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Engineering Design Technology Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Plastics & Polymer Students

Student uses know-how, home equipment to make face shields

Brackets for face shields to be used by health care workers are cut from a polycarbonate sheet on a CNC router. Pennsylvania College of Technology student Matthew Semmel, of Palmerton, modified his CNC router to cut the pieces between classes while studying from home.

Between classes, a Pennsylvania College of Technology student modified a computer numerical control router that he typically uses for woodworking projects to help manufacture more than 300 face shields for distribution to hospitals in his area.

Matthew A. Semmel, of Palmerton, is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in engineering design technology and an associate degree in plastics and polymer technology. Due to the pandemic, he – like all other Penn College students – has been taking classes remotely since mid-March to comply with the state’s stay-at-home order and social distancing guidance.

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May 15, 2020
Faculty & Staff Industrial Design Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Students

Penn College student creates board game for senior project

Cullen S. Berfield

An industrial design student at Pennsylvania College of Technology has “rolled the dice” with his senior project. And his move looks like a winning one.

Cullen S. Berfield, of Jersey Shore, has designed a board game for his capstone. Complete with innovative rules, dice, player pieces, boards and cards, the unique endeavor marries his affinity for strategy games with his artistic instincts.

“I’ve always loved board games because they bring people together,” Berfield explained. “Bringing people together for a chunk of time, whether it be for a half hour or a few hours, is something that I find special.”

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May 8, 2020
Faculty & Staff Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Nursing & Health Sciences

Local news site profiles Penn College’s ‘helping hands’

On the Pulse’s Anne Reiner recently interviewed Sandra L. Richmond, dean of nursing and health sciences, and Eric K. Albert, associate professor of automated manufacturing and machining, about Penn College’s response to the needs of health care professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We need to do what we can do right now,” Richmond said. “This was an absolute must … so we did provide these supplies and, certainly, we’re going to continue to reach out to our clinical partners and let them know we’re here to support them in any way that we can based on the evolving needs that they have.”

 

April 19, 2020
Automated Manufacturing & Machining Faculty & Staff Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies

‘Stock exchange’ mutually beneficial investment

A trade between educators at Pennsylvania College of Technology and the Central Columbia School District is a “win” for health-care workers and an elderly mother during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eric K. Albert, an associate professor of automated manufacturing and machining at Penn College, recently traded plastic filament material to Tom Gill, a science teacher at Central Columbia High School, in exchange for a dozen rolls of toilet paper.

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April 10, 2020
Automated Manufacturing & Machining Faculty & Staff General Information Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies STEM Students

WNEP shares educator’s industrious crisis response

WNEPA faculty member’s contribution to the COVID-19 fight, using the same 3D printing technology through which he teaches students in his manufacturing labs, was featured on Newswatch 16’s Monday broadcasts. WNEP journalist Nikki Krize remotely interviewed Eric K. Albert, an associate professor of automated manufacturing and machining, about his extracurricular fabrication of face shields and ventilator splitters.  “When we’re in a situation like we are now where we need to produce custom parts and maybe lots of different things, additive manufacturing is one of the technologies that helps,” Albert says in the story, which premiered at 5 p.m. “It’s not fast, but it’s very flexible.”

April 6, 2020
Automated Manufacturing & Machining Faculty & Staff General Information Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies STEM Students

Penn College professor manufactures ventilator splitters

Eric K. Albert, associate professor of automated manufacturing at Pennsylvania College of Technology, holds three of the eight vent splitters he made with his home 3D printer in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Albert followed directions provided by ventsplitter.org to manufacture the splitters, which are awaiting emergency FDA approval. As a last resort, the vent splitter allows multiple patients to share one ventilator.

As the developer of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s additive manufacturing curriculum, Eric K. Albert has preached to his students for years about the ingenuity facilitated by 3D printing. A few months from retirement, he’s proving his point by responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The associate professor of automated manufacturing and machining has used his own materials and 3D printer to produce eight non-FDA approved ventilator splitters made of ABS, a widely used engineering resin, that could – in a worst-case scenario – allow a facility to connect more than one patient to a ventilator.

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April 3, 2020
Construction & Design Technologies Faculty & Staff General Information Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies NSSC Nursing & Health Sciences Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies

College pitches in to protect COVID-19 front line

Donated equipment awaits delivery to health care providers.
Donated equipment awaits delivery to health care providers.

Pennsylvania College of Technology is aiding the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic by donating personal protection equipment to area health care facilities.

Various departments have spent the past week collecting supplies – originally intended for on-campus student and staff use – to be distributed within the next few days to the college’s nursing home partners.

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March 31, 2020
Automated Manufacturing & Machining Faculty & Staff Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Students

Need meets know-how in college’s 3D printing lab

A Pennsylvania College of Technology faculty member is employing his expertise to help protect front-line workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Eric K. Albert, associate professor of automated manufacturing and machining, is producing face shields with the college’s Stratasys 3D printers. Following a “recipe” provided by the company, Albert is manufacturing visors containing three mounting points for the insertion of clear plastic material to serve as the shield.  

