News about Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies

Penn College first in U.S. higher education to get innovative welder

Through a partnership with Cambridge Vacuum Engineering Inc., Pennsylvania College of Technology will soon have an electron beam welder, similar to the unit shown here, for use in its welding and metal fabrication program.

Pennsylvania College of Technology is partnering with Cambridge Vacuum Engineering Inc. to bring electron beam welding to the curriculum of its welding and metal fabrication program.

A 6okV electron beam welder from CVE, a Cambridge, England-based, company with a U.S. sales and support office, will be used by the college in its soon-to-be expanded welding instructional facility in the Lycoming Engines Metal Trade Center.  This is the first electron beam welder placed by the company in any college or university within the United States, and one of only a few in higher-education institutions worldwide.

The welder will be installed in the fall of 2019, immediately enabling the college to enhance the majors offered within the welding and metal fabrication program, providing exceptional opportunities for Penn College students.

The need for electron beam welder technicians is increasing in industry; the partnership with CVE will help Penn College satisfy that demand. Electron beam welding has become a vital technology in the aerospace, automotive, energy, medical, semiconductor and military industries.

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Penn College, leading company form perfect ‘package’

Packaging Progressions Inc. in Souderton – the world’s leading supplier of high-speed interleaving and stacking machines – boasts a multi-generational connection to Penn College. Company founder and chairman Larry Ward (center) graduated from Penn College’s predecessor institution, Williamsport Area Community College, in 1966. Welder/fabricator Brett E. Stanley (left), of Lancaster, graduated from Penn College in 2012, and automation engineer Johnathan T. Capps, of North Wales, earned his degree from the college last May.

On the surface, the three men have little in common. One looks like a vibrant, distinguished grandfather with his neatly trimmed white goatee and confident gait. The second could pass for a lead singer in a rock band with his lip and nose rings, faded T-shirt and long hair. The third appears to be a budding executive with his coiffed hair and button-down shirt complemented by a perfect smile.

They are separated by appearance, age, background and job title. But the three share educational roots at Pennsylvania College of Technology and mission at Packaging Progressions Inc. in Souderton.

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Faculty’s cybersecurity outreach featured in Washington Post

Miller (left) and Gorka, during an earlier presentation about their National Science Foundation-funded plan to involve pre-college students in cybersecurity awareness.

An effort by two members of Penn College’s information technology faculty to extend cybersecurity education to high school students – and younger – is featured in Friday’s editions of The Washington Post. Jacob R. Miller and Sandra Gorka, associate professors of computer science, will attend the ShmooCon hacker convention in the nation’s capital and offer a Jan. 18 presentation about a dual-enrollment program to interest pre-college students in cybersecurity careers. “If you go into a first- or second-grade class and ask, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ it’s doubtful anyone would say information security analyst,” Miller told The Post’s Joseph Marks. “But we want to raise the profile so when they’re thinking of doctors, nurses and firefighters, they’ll also think of IT pros and security in IT. That’s the holy grail of where we want to see this project go.” The college offers four IT baccalaureate degrees: software development and information management, information assurance and cyber security, information technology: network specialist concentration, and game and simulation programming. Students may also seek an associate degree in information technology: technical support technology emphasis.

SkillsUSA video features college’s all-female welding team

Produced by SkillsUSA, a “Diversity in Manufacturing” video features the state champion Penn College welding team of Erin M. Beaver, Joelle E. Perelli and Natalie Rhoades. The welding and fabrication engineering majors are helping to change America’s outdated ideas on what manufacturing is and what kind of person can find success, security and satisfaction in a manufacturing-related career. The video, added to the college’s YouTube channel, also includes insights from Volvo Construction Equipment North America.

Farm Show offers ‘inspiring’ look at college’s varied majors

School of Business & Hospitality majors from Penn College take part in a Student Cooking Challenge at the 2018 Pennsylvania Farm Show. All six of the college’s academic schools will again be represented at the Jan. 5-12 event, the nation’s largest indoor agricultural expo. (Photo by Davey Rudy)

Throngs of visitors will soon converge on Harrisburg to celebrate the commonwealth’s agricultural prominence, and Pennsylvania College of Technology students and employees will be there to help honor the event’s 2019 theme of “Inspiring Pennsylvania’s Story.”

