News about Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies

Plastics Students’ Pittsburgh Visit Furthers Industry Connections

The Penn College plastics team at Braskem, in front of the Pittsburgh skyline

Through the generous support of the Thermoplastic Materials & Foams Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers, 10 individuals from Pennsylvania College of Technology traveled to Pittsburgh on April 26-27 to tour the facilities of four major polymer material suppliers. Eight students and two faculty members from the college’s Department of Plastics and Polymer Engineering Technology visited PPG Industries, Braskem, Covestro and Nova Chemicals.

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SkillsUSA Competitors Strike Gold; 21 Students Headed to Nationals

SkillsUSA Pennsylvania

Nearly all 27 members of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s SkillsUSA team – 21 of them advancing to the 54th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Kentucky – earned medals during recent state competition.

The competitors represent majors across four of Penn College’s academic schools, and the theme for the April 18-20 Pennsylvania Leadership and Skills Conference in Hershey couldn’t have been more fitting for students gaining career-making skills in hands-on fashion: “Champions at Work: Job-Ready, Day One.”

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College’s Baja Entry Finishes Strong Amid Esteemed Field

The Penn College No. 9 car elicits fan support at Baja SAE Maryland.

Pennsylvania College of Technology students bested scores of schools at Baja SAE Maryland over the weekend.

The Penn College team posted top-10 showings in three events, including the demanding four-hour endurance race. The competition attracts approximately 100 college and university teams from across the world, who design and build a dune-buggy-like vehicle to survive various performance tests.

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Penn College IT Student Wins National Contest

Joseph M. Dreese, of Millerstown, recently won a nationwide contest for information technology innovation. Dreese is scheduled to graduate in May from Penn College with a bachelor’s degree in information assurance and cyber security.

A Pennsylvania College of Technology information technology student has earned accolades from COMMON, the world’s largest association of IBM and IBM-compatible information technology users.

Joseph M. Dreese, of Millerstown, won COMMON’s 2018 Student Innovation Contest for his “Phishing with a License” project. The competition recognizes innovation in information systems, enterprise computing, computer science, information technology or a related field. Dreese’s prize includes an all-expense-paid trip to COMMON’s POWERUp18 Conference, where he will present his work. The IT showcase is scheduled for late May in San Antonio.

“We are very proud of Joe for this impressive recognition,” said Lisa Bock, associate professor of computer information technology, who encouraged Dreese to enter the contest. “I know he put countless hours into the submission, and his research and analysis were outstanding.”

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Penn College Preparing Genial Cyberwarrior for Battles to Come

Adam E. Reinard

Growing up less than 20 miles from main campus, Adam E. Reinard was well acquainted with Pennsylvania College of Technology as a regional resource featuring such highly regarded majors as plastics and nursing … but without one that immediately appealed to him.

With proven aptitude in math and science, and the strong desire to help people through the development of life-saving medications, Reinard, of Hughesville, instead enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh with hopes of becoming a research pharmacist.

Time went on and his objective changed, as did his back-up plan to be a chemistry teacher. After working for a couple of years to narrow his career focus and resolve to jump-start his postsecondary education, he eventually found that his “little hometown college” offered the opportunity to make a big impact.

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K-12 Challenge: Make a Game, Gain New Skills

Seeking a spring challenge for budding student gamers, artists and engineers? Pennsylvania College of Technology and WVIA Public Media – producers of the “Working Class” documentary series – invite K-12 students, teachers and parents to create their own original board games or video games in the Game On! Art Challenge.

The challenge is inspired by “Working Class: Game On! Why Math Matters,” which can be viewed on WVIA On Demand, YouTube and the series website.

A member of the Penn College faculty who appeared in “Game On! Why Math Matters” encourages teachers and parents to view students’ interest in games as a way to connect them with academics and future careers. Making those connections is a theme of the “Working Class” documentaries.

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Welding Students Earn Top Honors in Proficiency Tests

From left are Michael E. Allen, welding instructor and department head; students Bachman, Brown, Cline and Passarelli; Flood, AWS president; and students Carroll and Rosler.

... and joins top prize-winner Bachman (with his plaque and Rebel Welding Machine).

