, Connecticut, a welding and fabrication engineering technology major.

A leathery look and Patterson's eye for detail lend realism to a larger-than-life enterprise.

Installed in timely fashion during the Little League Baseball World Series, the bench offers a picturesque perch.

A member of Penn College’s welding faculty, whose procession of “Student Bodies” continues to spark on-campus conversation, this week added another impressive page to his portfolio of community contributions. Michael K. Patterson worked all summer on a bench for Susquehanna Health, an oversized replica of a baseball glove he used in Little League (and has retained to this day). The welded bench weighs more than 600 pounds and swivels 360 degrees on a shaft and apparatus designed and produced by students in the college’s machining lab. It was installed Tuesday afternoon at the front entrance to the Hospitality Inn at Williamsport Regional Medical Center, which provides free accommodations to eligible patients’ families. The renovated/expanded facility, at 802 Campbell St., will be formally dedicated in mid-September. The glove accentuates the baseball theme inside and furthers the ties among Penn College, Little League and the health system. An anonymous donor provided funding for the materials and for the balance of Patterson’s time that he didn’t donate to the project. Although the bulk of the work occurred after spring classes ended, the faculty member had some assistance from students. Patterson’s civic presence also includes a sculpture on the South Williamsport side of the Susquehanna River Walk, near Maynard Street, and public artwork at West Fourth and Market streets.