News about Welding

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.

An Artist’s Journey to Engineering

Hannah Michelle is at home in the welding lab …

… and in the painting studio. In both places, using her hands to create comes naturally.

From the Fall 2015 edition of One College Avenue, Penn College’s official magazine: Student Hannah Michelle Scheimreif links the seemingly opposite disciplines of studio art and welding and fabrication engineering technology. “In engineering, you’re solving problems and coming up with new ideas, and in art, you’re solving problems and coming up with new ideas,” she said. “It coalesces very nicely.” Read “Double Major

WBRE Broadcasts News Report About Unique Welding Project

Steven P. Johnson talks about the "talent, teamwork and family" that are hallmarks of Penn College, Little League and Susquehanna Health.

Eyewitness News’ Cody Butler interviewed Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour and Susquehanna Health President and CEO Steven P. Johnson on Friday about the welded baseball glove installed this week outside the Hospitality Inn at Williamsport Regional Medical Center. His piece debuted during WBRE’s 5:30 p.m. newscast that evening.

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.

Five Penn College Students Earn Gold Medals at SkillsUSA Nationals

Penn College's SkillsUSA contingent recently returned from national competition with five first-place medals. Front row, from left: Kyle T. Potts, of Colver; Randall J. Haynes, Julian; Ian M. Dorman, Mill Hall; and Bradley L. Hayden, Milton, Vermont. Second row, from left: Matthew R. Harman Jr., Sellersville; Jerome T. Czachor, Dickson City; Kenneth J. "Jeremy" Williams, Westminster, Maryland; and adviser James N. Colton II. Instructor Michael Damiani is in the back row.

Five students from Pennsylvania College of Technology earned first-place medals during the 51st annual National SkillsUSA Conference, held recently in Louisville, Kentucky.

Bringing home the gold – and bringing to 40 the number of top Penn College winners in national competition over the years – were Matthew R. Harman Jr., of Sellersville; Randall J. Haynes, of Julian; and Ian M. Dorman, of Mill Hall, who competed as a team in the Automated Manufacturing Technology category; Kyle T. Potts, of Colver, Technical Drafting; and Bradley L. Hayden, of Milton, Vermont, Welding.

Read more

State Cabinet Officials Tour Campus on ‘Jobs’ Visit

With campus beauty all around, including the "Student Bodies" art installation spanning the campus mall, the group takes a shady stroll north from the ATHS.

Stopping by the dental hygiene lab

Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour (left) walks with Secretary Manderino and others alongside the robotic welding stations.

Michael K. Patterson, a member of the college's welding faculty, scores a hit with his impressive work-in-progress: a larger-than-life baseball glove, complete with welded metal strands to simulate stitching.

Secretary Davin, at the podium

Two cabinet secretaries from Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration continued the “Jobs That Pay” tour in a Monday visit to Penn College, where they focused on workforce development and employer-training initiatives within the governor’s proposed 2015-16 budget for the commonwealth. Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis M. Davin and Department of Labor & Industry Secretary Kathy M. Manderino toured the college’s dental hygiene and welding labs, instructional areas that could benefit from a proposed increase in state appropriation. A press conference followed in the welding lab.

NYC Kids Get ‘Fresh’ Taste of Postsecondary Possibilities

In a lab full of priceless automobiles being restored by Penn College students, the visitors are allowed several supervised violations of the "look, but don't touch" rule. The youngsters take turns cranking a Ford Model T coil tester, generating enough voltage to illuminate a small light bulb.

A group of New York City youngsters, finishing a seven-day visit to Williamsport arranged through the Fresh Air Foundation, this week tasted the uniquely amazing opportunities of a Penn College degree. A rewarding experience for both the youngsters and their local host families, Fresh Air gives urban boys and girls a peek into life outside the city, and enticed Monday’s group with a higher-education option they might have thought was well beyond their reach. In an age-appropriate agenda fashioned by admissions representative Emily A. Weaver, the kids started their day with a brief video showcasing three Penn College students. “They were having fun while working toward their goals,” one boy noted, surprised that college isn’t all studious drudgery. A campus tour followed, then lunch in the Keystone Dining Room. The guests also visited the automotive restoration/collision repair and welding labs before burning off excess steam on the basketball court. The verdict? Unqualified success … and the wide-eyed promise by some to enroll as students within the decade.

Read more

Penn College Students Earn Industry Certifications

Pennsylvania College of Technology students representing seven different majors recently proved their mastery of computer aided drafting and design software programs by passing certification exams.

Fifty-two students successfully completed the Certified SolidWorks Associate exam and one student earned Autodesk Inventor Professional certification. SolidWorks and Autodesk Inventor are industry-standard 3-D parametric software programs used primarily within the engineering drafting and design profession.

“Two years ago, we completely revised our curriculum to closely align with current industry standards and technology,” said J.D. Mather, assistant professor of engineering design technology. “Our enrollment in the engineering design program has substantially increased since these changes were made. This year, we more than doubled the number of students who successfully completed the exams. I am very pleased with the increase in certified users. The certification is an external validation that our curriculum is meeting industry standards.”

Read more

Students ‘Ramp Up’ Production, Delivering in Advance of Derby Day

Myers, Matson-Warner and Mullner (from left) attach the ramp's trigger mechanism Thursday morning.

Surveying with pride their know-how and craftsmanship, the students are joined by faculty member Troup (second from right).

Matson-Warner demonstrates the starting ramp's ease of use, sending two cars on a brief parking-lot jaunt. (The maiden run was coincidentally witnessed by school dean David R. Cotner, who readily expressed his pride in the project results.)

When competitors in Saturday’s Williamsport Soap Box Derby are launched down Market Street, precision Penn College handiwork will ensure a consistent start in their dash to the finish. Answering a request from event organizers, four students from the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies formulated and built the ramp that will send racers on their speedy descent from Brandon Park to Little League Boulevard. “I supervised and answered questions when they had them,” said Howard W. Troup, maintenance mechanic/millwright, “but this was entirely designed and custom-made by students.” After the college (a derby co-sponsor) was provided with official specifications, which mainly asked that the ramp’s release and reset mechanism be handily operated by a seated volunteer, Troup turned the project over to Matthew J. Horner, of Marion, an automated manufacturing technology major who earned an associate degree in automotive technology last year. Working from Horner’s blueprints and making modifications as appropriate, three others – Robert W. Myers, of Montoursville, a manufacturing engineering technology major; Michael B. Mullner, of Kendall, New Jersey, enrolled in machine tool technology; and John I. Matson-Warner, of South Williamsport, who majors in welding and fabrication engineering technology – fashioned a nearly 7-foot-wide aluminum ramp that is as aesthetic as it is functional. More lightweight and portable than its rigid steel predecessor, the ramp includes bubble levels and scissor jacks on both sides to avoid misalignment and to effect a uniform start in the scores of head-to-head races throughout the day. “And we used bronze bushings, so it should last 100 years,” Troup added. (Two winners in the weekend race, a local tradition revived in 2010, will go on to compete at the national level in Akron, Ohio.) Soap Box Derby officials are picking up the ramp on Friday morning, and, with a commendable nod toward quality control and customer service, the students plan to be at the starting line at 6 a.m. Saturday for installation and to make sure that volunteers understand its operation.

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.”

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.

Read more

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

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.”

Read more

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.

Srpan's custom chopper awaits a curious public.

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

.. 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.

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.”

Read more