Six Penn College students were among those recognized at a recent American Welding Society banquet as the top winners in a peer-to-peer skills competition held this semester in the Avco-Lycoming Metal Trades Center. The annual event was the culmination of precision tasks performed by advanced welding students and judged by retired faculty and industry experts. Aided by X-ray inspection of the contestants’ test-weld coupons, the judging team assessed the students’ aptitude, selected the highest performers, and showered the winners with plaques and prizes. Awarded first through sixth places, respectively, were Gavin P. Bachman, of Slatington; Leif E. Brown, of Huntingdon; Skyler M. Cline, of Erin, New York; Timothy O. Passarelli, of Purcellville, Virginia; Douglas V. Carroll, of Gouldsboro; and Ethan D. Rosler, of Bloomsburg. Cline and Rosler are enrolled in welding and fabrication engineering technology; the others are all welding technology majors. The featured speaker for the evening, which also celebrated the winners of a related high school competition, was 2018 AWS President Dale Flood, of Tri Tool Inc. in Rancho Cordova, California.
Photos by Rachel A. Eirmann, student photographer

Artist Immerses Audience in Depths of Creative Inspiration

The speaker is backed by visuals of a brooch she gave to former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who used pins as her diplomatic signature.

Two stories of audience engagement in the ACC Auditorium

Strzelec answers an audience member’s question as the evening’s moderator, Craig A. Miller, instructor of engineering design, looks on.

At the conclusion of the talk, students and community members explore some of the artist’s jewelry designs.

A former Penn State Laureate, Strzelec takes pride in her campus and community (which she pointed out to the audience is “home of the Slinky” – an excellent example of toy design).

College and community members were taken on an exploration of personal and professional layers Tuesday evening in a talk delivered by 3-D printing artist Rebecca Strzelec, as part of Penn College’s Technology & Society Colloquia Series. About 150 people gathered in the Klump Academic Center Auditorium for “Art + Engineering = Creative Problem Solving.” Strzelec, professor of visual arts and program coordinator of visual arts studies at Penn State Altoona, served as the Penn State Laureate in 2016-17. She shared artistic projects crafted in her digital studio and discussed a range of inspirations and collaborations. Earlier in the day, Strzelec visited an industrial design model-building class in College Avenue Labs and dined in Le Jeune Chef Restaurant with graphic design and industrial design students and professors. Her evening conversation featured an engaging question-and-answer session, including discussion related to The Dr. Welch Workshop: A Makerspace at Penn College, expected to open in Fall 2018. The event concluded with a reception in Wrapture. The next presentation of the Technology & Society Colloquia Series is titled “The Great War and the Forgotten Realm” and set for Nov. 8, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the ending of World War I on Nov. 11, 1918. Presented in collaboration with the Notre Dame Club of Greater Williamsport, the talk will be delivered by John Deak, associate professor of history at Notre Dame University, as part of Notre Dame’s Hesburgh Lecture Series.

Cornfield Brainstorm Leads to Student’s Success in Plastics

An entrepreneurial idea spurred Anthony P. Wagner, of Williamsport, to pursue a bachelor’s degree in plastics and polymer engineering technology at Penn College.

Lying for hours in a cut cornfield waiting for unsuspecting waterfowl to become inviting prey gives a person plenty of time to think. Granted, the brown remnants of the fall’s harvest and gray morning sky aren’t typical ingredients for inspiration. But for Anthony P. Wagner, the setting was the birthplace of a dream.

A dream that requires him to trade his binoculars for safety glasses and camouflage for blue jeans.

The avid hunter is aiming for a rewarding future in the plastics industry. Thanks to his education at Pennsylvania College of Technology and proactive networking, Wagner is on target for career success.

“I honestly love plastics,” Wagner said. “I didn’t know what to expect when I enrolled. I knew I had an end goal and needed this education to reach that goal. It’s been quite the rollercoaster ride for me. It’s been awesome.”

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Students Attend Pre-Eminent Electrical Trade Show

Students pause for a Hershey Lodge photo during a busy trade-show visit.

Electrical technology and mechatronics engineering technology students attended the Schaedler Yesco Expo 2018 at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center on Wednesday. The expo is the premier electrical trade show in Central Pennsylvania, with more than 100 booths from prominent manufacturers. The event also provided more than 70 industry-related seminars and hands-on labs that students could attend. The students, instructed by Jon W. Hart and Vince R. Fagnano from the electrical technologies/occupations faculty, had a chance to examine the latest automation and control products from Rockwell Automation and other leading manufacturers.
Photo provided

Penn College Student Gives Life to Robot

A "wired glove” created by Penn College student David M. Slotnicki, of Oil City, allows him to manipulate the arm of a robot.

