A Caterpillar dealership’s respect for a Pennsylvania College of Technology faculty member, combined with a fortuitous phone call and prompt follow-up, resulted in the donation of a 2008 marine engine to the college’s diesel program.
The 12-cylinder CAT C32 model, valued at $140,000, recently arrived at the Schneebeli Earth Science Center near Allenwood. The spacious campus is home to Penn College’s School of Natural Resources Management, where students again will benefit from Caterpillar Inc. and its network of dealerships in this case, Ransome CAT of Bensalem.
“This generous donation will allow our students to explore another facet of the diesel industry,” said Brett A. Reasner, assistant dean of natural resources management. “Caterpillar continues to be a valuable resource to Penn College and our students with its support of advanced equipment technology and expert technical staff.”
The twin turbocharged diesel engine, which delivers 1,800 horsepower and uses Caterpillar’s cutting-edge ACERT technology to reduce emissions and improve fuel efficiency, will allow hands-on instruction on the seaworthy side of the diesel industry.
“One of the attributes of Penn College that we always appreciate is faculty and staff that think “outside of the box,'” said Ron Garber, who facilitated the donation as a Ransome employee and member of two college corporate advisory committees. “Coupling this very positive attribute with faculty that set personal goals for themselves equals a potential for improvements to the programs that benefit CAT dealers and their customers. This kind of thinking also generates enthusiasm among the dealers, and our collective creative ideas begin to flow.”
Garber has particular praise for William P. Kilcoyne Jr., instructor of diesel equipment technology at Penn College, calling him a “real asset to the college, the students and the CAT dealers.” Kilcoyne twice has won Caterpillar’s “Pathfinder to Excellence” award for his commitment to the program and its students, and long envisioned the curricular expansion into marine diesel.
“Sometimes the adage that “timing is everything’ plays into the equation,” Garber said of the donation. “Just such an example happened when Francis Campbell of our Hammonton, N.J., engine store called to say that there was a very low-hour CAT C32 marine engine available for instructional purposes. I immediately thought of Bill Kilcoyne’s desire to add the marine segment to the diesel program and placed a call to the college to work out the details.”
Within a short time, the engine was on its way to the Earth Science Center; Garber and Campbell visited in August to deliver all of the peripherals including CD backups of the instruction manuals and related software to complete the donation. The contribution could not have been made without the cooperation of the Peoria, Ill.-based Caterpillar Inc., Garber said; the corporation and its dealers have channeled more than $1.6 million in funding to Penn College’s diesel, heavy construction equipment and electric power-generation majors since 1994.
“These cooperative efforts are the reason we, as CAT dealers, continue to be involved with Penn College,” he said. “Without the students who eventually become employees of the dealers our jobs would be much more difficult, as the complexity of equipment increases every year. We rely on the students to serve our customers’ repair needs and to build relationships with the customers, utilizing the skills learned during their college years.”
For more about the diesel program or other majors offered by the School of Natural Resources Management, visit online or call 570-320-8038. For more information about Penn College, visit on the Web , e-mail or call toll-free 800-367-9222.