News about Construction & Design Technologies

Faculty Member Compiles Directory of U.S.-Made Building Products

Robert A. Wozniak Jr.

When Robert A. Wozniak Jr. couldn’t find a suitable book for a sustainable building materials course he was teaching at Pennsylvania College of Technology – “nothing that I saw was quite what I was looking for” – he set out on a two-year mission to fill that vacuum.

The result is Made in America: Sustainable Building Products, Materials & Methods, a convenient and comprehensive listing of building products manufactured in the United States.

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Thirteen Students Selected for Penn College NOW Scholarships

Penn College presented scholarships to 13 first-year students who took Penn College NOW courses. From left are Tavor T. Wadsworth, of Williamsport; Vincent R. Keene, of Downingtown; Kayley E. Johnson, of Bloomsburg; Monica A. McCarty, Penn College’s dual enrollment specialist; Michael L. Gardner, of Williamsport; Warren E. Knipe, of Liberty; and Tanya Berfield, the college’s manager of college transitions. Additional recipients not in the photo are: Cheyenne N. Greene, of Jersey Shore; Deontae Z. Johnson, of Selinsgrove; Kylee E. Kelley, of Lock Haven; Tyler W. Miller, of Montgomery; Luke B. Walter, of Millmont; Brittany M. Weiskopff, of Blossburg; Clayton T. Welch, of Benton; and Jeremy M. Wolfgang, of Allenwood.

Pennsylvania College of Technology recently recognized 13 first-year students who received Penn College NOW scholarships.

The recipients completed Penn College courses during high school as part of the college’s Penn College NOW dual-enrollment program. The group was honored during an Oct. 27 reception.

To be eligible, students must have successfully completed at least one Penn College NOW course, have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in Penn College NOW classes, enroll in Penn College as a full-time freshman student for the fall semester after high school graduation, and maintain a 2.5 GPA at Penn College as an enrolled student.

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Veterans’ Holiday Tribute Written in Stars

Regina M. Peluzzo (left), of Philadelphia, a civil engineering technology major, and Jennifer L. Nicholson, an applied health studies: radiography concentration major from Lock Haven, find just the right spot for a special ornament.

Beaver strung hundreds of stars onto wire for easier decoration this year ...

... and Efrem K. Foster, a nursing student from Williamsport, makes a few adjustments to ensure complete coverage.

Peluzzo, Nicholson and Foster pause ever so briefly during Thursday's assignment.

With Old Glory providing an apt backdrop for his ascent to the treetop, Haefner adeptly places the final strand of stars.

A red, white and blue homage to Penn College’s military family took shape this week outside Madigan Library, where three of the campus’s Veterans Affairs work-study students – along with Chet Beaver, coordinator of veterans/military affairs, and General Services horticulturist Aaron S. Haefner – adorned the Veterans Holiday Tree. This year’s tree is a spruce along the northeast side of the library, a site chosen when a nearby pine that was decorated in each of the past three years was removed due to disease. In addition to colored lights, the tree contains 391 stars (fashioned in the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies) representing the institution’s veterans and active-duty servicemen and women. In addition, the tree showcases three glass balls containing commemorative ribbons purchased during an annual Giving Tree fundraiser for the Fisher House Foundation.

Construction Management Students Top Regional Competition

A team of Penn College construction management students placed first in its category at the recent ASC Student Competition in New York state. From left are Thomas D. Roberts, Pittsburgh; Andrew S. Welsh, Chadds Ford; Lauren S. Herr, Lititz; Carl A. Zimmerman, Hunlock Creek; Chekota J. Newhart, Troy; and Calen B. Heeter, Emlenton.

A team of six construction management majors from Pennsylvania College of Technology finished first in the pre-construction division of the 28th annual Associated Schools of Construction Student Competition held Nov. 9-11 in Albany, New York.

In their competition category, sponsored by Rhode Island-based Shawmut Design and Construction, the students acted as construction managers solicited to submit a proposal for pre-construction services for a project in ASC’s Northeast Region. The competitors were scored on their written proposal – encompassing such aspects as scheduling, budget and logistics – and on the effectiveness and clarity of their 30-minute oral presentation.

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‘STEM Day’ Offers Firsthand Look at College’s Stature

Alumnus Derek F. Knipe, a manufacturing engineer at PMF Industries in Williamsport, gets a Wildcat welcome back to campus.

