News about Civil Engineering & Surveying

Fourteen Incoming Students Chosen as 2018-19 ‘BE Scholars’

Fourteen of this fall’s first-year students in construction and design majors at Pennsylvania College of Technology have been selected as Built Environment Scholars in a program that rewards academic talent in science, technology, engineering and mathematics-related fields.

Scholarship funding up to an annual $10,000 per student is awarded through a $1 million National Science Foundation grant that aims to increase retention, graduation and career readiness for students in six of Penn College’s STEM-focused pursuits.

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Student Surveyors’ Club Aids National GPS Data Collection

Glenn C. Johnson, a first-year surveying technology major from Sweet Valley, sets up a GPS receiver on an NGS benchmark along Route 15 south of Williamsport. (Photo provided)

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Pennsylvania Society of Land Surveyors student chapter recently took part in a service project involving the National Geodetic Survey, collecting data to correct insufficient and inaccurate Global Positioning System information.

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Today’s Students Mentor Tomorrow’s ‘Women in Construction’

Teamwork in the lab

Girls in ninth through 12 grades visited Pennsylvania College of Technology on Friday for a hands-on exploration of careers in construction and design.

The daylong “Framing Your Future” event introduced 42 participants to the industry’s vast career opportunities; included a networking lunch with guest speaker Angie (Martinozzi) Moore, a May 2015 construction management alumna and an assistant project manager at Wickersham Construction & Engineering Inc. in Lancaster; and provided a dialogue with current college students.

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Soon-to-Be Grad Honored by State Surveyors’ Group

From left are JoAnn Dobeck; Bradley A. Zeigler; and Penn College student Mark A. Valchar, of Petersburg, recipient of the 2018 Ed Dobeck Award.

The Susquehanna Chapter of the Pennsylvania Society of Land Surveyors hosted its annual Ed Dobeck Memorial Award dinner meeting at Pennsylvania College of Technology on April 5, enabling regional land surveyors to welcome surveying technology students into the profession.

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Architecture Grads Discuss Emerging Technology’s Impact, Potential

Balzer engages BE scholars and architectural technology students in the Hager Lifelong Education Center ...

... and joins colleague Richline (left) in effecting a students' virtual-reality experience.

Two alumni employees of Larson Design Group – David I. Balzer (’01, architectural technology), director of retail design, and Ty C. Richline (’13, architectural technology, and ’15, building science and sustainable design: architectural technology concentration), who leads virtual-reality initiatives for the firm – visited Penn College last week in the second industry presentation for Built Environment Scholars. A roomful of BE Scholars and architecture majors from various academic years attended the presentation on the role of technology in the built environment. The alumni guests showed examples of how technology could be incorporated into client presentations, utilizing augmented realty, virtual reality and 3-D animations. They also provided a demonstration of VR and Oculus goggle sets, immersing students in an interactive virtual environment. Funded through a National Science Foundation grant, the BE Scholars program is designed to increase retention, degree completion and career readiness for students enrolled in the School of Construction & Design Technologies’ two-year majors.
Photos provided

Construction Scholars Learning From the Pros

Anthony H. Visco Jr. – an alumnus, adviser and longtime friend of the college – gives students a front-row peek at their imminent careers. (Photo provided)

The semester’s first official industry presentation for Built Environment Scholars, featuring local architect Anthony H. Visco Jr. (a 1967 graduate of Williamsport Area Community College and a member of Penn College’s Architectural Technology Advisory Board), was held recently in the School of Construction & Design Technologies.

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Penn College Racks Up Successes at Home Builders’ Show

Penn College was one of five recipients of a National Housing Endowment grant, which was formally awarded during the 2018 National Association of Home Builders International Builders’ Show in Orlando, Fla. Accepting the check are (from left) instructor Levon A. Whitmyer; students Hayden N. Beiter, of Williamsport; Michael J. Deragon, of Fort Washington; Caleb M. Burk, of Sunbury; Nathaniel M. Barbolish, of Nicholson; Aaron F. White, of Westover; Ryan Z. Zwickle, of Slatington; Justin W. Bates, of Hawley; Casey L. Grim, of Red Lion; Henry A. Rainey, of Jersey Shore; Katherine L. Mertes, of Williamsport; and Hanna J. Williams, of Marion, N.Y.; and instructor Barney A. Kahn IV.