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Penn College electrical students help power park

Ian J. Chilcote, of Altoona, was one of 15 electrical technology students from tasked with installing electrical power.

Pennsylvania College of Technology electrical students powered their education throughout the fall semester by employing their skills at a regional park.

The 15 second-semester students installed electrical service at Lime Bluff Recreation Area in Hughesville. What began in the heat of August ended in December’s chill as the students worked about five hours a week at the complex.

“The work they did can’t be replicated in the lab due to the nature of it,” said Joseph R. Raup, instructor of electrical technology/occupations and teacher of the Construction Lab II-Commercial course charged with the project. “We don’t have the area to do the trenching and the underground type of work.”

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Electrical students power their education at regional park

Second-semester students seeking an associate degree in electrical technology at Penn College installed electrical service to Lime Bluff Recreation Area in Hughesville throughout the fall semester. The 15 students gained four months of “real-world” experience as they provided lighting and outlets to a maintenance building and a park pavilion, granting a longtime wish of the East Lycoming Recreation Authority to bring electricity to the park. “They really saved us a ton of money, both in drafting and in electrical,” said Thomas Zavalydriga, project director for the authority. “I’ve been in management all my professional career and these students have done just an outstanding job from a professional … and a personal standpoint.”

Students crack ‘code,’ open window onto IT careers

Students from South Williamsport Junior/Senior High School use a “Tower of Hanoi” to learn the foundations of computational thinking – which requires no computer.

High school students draw paths for their Ozobots.

Alicia McNett, instructor of computer information technology, offers encouragement to a group of students from Milton High School.

Spyke M. Krepshaw, instructor of web and interactive media, confers with students from South Williamsport.

A high-schooler draws multicolor paths to direct her color-sensing Ozobot.

Penn College took part in a worldwide movement on Monday as host of an Hour of Code event for students from five high schools. A collaborative effort between the college’s School of Business & Hospitality and School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies, the event provided lessons in coding without technology and programming Ozobots, led by faculty members Anita R. Wood, associate professor of computer information technology; Spyke M. Krepshaw, instructor of web and interactive media; and Alicia McNett, instructor of computer information technology, as well as a campus tour. Wood emphasized to students that computer programmers are not necessarily smarter than others, but they are persistent in trying to solve puzzles and problems. The Hour of Code movement started as a one-hour introduction to computer science designed to demystify “code,” to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. Most events take place during or near Computer Science Education Week. The week is held annually to recognize the birthday of computing pioneer Adm. Grace Murray Hopper on Dec. 9, 1906. More than 219,000 events were registered in more than 180 countries in 2018. Schools participating at the Penn College event were Commonwealth Charter Academy, Hughesville High School, Milton High School, South Williamsport Junior/Senior High School and York County School of Technology.

Students ‘soldier’ on to complete project by ceremonial deadline

The toy soldier takes shape in College Avenue Labs ...

... where a focused group of students worked against the clock to fabricate and assemble a splendid keepsake.

Students and Klinger (standing at front left) proudly display their handiwork.

Standing at attention outside the Breuder Advanced Technology & Health Sciences Center, the majestic creation would be equally at home in the finest Manhattan storefront.

Penn College’s decades-old tradition of large-scale holiday cards on the campus mall got an impressive add-on for the 2018 season: a massive toy soldier jointly fashioned by automotive restoration majors and manufacturing students in instructor Roy Klinger’s metal-shaping classes. “We were trying to think of something we could build to go with the holiday cards, and we came across an image of a 12-foot-tall toy soldier,” said Arthur M. Wright IV, an automotive restoration technology major from Woodbridge, New Jersey. “We figured we would give it a try because it could end up looking really cool!” A group of students from the manufacturing program assisted restoration majors with drawing and designing the toy soldier. The inner structure is mostly plywood arranged to help support the weight of the towering statue, Wright said, while the outer shell is completely made of aluminum. “The restoration students made paper patterns of the shapes provided by the drawing that the manufacturing students prepared for us,” he explained. “We then shaped all the pieces using the skills and techniques that we were learning in our metal-shaping class. The project really helped us display the skills that we had been working so hard to develop.” It was a total team effort to complete the project, he said, estimating that it took all of four three-hour classes to fully realize their shared vision. “When we came in the Wednesday morning of the card-lighting ceremony (Nov. 28), we didn’t think we were going to be able to get it done,” said Wright, who also shared some of the students’ photos. “Most of the soldier was still in pieces, with no paint. But thanks to the guidance and leadership of our teacher, we were able to get everything finished before the ceremony started!”