More than 60 students and faculty from North Penn High School, Williamsport Area High School and Columbia-Montour Area Vocational-Technical School visited Penn College during a recent STEM Day program.  The Nov. 8 “Changing the World With STEM” observance included alumni speaker Derek F. Knipe, a 2005 manufacturing engineering technology graduate employed at PMF Industries on Reach Road.  Organizers had help from faculty and students from the School of Construction & Design Technologies and the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies. Among those sharing their experiences with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) were Rylee A. Butler, an engineering design technology major from Bellefonte; Connor L. Winslow, of Blanchard, enrolled in information technology sciences-gaming and simulation; heating, ventilation and air conditioning design technology students Thomas E. “Ted” Daros Jr., of North Salem, New York, and Barry P. “Pat” Watkins, of Blossburg, and Bradley Q. Kishbaugh, instructor of HVAC technology; Jordan M. Scott, of Cogan Station, and Kachine L. Fry, of Butler, both majoring in residential construction technology and management: building construction technology concentration; and Jacob Giraffa, a mechantronics engineering technology student. The high school students were able to see firsthand the technology with which Penn College students regularly work in their classes; robotics, mechatronics and 3-D printing demonstrations were provided. Manufacturing engineering technology major Logan B. Goodhart from the Baja SAE Club showed off the Baja car and what the club is working on, while visitors to the Engineering Design Technology Workshop drove robots into mock combat.

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Last updated November 13, 2017 | Posted in Alumni, Automated Manufacturing & Machining, Construction & Design Technologies, Events, Faculty & Staff, Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning, Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies, Students | This gallery contains 1 photo. | Tagged as | One Comment

‘Augmented Reality Sandbox’ Serves as Multidisciplinary Tool

A sandbox recently installed at Pennsylvania College of Technology is for anything but play. Thanks to the ingenuity of faculty and staff from the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies, the 250 pounds of sand will serve as an educational tool for hundreds of students in several majors.

The unit incorporates a 3-D camera, sensor, projector and computer to reveal virtual topographical contour lines, an elevation color map and simulated water on sand. When the sand is molded by hand, the virtual features change accordingly. The project is modeled after the AR Sandbox, developed by National Science Foundation-funded research at the University of California, Davis.

“It’s an application of augmented reality,” said Bradley M. Webb, assistant dean of industrial, computing and engineering technologies. “It lays computer-generated images over a real-world environment. In this case, the environment is sand. The concept is similar to the Pokémon Go game that was popular a few years ago.”

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A Sun-day in Name Only … but, Oh, What a Day!

Pottstown residents Tom, Kim and Jason Francis pause during their soggy stroll for a portrait in campus exploration.

Umbrellas were the most coveted accessory, but nowhere near as essential as the information that visitors to Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Fall Open House carried home. Held across the institution’s awe-inspiring campuses, the autumn tradition delivered tours, priceless exchanges with helpful members of the campus community, valuable exposure to student life with those who live it and close-up views of the newest majors at a 103-year-old institution that never shows its age.

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Last updated October 29, 2017 | Posted in Admissions, Alumni, Business & Hospitality, College Store, Construction & Design Technologies, Events, Faculty & Staff, General Information, Health Sciences, Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies, Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications, Sports, Students, Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies | This gallery contains 51 photos. | Tagged as | Leave a comment

Teens Assess Construction Careers During Comprehensive Campus Visit

The college's mascot points out some of the career possibilities in the School of Construction & Design Technologies.

More than 90 area high school students attended Friday’s “Design and Build Your Future With Careers in Construction” program at Penn College: a full day of exploring construction and design career pathways, meeting Penn College students who have participated in internships, and learning about potential employment needs in the region. The day – which began with a general “Let’s Build” introduction before focusing on specific professions – was designed for 10th- through 12th-graders with demonstrated interest in architecture and sustainable design; civil engineering or surveying; construction management; heating, ventilation and air conditioning; and building construction.

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Students Take Direct Route From Competition to Community Service

Representing Penn College at a recent woodsmen’s meet in North Carolina, as well as in a gratifying demonstration of community service on the way home, were (from left) students Kristin E. Cavanaugh, Bellefonte; Aaron V. Jedrziewski, Williamsport; and Jackson H. Gehris, Cogan Station; G. Andrew Bartholomay, assistant professor of forest technology; and students Levi J. Weidner, Mechanicsburg; William A. Morrow, Newville; Tyler W. Lauver, Mifflinburg; Abigail L. Hufnagle, Lewisburg; and Derick S. Gower, Sunbury.

Returning from an Oct. 7 woodsmen’s competition in North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest, the Pennsylvania College of Technology Forestry Club – conveniently toting the tools that had earlier brought many of the students individual honors – put their skills to work in a much-appreciated display of public assistance.

Eight members of the club’s Woodsman Team had journeyed to The Cradle of Forestry to compete in the 22nd annual John Palmer Intercollegiate Woodsmen’s Meet, the third consecutive year that Penn College students made the trip. While the students comported themselves admirably in their respective events, the collective Good Samaritan act that followed left no axes to grind.

“Interestingly, the chopping didn’t stop with the conclusion of the meet,” said coach and club adviser G. Andrew Bartholomay, an assistant professor of forest technology. “After breaking camp Saturday night and heading home, the team happened upon a large, dead hemlock tree that had fallen and was blocking the Pisgah Highway. Under the headlights of two college vans and several other trapped cars, the Woodsman Team went to work chopping and clearing the obstruction.”

