News about Plastics & Polymer

International Expertise Abounds at Rotomolding Workshop

Matthew Jackson, of Tennant Co., Minneapolis, a participant in a recent Rotational Molding Workshop at Penn College, attaches a radio telemetry system to a rotational mold to measure internal air temperature.

Scores of industry professionals gathered at Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Plastics Innovation & Resource Center this summer for advice about rotational molding from well-versed – and well-traveled – authorities in the field.

A total of 42 participants from 26 companies – representing 16 states, as well as Canada and Mexico – attended the ninth annual Hands-On Rotational Molding Workshop on the college’s main campus in June.

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Penn College Extrusion Workshop Proves Popular

Adam C. Barilla, instructor of plastics and polymer technology at Penn College, demonstrates tensile testing to participants during the 19th annual Extrusion Seminar & Hands-On Workshop at the college’s Plastics Innovation & Resource Center. (Photo by Tia G. La, student photographer)

Nationwide plastics industry professionals converged at Pennsylvania College of Technology’s renowned Plastics Innovation & Resource Center for the 19th Annual Extrusion Seminar & Hands-On Workshop.

Forty-three participants, representing 20 companies and nine states, attended the three-day event led by extrusion experts Chris Rauwendaal and Kirk M. Cantor. Rauwendaal is president of Rauwendaal Extrusion Engineering Inc. in Auburn, California; Cantor is a professor of plastics and polymer technology at Penn College. Combined, the duo has approximately 70 years of experience in plastics.

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Penn College Plastics Student Honored With SPE Scholarship

Logan A. Tate

A Pennsylvania College of Technology plastics student is one of three nationwide recipients of a scholarship from the Society of Plastics Engineers Thermoforming Division.

Logan A. Tate, of Williamsport, received the Thermoforming Division Memorial Scholarship, worth $2,500. The honor also includes an invitation to the 26th SPI Thermoforming Conference from Sept. 11-13 in Orlando, Florida, where he will be recognized at the Thermoforming Awards Dinner.

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Foundation Establishes Endowed Scholarship at Penn College

Debra M. Miller, college relations advisor at Penn College, accepts a Herman O. West Foundation grant from Dave Lanzer, director of operations at West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. The grant will be used to establish an endowed scholarship at the college.

The foundation for a global manufacturer is recognizing Pennsylvania College of Technology’s commitment to the skilled workforce with an endowed scholarship at the school.

The Herman O. West Foundation awarded a $100,000 grant to Penn College to establish the scholarship. Named in honor of the founder of West Pharmaceuticals Services Inc., the foundation has supported employees through scholarships and matching gift programs since 1972.

West Pharmaceutical Services is a leading manufacturer of packaging components and delivery systems for injectable drugs and health care products. The company has manufacturing plants throughout the world, including Williamsport and Jersey Shore.

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2016’s Deadliest Quake

A building's upper level lies on the sidewalk in a coastal Ecuador city.

From the Spring 2017 Penn College Magazine: Ecuador resident Patrick Watts, ’09, helps those affected by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that rattled the nation’s coast. Read “2016’s Deadliest Quake.”

Senator From York County Tours Penn College Campus

President Davie Jane Gilmour escorts Sen. Wagner through the welding labs with the assistance of welding students Thomas (“TJ”) J. Sneeringer (in red) and Joseph (“Joey”) M. Taylor, both of Hanover.

Wagner discusses his waste-management and trucking businesses with diesel technology students alongside a diesel truck outside College Avenue Labs.

In the automotive restoration lab, the senators listen to insights shared by Vanessa Mathurin, of Philadelphia, and Sean M. Hunter, of Livingston, N.J. The students are automotive restoration technology graduates enrolled in applied management.

Touring the extrusion lab, Elizabeth A. Biddle, director of corporate relations, discusses the specialties of the plastics and polymer engineering technology major and the Plastics Innovation & Resource Center.

Sen. Scott Wagner, who represents the 28th District, comprising most of York County, toured the Pennsylvania College of Technology campus on Thursday as the guest of Sen. Gene Yaw, chairman of the college’s Board of Directors. Wagner, who is president and owner of York-based Penn Waste Inc. and KBS Trucking, Thomasville, is a declared candidate for governor. While on campus, he toured the labs for welding, automotive restoration/collision repair and plastics. Wagner once studied at Penn College’s immediate predecessor institution, Williamsport Area Community College, in the diesel program. In the Senate, Wagner chairs the Local Government Committee and is vice chairman of the Labor & Industry Committee. He also sits on the Appropriations, Transportation and Intergovernmental Operations committees.