Autodesk honors Penn College faculty member

J.D. Mather

Autodesk recognized the contributions of a Pennsylvania College of Technology faculty member to its support network during the recent Expert Elite Global Summit in Las Vegas.

The multinational software corporation honored J.D. Mather, assistant professor of engineering design technology, as 5-Year Top Expert Elite Autodesk Forums contributor for submitting nearly 500 screencast videos to the Autodesk Knowledge Network, a repository of educational content for the Autodesk community.

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Student-run event gives robots fighting chance

The theater of battle fills with participants and spectators.

Action heats up in the competition cage.

A steady hand on the controller ... and in capturing the contest on cellphone video.

The makings of a winner?

Penn College hosted battles of ingenuity during SWORD Fall Fights 2018 in the Field House. Approximately 45 combat robots, designed and built by Penn College students and members of the public, “fought” in the double-elimination tournament on Nov. 17. About 130 people attended the daylong event, which featured 1- and 3-pound weight classes. “In an event like this, students get to see engineering in action,” said Craig A. Miller, instructor of engineering design technology and adviser to the Student Wildcats of Robotic Design Club, which sponsored the event.  “They design, build and test their robots against other builders.  They see what works and what does not and make design improvements in an effort to make their robots more competitive.”

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Penn College faculty present findings at IT conference

Jacob R. Miller and Sandra Gorka, associate professors of computer science at Pennsylvania College of Technology, reported on the college’s implementation of a National Science Foundation grant at the 19th Annual Conference on Information Technology Education in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Pennsylvania College of Technology faculty shared their experiences implementing a National Science Foundation grant at the 19th Annual Conference on Information Technology Education in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Jacob R. Miller and Sandra Gorka, associate professors of computer science, presented a “lightning talk” and poster session on an NSF-funded grant aiming to extend the cybersecurity student pipeline to high schools.

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Penn College shares ‘Tech Scholars’ success at STEMATHON

STEMATHONThe success of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Tech Scholars initiative was the topic of a presentation delivered at STEMATHON, a celebration of STEM in Pennsylvania, held recently at the Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13 Conference and Training Center in Lancaster.

David S. Richards, professor of physics, served as main presenter of the session, “Attracting and Retaining Talented Students in STEM Careers through Penn College’s NSF S-STEM Tech Scholars Grant.” Stacey C. Hampton, assistant dean of industrial, computing and engineering technologies, was the session’s co-presenter.

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Penn College student ‘constructs’ his future at K’NEX

Thomas Proske

Some people spend a lifetime searching for that elusive “dream job.” Thomas Proske spent a summer experiencing his, thanks to an internship at a prominent toy maker.

The Pennsylvania College of Technology industrial design student worked on the design team at K’NEX in Hatfield. A division of Basic Fun, K’NEX is the maker of iconic construction toys pieced together by colorful, interlocking plastic components.

“It was pretty much, ‘Here, go make stuff,’” said Proske, a sophomore from Laceyville. “I didn’t know that they were going to sit me down and have me build all day. It was such an awesome job.”

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High school students celebrate STEM Day at Penn College

Students from Columbia-Montour Area Vocational-Technical School program paths for small robots called Ozobots using colored markers – a way to code without a computer. The activity was one of several that high school students explored at Pennsylvania College of Technology on Nov. 8 as part of a National STEM Day celebration.

To celebrate National STEM Day, Pennsylvania College of Technology welcomed nearly 100 high school students to campus on Nov. 8.

“STEM” is short for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“In an ever-changing, increasingly complex world, it’s more important than ever that our nation’s youth are prepared to bring knowledge and skills to solve problems, make sense of information, and know how to gather and evaluate evidence to make decisions,” says the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation & Improvement. “These are the kinds of skills that students develop in science, technology, engineering and math.”

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Penn College is a special mission affiliate of Penn State