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‘Career Day’ Opens Doors of Exploration for Curious Teens

Automated manufacturing technology student Aren T. Way (right) of Jersey Shore, demonstrates an industrial-scale robot during a session on “Industrial Robotics, Hydraulics and Pneumatics, and CNC Machine Tools.”

More than 900 high schoolers, hailing from 28 school districts, spent Thursday on campus for the College Transitions Office’s Career Day. Faculty and students from all six of the college’s academic schools and all three campuses spent their Fall Break day off providing close to 50 career-exploration sessions for the visitors, exposing them to dozens of the college’s “degrees that work” offerings. A few of the districts traveled as much as two hours to attend. Among the highlights was a half-day session by the Penn College accounting, finance and business administration departments and the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants that featured not only information about Penn College’s technology-laden degrees, but talks by guest speakers Michael Colgan, CEO of PICPA, and Joseph Siebert, president of PICPA, about future work in these fields as firms must protect clients’ financial information, and accountants can aid investigations via “forensic accounting.” Following the presentations and a Q&A with a panel of Penn College accounting and finance students, the 200 high school participants attended an etiquette lunch in the Field House.

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Last updated October 13, 2017 | Posted in Business & Hospitality, College Transitions, Construction & Design Technologies, Events, Faculty & Staff, Health Sciences, Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies, Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications, Students, Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies | This gallery contains 19 photos. | Tagged as | Leave a comment

Enlightening Alumni Among Homecoming VIPs

Alumni often attend Homecoming to reunite with classmates, revisit faculty who steered them toward vocational success and unwind among friends before the alarm clock resounds. Graduates of Penn College and its predecessors frequently return for another reason, as was seen this past week: to share life lessons from the working world.

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LDG Hosts First-Year Architectural Technology Students

Penn College students listen to a presentation from Eric Gaydos, an architectural technician in LDG's Retail Design division.

Larson Design Group recently opened its doors to Penn College students for a day of learning about architecture. The students are enrolled in Introduction to Architecture (ACH 101) – taught by Rob A. Wozniak, associate professor, and Geoffrey M. Campbell, assistant professor – that provides an overview of the field through tours of architectural and construction-related businesses. Course topics include career paths, educational opportunities, registration requirements, and architects’ responsibilities. “We’ve hosted classes from Penn College many times over the past few years,” Kara Demmien, project designer in LDG’s Retail Design Group and a leader of the firm’s Williamsport office, said in a blog post. “It feels great to contribute to the learning of future architects. Plus, we hire many Penn College graduates, and we’ve found that they make wonderful employees.”

Penn College Students Again Among ‘Best of the Best’ in HVAC

OESP scholarships awarded

Pennsylvania College of Technology students have received two of the six $5,000 national scholarships awarded this year by the Oil and Energy Service Professionals and its co-sponsors.

Penn College winners are Thomas E. Daros Jr., of North Salem, New York – now a three-time recipient – and Garth J. Reish, of Millheim.

Daros is enrolled in heating, ventilation and air conditioning design technology and Reish is a building automation major. Both already hold associate degrees in HVAC technology, and Reish also has a certificate in plumbing.

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Million-Dollar NSF Grant to Foster Students’ Career Preparedness

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning technology is one of six associate degree majors at the heart of a $1 million career-readiness grant awarded to Pennsylvania College of Technology by the National Science Foundation.

How readily does early exposure to job-shadowing and internships translate into career success for today’s college students? That’s the million-dollar question to be answered by a National Science Foundation grant newly awarded to Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Administered by the foundation’s Division of Undergraduate Education’s Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, the $1 million in multiyear funding aims to increase retention, degree completion and career readiness for students representing six STEM-focused, associate-degree majors in Penn College’s School of Construction & Design Technologies.

The students – to be identified as Built Environment Scholars – will be chosen each year on the basis of financial need as identified by a scholarship selection committee among a pool of academically talented applicants.

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Grads Pave Way for Vital New Highway

Jackson and Wise survey the expansive project site ...

... a literally groundbreaking opportunity to untangle a decades-old traffic snarl.

Two Penn College civil engineering graduates – David Wise, ’92, and Maggie Jackson, ’08 – are helping to lead the $670 million Central Susquehanna Valley Transportation Project, one of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s largest undertakings. Wise is a construction manager for PennDOT, and Jackson is the design project engineer. Both rely on their Penn College background as they work on the 13-mile limited access highway that will alleviate a problem faced for 40 years: congestion and heavy truck traffic through Shamokin Dam. “Here’s the largest construction project that I know of in the state and here are two Penn College graduates that are right at the top of the list in making this whole project work, and that’s pretty significant,” said state Sen. Gene Yaw, who also chairs the college’s board of directors. “They should be pretty proud of their own accomplishments because we can do all these things at the college and train them and everything, but I think it’s incumbent upon the individual to go out and use the skills they’ve learned … and these two people obviously have. And we’re really excited about them.”
– Photos by Tom Speicher, writer/video editor

Pennsylvania College of Technology is a special mission affiliate of The Pennsylvania State University