News about Plastics & Polymer

Morgan Foundation grant pushes scholarship fund past $1 million

A second gift of $500,000 from the Tamaqua-based John E. Morgan Foundation has boosted an endowed scholarship fund at Pennsylvania College of Technology to more than $1 million.

The John E. Morgan Scholarship gives first preference to graduates of Tamaqua Area High School who are pursuing “a degree that is not readily available from other institutions, at a comparable price, within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”

Examples of such programs offered at Penn College include, but are not limited to, culinary arts and systems, web and interactive media, building science and sustainable design, health information management, industrial design, plastics and polymer engineering technology, emergency management technology, and aviation maintenance technology.

Read more

Penn College plastics students network, compete at conference

Wagner prepares to race the college’s entry during the RC Car Competition at the 26th Annual SPE Thermoforming Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

Networking with industry leaders and participating in a remote-controlled car contest highlighted the activities of a trio of Pennsylvania College of Technology plastics students at the 26th  Annual SPE Thermoforming Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

Conducted by the Thermoforming Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers, the conference attracted over 70 exhibitors and offered several technical workshops. Thermoforming refers to the practice of heating a thermoplastic sheet until pliable and – by use of a vacuum – forming the sheet into a three-dimensional shape.

Read more

Penn College plastics students attend national conference

Pennsylvania College of Technology plastics and polymer engineering technology students recently attended the 34th Annual Blow Molding Conference in Pittsburgh, conducted by the Blow Molding Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers. From left are James C. Keyser II, of Dillsburg; Lucas S. Poche, of Lewistown; Nathan A. Rader-Edkin, of Williamsport; instructor Jose M. Perez; Anthony P. Wagner, of Williamsport; Danial J. Kilinski, of Montague, Mich.; Joshua M. Worthing, of New Brighton; and Spencer L. Cotner, of Muncy.

Backed by industry support, seven plastics students from Pennsylvania College of Technology enhanced their education by attending the 34th Annual Blow Molding Conference in Pittsburgh.

Conducted by the Blow Molding Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers, the conference is considered the premier event for the blow molding industry. The blow molding process uses thermoplastic materials to form hollow industrial parts and containers.

The three-day conference facilitated networking opportunities for the students and exposed them to technical presentations and speakers focusing on current trends and industry projections.

Read more

Insightful alum urges students to stoke passions, make connections

A 2007 recipient of the college's Alumnus Achievement Award, Jeffcoat talks with students during a late-September return to campus.

Pennsylvania College of Technology alumnus Keith L. Jeffcoat recently returned to his roots to share advice and industry experience with the next generation of students.

Read more

Penn College Supports Girl Scouts in the Heart of PA STEM Mobile

Representing Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania are, from left, Valerie Whyman, fund development, and Casey Miller, Lewisburg-based program coordinator, who will use the STEM Mobile to deliver activities directly to girls. At right is Elizabeth A. Biddle, director of corporate relations for Penn College, sponsor of the STEM Mobile.

Supporting efforts to give thousands of girls the opportunity to explore science, technology, engineering and math, Pennsylvania College of Technology has partnered with Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania and its Girls Go STEM initiative by sponsoring the organization’s new Lewisburg-based STEM Mobile.

The STEM Mobile, adorned with Penn College’s logo, will be utilized by GSHPA staff traveling to community events throughout central Pennsylvania to promote STEM education for girls and young women through hands-on and collaborative activities.

Read more

Dream Matches Real-World Need Addressed by Penn College

For a class assignment, 9-year-old Trevin Allen described his dream of working in plastics at SEKISUI SPI with his father, Lucas, a graduate of Pennsylvania College of Technology. Trevin’s mature goals prompted an invitation from the college, where he experienced various facets of applied technology. From left are Shannon M. Munro, vice president for workforce development; Tom F. Gregory, associate vice president for instruction; and Trevin and Lucas Allen.

The dreams of many 9-year-olds transform them into adult superstars. What kid hasn’t dreamed of making the pivotal play to win the big game, belting out a tune to adoring fans or basking under the bright lights of Hollywood?

Trevin Allen.

No disrespect to athletes, rock stars and actors, but the fourth-grader’s dream – described for a class assignment – actually matches reality’s need: a need addressed by Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Trevin’s aspirations connect applied technology education to rewarding careers in the skilled workforce, which is grappling with a shortage of qualified professionals. His words are timely and impactful beyond his classroom at Bloomsburg Memorial Elementary School.

Read more

Child’s Dream Matches Penn College’s Mission

A school assignment required 9-year-old Trevin Allen to write about his dream. Rather than being a famous athlete, musician or movie star, the youngster expressed a desire to work as a computer designer in the plastics industry for SEKISUI SPI, which employs his father, Lucas L., a 2001 Penn College graduate in building construction technology. Trevin’s “essay” sparked a visit to main campus, where he experienced CAD, the new makerspace and various plastics labs. Trevin’s wish for applied technology education – offered by the likes of Penn College – matches the needs of the workforce, which is grappling with a shortage of skilled professionals. Many Penn College students, especially plastics majors, have jobs lined up well before graduation. The college has a 96 percent graduate placement rate. Trevin’s word to describe his visit? “Cool!”