Orlando, Florida, was fertile ground for Pennsylvania College of Technology this season: Students, alumni and faculty all returned in triumph from an international builders’ show held at the Orange County Convention Center.

For starters, the college was presented with a $73,838 Homebuilding Education Leadership Program grant – the culmination of a yearlong effort led by building construction technology instructor Levon A. Whitmyer, with support from instructor Barney A. Kahn IV and Carol A. Lugg, now dean of construction and design technologies.

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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.

‘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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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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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

Group Honors Surveyor’s Legacy Through Student Award

Surveying technology faculty and students were among those attending a recent dinner meeting of the Susquehanna Chapter of the Pennsylvania Society of Land Surveyors. Front row (from left): Colton L. Copenhaver, McClure; Madison L. Carts, State College; and Dustin M. Houck, Petersburg. Back row (from left): Mark A. Valchar, Petersburg; Brock L. Gosling, Denver; faculty member Eric D. Henneberger; Derick L. Weaver, student award recipient; Howard L. Knapp V, Titusville; and Shawn L. Sheeley Jr., Kersey.

The Susquehanna Chapter of the Pennsylvania Society of Land Surveyors hosted its Ed Dobeck Memorial Award dinner meeting Thursday at Penn College, an annual event that enables regional land surveyors to welcome surveying technology students into the profession. Eric D. Henneberger, PSLS chapter president and instructor of surveying technology at the college, opened the meeting, and Marc E. Bridgens, dean of construction and design technologies, officially welcomed the students and surveyors. Howard D. Taylor, a Professional Land Surveyor based in Northumberland County, presented a touching tribute to the late Ed Dobeck, a widely respected land surveyor who contributed to PSLS and his community and also mentored many in the room. The 2017 Ed Dobeck Memorial Award recipient is Derick L. Weaver, of Narvon, set to graduate next month with an associate degree in surveying technology. The award, presented each May in advance of commencement, recognizes a surveying student who has demonstrated academic achievement, leadership, extracurricular activity and professionalism.
Photo provided

High School Girls Encouraged to Explore Careers in Construction

Construction management major Lauren S. Herr, of Lititz, is among the organizers and mentors for Penn College’s March 20 “Framing Your Future” event for high school girls.

High school girls who want to explore opportunities in the construction industry are invited to a “Framing Your Future” event on Monday, March 20, hosted by Pennsylvania College of Technology’s School of Construction & Design Technologies.

The day – open to young women in grades nine through 12 – will kick off at 9 a.m. in Penn’s Inn, on the second floor of the Bush Campus Center.

Female students will acquaint participants with the construction-related majors available at Penn College, followed by an Etiquette Luncheon, at which industry mentors will introduce each table of girls to networking and proper dining in a business atmosphere. The afternoon will conclude with a panel of women representing current students, alumnae and industry, followed by a virtual field trip to a construction site before the day wraps up at 3 p.m.

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Students Perform Well in Prestigious Builders’ Competition

Members of the two- and four-year Penn College teams gather outside the International Builders’ Show in Orlando. From left are Carlos Rojas, Williamsport; Nicholas D. Gieger, Dingmans Ferry; Chad W. Hawkins, Williamsport; Robert G. Jackson III, Butler; Casey L. Grim, Red Lion; Hanna J. Williams, Marion, N.Y.; Everett B. Appleby, Wilkes-Barre; Jordan M. Scott, Cogan Station; Lindsay A. Lane, McKean; Ryan Z. Zwickle, Slatington; and Liam R. McGarvey, Cogan Station.

A pair of teams comprising students from construction-related programs at Pennsylvania College of Technology admirably met the challenge of competition at the recent National Association of Home Builders International Builders’ Show in Orlando, Florida.

A team representing associate-degree majors placed fifth in a field of 15 entrants from across the country in the Residential Construction Management Competition, and their colleagues from bachelor-degree majors finished 16th out of 35 institutions.

“The teams worked all of the fall semester on the problems given to them,” said Levon A. Whitmyer, instructor of building construction technology, noting that competition preparation is undertaken 100-percent outside of students’ class time. “The problems typically are future, real-world projects within the construction industry.”

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