Darkness envelops the college. The campus mall is quiet and still. It’s the middle of the week and nearly 1 o’clock in the morning. Most of the Pennsylvania College of Technology community will be asleep for several more hours, recharging for another productive day.

But a couple electronics majors are wide awake. Their windowless lab is bright and buzzing with activity. An unsuspecting guest would assume it’s the middle of the afternoon as the students painstakingly contemplate their latest challenge.

Among them is junior David M. Zlotnicki. He is tired and has an analog systems class in eight hours. He’s also not leaving the lab for the comforts of bed. Zlotnicki is on a roll.

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Local College Students Earn ROTC Scholarships, Contracts

Bald Eagle Battalion Army ROTC held a contracting ceremony April 3 at Penn College. From left are: Master Sgt. Steven Kowatch, senior military science instructor, Lock Haven University; Cadet Austin S. Weinrich, Jenkintown; Cadet Kaitlyn Barmore, Succasunna, N.J.; Cadet Casey A. Curtin, Berwick; Cadet Hayden N. Beiter, Williamsport; Cadet Jordan H. Murray, Chambersburg; Cadet Samuel D. Pollock, Wrightsville; Cadet Christopher T. Craig II, Rixford; Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour; and Maj. Jonathon M. Britton, professor of military science, Lock Haven University. Beiter, Craig, Curtin, Murray and Weinrich are Penn College students. Barmore and Pollock are students at Lycoming College.

Five Army ROTC cadets from Pennsylvania College of Technology and two from Lycoming College have been rewarded with scholarships and commissioning contracts for their dedication and perseverance.

Penn College scholarship recipients are residential construction technology and management: building construction technology concentration majors Hayden N. Beiter, of Williamsport, Jordan H. Murray, of Chambersburg, and Austin S. Weinrich, of Jenkintown; and plastics and polymer technology major Casey A. Curtin, of Berwick.

Christopher T. Craig II, an automotive technology management major from Rixford, earned a commissioning contract.

The scholarships cover all college expenses and provide a monthly stipend. The contracts include a stipend and funding for a portion of college costs. The scholarships and contracts both lead to a cadet’s commissioning as a second lieutenant upon graduating with a bachelor’s degree.

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Eyewitness News Meets Race Team During Countdown to Baja

Logan B. Goodhart, a manufacturing engineering technology major from Chambersburg, tells Parrish about the team’s busy schedule for the next several weeks.

Penn College team member Shujaa AlQahtani, a manufacturing engineering technology major from Saudi Arabia, is interviewed about the upcoming competitions.

The students will be putting the finishing touches on the college’s car during the next two weeks.

Parrish discusses the significance of the Baja SAE competitions for the students with Dave R. Cotner, dean of industrial, computing and engineering technologies.

Capturing a close-up of student-made parts earmarked for the Penn College car

Eyewitness News reporter Morgan Parrish of WBRE/WYOU stopped by campus to produce a feature on the college’s Baja SAE team, which is preparing its dune-buggy like vehicle for two international competitions in the coming weeks: April 19-22 in Maryland and May 17-20 in Kansas. At both events, the Penn College team will compete against 100 other colleges from throughout the world to determine who built the most efficient and durable car. The segment was broadcast Monday evening.
Photos by Tom Speicher, writer/video editor

Vintage Vehicle Makes History as Show’s First Collegiate Winner

Owner Patricia B. Swigart (left) is among those enjoying a ride with driver Luke C. Miller across the grounds of the illustrious Amelia Island event.

A 1908 Studebaker electric car, owned by the William E. Swigart Jr. Automobile Museum in Huntingdon and restored at Pennsylvania College of Technology, was recognized with an award at Florida’s prestigious Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance earlier this month – the first student project ever judged at the renowned show.

Affectionately known as “Tommy,” the vehicle was one of a pair that shuttled federal legislators to and from the U.S. Capitol shortly after the turn of the 20th century. It was honored with an Amelia Award in the Horseless Carriage (Electric) category, coinciding with the show’s celebration of a technology that has re-emerged in today’s automobiles.

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Signups Open for College’s Exciting, Eclectic Summer Camps

An Aviation Camp has been added to the already-captivating roster of fun, interactive and hands-on summer camps that reflect the distinctive career opportunities offered at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

The signup deadline is May 11, for the 11 overnight camps and one day camp. In addition to gaining inspiration to chart their employment path, participants entering grades nine to 12 are eligible for up to $2,000 in tuition assistance should they enroll at Penn College.

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