Be Smart, Rule the World

A group from New Covenant Academy in Mansfield makes final adjustments to its wearable back massager during a STEM Design Challenge hosted by BLaST Intermediate Unit 17 in the college’s Field House.

From the Fall 2018 Penn College Magazine: To prepare the next generation for the jobs of the future, make them curious about how things work, faculty experts say. Read “Be Smart, Rule the World.”

Penn College Plastics Student Earns Scholarship

Haven K. Bontz

The Society of Plastics Engineers Thermoforming Division has honored a Pennsylvania College of Technology student with a national scholarship.

Haven K. Bontz, of Cooperstown, Venango County, is the recipient of the Bill Benjamin Memorial Scholarship. Bontz is a junior seeking a bachelor’s degree in plastics and polymer engineering technology.

Read more

Attendees Add to Toolkit at Heavy-Gauge Thermoforming Workshop

Program manager Christopher J. Gagliano (left) conducts a laboratory session in the Plastics Innovation & Resource Center's Thermoforming Center of Excellence.

The Plastics Innovation & Resource Center at Pennsylvania College of Technology recently hosted 11 industry professionals from six states for its Ninth Annual National Hands-On Heavy-Gauge/Sheet-Fed Thermoforming Workshop.

The three-day program featured presentations from renowned experts and hands-on instruction in forming, trimming, assembly, techniques, materials, tooling, diagnostics, and machine maintenance and safety.

“The PIRC provides a unique opportunity to present both theory and practice in heavy-gauge thermoforming by allowing the participants to use their classroom instruction on a state-of-the-art former,” said keynoter James “Jay” M. Waddell, from Plastics Concepts & Innovations LLC. “Participants were able to use multiple forming techniques and learned how to adjust the equipment to achieve the best results.”

Read more

Plastics Professionals Sharpen Skills at Penn College

The Ninth Annual National Hands-On Thin-Gauge/Roll-Fed Thermoforming Workshop at Penn College offered a mix of classroom and lab sessions for 33 participants, who learned from keynote instructor Mark Strachan, college faculty and staff, and guest speakers.

The latest training initiative offered by the Plastics Innovation & Resource Center at Pennsylvania College of Technology advanced the skills of plastics professionals representing a dozen companies, eight states and Canada.

The Ninth Annual National Hands-On Thin-Gauge/Roll-Fed Thermoforming Workshop offered a mix of classroom and lab sessions for the 33 participants, who learned from keynote instructor Mark Strachan, Penn College faculty and staff, and guest speakers.

Read more

‘Why Science Matters’ Documentary Premieres July 12 on WVIA-TV

David S. Richards, professor of physics, is one of the faculty members featured in “Working Class: Competition Drives Innovation! Why Science Matters,” a documentary produced by Penn College and WVIA Public Media that premieres on WVIA-TV on July 12.

Nerds rule! Science, experimentation and competition come together to help students develop the problem-solving skills needed for high-demand, high-tech careers in “Working Class: Competition Drives Innovation! Why Science Matters.”

Produced by Pennsylvania College of Technology and WVIA Public Media, the documentary, which premieres on WVIA-TV Thursday, July 12, at 8 p.m., highlights hands-on activities that connect students with science and other academic subjects that can prepare them for success in modern manufacturing careers.

Read more

Penn College Students Dominate Scholarship List

Recent scholarships from the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies reflects Pennsylvania College of Technology’s standing as a national leader in applied technology education.

Penn College students received nine of 22 awards from the PMMI Scholarship in Memorial of Claude S. Breeden, Glenn Davis and Art Schaefer. The $4,000 scholarships honor students who maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher, plan for a career in packaging and processing machinery manufacturing, and show industry involvement through internship and career development activities.

Read more

Plastics Professionals Converge on Penn College Campus

The 20th Annual Extrusion Seminar & Hands-On Workshop at Penn College’s Plastics Innovation & Resource Center attracted a group of industry professionals representing 28 companies in 11 states and Kuwait.

Plastics industry professionals representing 28 companies, 11 states and Kuwait enhanced their knowledge at the 20th Annual Extrusion Seminar & Hands-On Workshop at Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Plastics Innovation & Resource Center.

Forty participants attended the three-day session led by extrusion experts Chris Rauwendaal and Kirk M. Cantor. President of Rauwendaal Extrusion Engineering Inc. in Auburn, California, Rauwendaal has more than 40 years of industry experience. Cantor, a professor of plastics and polymer technology at Penn College, has taught extrusion for 30-plus years.

Read more

Rotomolding Pros Share Perspective at Hands-On Workshop

Participants in the 10th annual Hands-On Rotational Molding and Advanced Materials Workshop take turns in Penn College’s polymer testing lab with Noah L. Martin (in checked shirt), of South Williamsport, a student and Plastics Innovation & Resource Center research assistant.

Marking a decade of intensive staff development for rotational-molding professionals, Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Plastics Innovation & Resource Center recently hosted more than two dozen employees in another of its renowned industry conferences.

A total of 27 people from 15 companies – representing eight states and Alberta, Canada – attended the 10th annual Hands-On Rotational Molding and Advanced Materials Workshop on the college’s main campus on May 22-23.

Read more

Penn College is a special mission affiliate of Penn State