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March 27, 2020
General Information Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Welding

Welding Digest spotlights college’s enhanced lab

An article and YouTube video about Penn College’s expanded welding lab in the Lycoming Engines Metal Trades Center have been added to the Welding Digest website. The American Welding Society’s premier digital news source, the site is designed to provide thousands of welders and allied professionals with news and information related to the welding/fabrication industry.

March 24, 2020
Business & Hospitality Digital Media & Marketing Faculty & Staff Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Information Technology Students

College offers free development of ordering sites for businesses

Pennsylvania College of Technology students, guided by a quick-thinking faculty mentor in partnership with the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce, are providing a true community service: facilitating online ordering pages for businesses still permitted to operate during the coronavirus pandemic.

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March 21, 2020
Alumni Engineering Design Technology Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies

Design/drafting manager traces path from grad to CAD

William J. HenryThe computer aided drafting manager for First Quality Products Inc., a 1990 Penn College alumnus employed at the company’s McElhattan manufacturing facility, recently returned to campus to share his professional experience. William J. Henry, who holds an associate degree in engineering drafting technology, spoke to students in CAD Management and Customization courses taught by Katherine A. Walker, assistant professor, and instructor Craig A. Miller. During a near-hourlong presentation in the Thompson Professional Development Center, Henry covered a range of relevant topics: software and hardware acquisition and upgrade, database management, team-building, IT security, people skills, and advocating for the profession. “One of the reasons I wanted to come here today to talk to you is because I am passionate about what we do,” Henry said. “You’re gonna replace me someday and I want you to be standing up here giving this talk to that next generation. So find the passion in what you do and promote that.” Henry maintains an active connection to his alma mater, serving on its Engineering Design Technology Advisory Committee. His wife, Serena Pfaff-Henry, is a 1990 accounting graduate, and his son, Quinn T., is enrolled in information technology: network specialist concentration.
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March 11, 2020
College Transitions Events Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Plastics & Polymer

PlastiVan’s playful outreach benefits dual-enrollment students

SPE PlastiVan educator Elizabeth Egan shows a model of a polymer – a molecule with many parts bonded together.
SPE PlastiVan educator Elizabeth Egan shows a model of a polymer – a molecule with many parts bonded together.
Students from Upper Dauphin Area High School use their fingers to mix glue and borax, creating a fun putty. The fingers were essential to provide heat for the endothermic chemical reaction.
Students from Upper Dauphin Area High School use their fingers to mix glue and borax, creating a fun putty. The fingers were essential to provide heat for the endothermic chemical reaction.
High schoolers add oil to water to test a plastic material used to absorb real oil spills in lakes and oceans.
High schoolers add oil to water to test a plastic material used to absorb real oil spills in lakes and oceans.
Taking advantage of their chemical knowledge, students stick a skewer through a balloon – with the help of lotion to make the skewer slip between the molecules in the latex without popping the balloon.
Taking advantage of their chemical knowledge, students stick a skewer through a balloon – with the help of lotion to make the skewer slip between the molecules in the latex without popping the balloon.

SEKISUI SPI, a Bloomsburg-based thermoplastics company, sponsored three days of opportunity for young learners to experiment with polymers via a visit from the Society of Plastics Engineers’ PlastiVan. PlastiVan educator Elizabeth Egan talked with Penn College NOW students from seven high schools who visited over two days. Penn College NOW is the college’s nationally accredited dual-enrollment program, which provides Penn College classes to high school students in their schools, where they receive both high school and college credit for the courses. While on campus, Egan taught the high school students about the history, chemistry and uses of plastic through fun experiments. The students also toured the college’s plastics education facilities, where they interacted with faculty and students, and the campus. The PlastiVan also spent a day at the annual Science Festival on campus Wednesday.

March 6, 2020
Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies Plastics & Polymer STEM Students

Plastics with student Sidney C. Trunzo

Penn College is home to a community of creators. Go-getters. Creative thinkers. And problem solvers who set out to master real-world skills. It’s where you’ll meet Sidney C. Trunzo, a plastics and polymer engineering technology student. Check out a video, added to the college’s YouTube channel, for a glimpse of her training in hands-on labs. Find out why she loves her major. And learn how this ABET-accredited program prepares Trunzo and her classmates to take the lead in a thriving industry. “I can relate my major to the real world, and I can instantly see the things I am learning about and how they apply to real life,” she says. “It’s just something different, something that you can change the world with, and I think it’s something that’s really important for the future.” A future made by hand.

March 2, 2020
Automated Manufacturing & Machining Faculty & Staff General Information Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies STEM

Penn College offering summer manufacturing experience

Pennsylvania College of Technology will expose high schoolers to the rewarding possibilities of manufacturing careers, thanks to a grant-supported initiative.

The college will host the Thingamajig Fabricators Pre-College Program from July 19-23 on its main campus. Students entering grades 9-12 are eligible for the session, featuring hands-on experience with 3D design software, mills and lathes, and welding. Participants will use their new skills to fabricate a toolbox, hammer and nail punch.

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March 2, 2020