PlastiVan’s Visit Showcased in Industry Publications

Thermoforming Quarterly

February’s extended visit from the PlastiVan is featured in the latest issue of Thermoforming Quarterly, a Journal of the Thermoforming Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers. Photos by Larry D. Kauffman, a digital publishing specialist/photographer at Penn College – including a cover shot taken at the Feb. 16 Science Festival in the Field House – and a two-page article colorfully recap the hands-on peek at plastics careers: Thermoforming Quarterly

The PlastiVan is also featured in a piece by Eve Vitale, SPE Foundation director, published in Plastics Engineering.

PIRC Partner Donates Plastics Processing Equipment to College

Covestro LLC donated a complete advanced co-extrusion sheet processing unit to Pennsylvania College of Technology, where faculty and students will receive on-site training from company experts.

A longtime proponent of STEM education in the United States is giving students at Pennsylvania College of Technology valuable hands-on experience through its donation of plastics processing equipment.

As part of its i3 Give corporate giving program, Covestro LLC has donated a complete advanced co-extrusion sheet processing unit to Penn College. Covestro will also provide faculty and students with expert on-site training – including demonstration tooling – to initiate the project.

“We’re grateful for the opportunity to help Penn College elevate its curriculum in this tangible way,” noted Mark Matsco, director of application development for Covestro LLC. “Giving students access to this equipment not only enhances their skill set, but also helps us continue our mission to support improved STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education.”

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Penn College Embraces the PlastiVan

The Society of Plastics Engineers’ PlastiVan program recently visited Penn College to educate area students about the wonders of plastics and the rich career opportunities in the field. Students enjoyed hands-on activities revealing the power of plastics and toured the college’s plastics labs. Sekisui SPI sponsored the PlastiVan’s visit at the college, which is featured in this YouTube video:

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Company Establishes Plastics Scholarship at Penn College

Penn College plastics students work in an extrusion lab under the direction of Gary E. McQuay, center, engineering manager for the Plastics Innovation Resource Center at the college. Sekisui SPI, part of Sekisui Chemical Co., is establishing a scholarship for first-year plastics students at Penn College.

A leading global thermoplastics company will reward students’ interest in plastics by establishing two $7,000 scholarships at Pennsylvania College of Technology for Fall 2017.

Preference for the Sekisui SPI Workforce Development Scholarship will be given to first-year students seeking a bachelor’s degree in plastics and polymer engineering technology, who reside in Pennsylvania or Michigan and rank in the top third of their high school graduating class.

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Hands-On Experience Turns Chemistry Course Into Career Path

The Society of Plastics Engineers’ Eve Vitale shows an example of a thermoformed product.

Nicholas C. Moore, of Lock Haven, guides a group of students through the plastics and polymer technology department’s materials testing lab. Moore, who completed Penn College NOW courses in the Keystone Central School District, holds junior-level standing in his fourth semester in the plastics and polymer engineering technology major.

Students measure borax and a polymer used in white glue to form a thermoset compound.

Stirring a concoction, students observe an endothermic reaction as new chemical bonds form.

The result is a “slime” that, Vitale tells the students, was used in the filming of “Ghostbusters.”

Seventy Keystone Central School District chemistry students converged on Penn College on Tuesday to learn how their chemistry lessons apply to the field of plastics. During a four-hour stay on campus, they took part in a variety of plastics experiments courtesy of the Society of Plastics Engineers’ PlastiVan program. Under the instruction of SPE Foundation Director Eve Vitale, the students learned about the chemistry of plastics and future career options while they made several polymers of their own. The PlastiVan’s visit was sponsored by Sekisui SPI, of Bloomsburg. The program travels to schools and companies throughout North America, educating people of all ages about the chemistry, history, processing, manufacturing, sustainability and application of plastics, all through hands-on experiences that spark scientific curiosity. In addition, the Keystone Central students took student-led tours of the college’s plastics and polymer laboratories and of the campus. More than half of the students in attendance are enrolled in Penn College’s Fundamentals of Chemistry course, taught during the school day by Keystone Central instructors through the Penn College NOW dual-enrollment program.

Families Invited for Night of Hands-On Science

Pennsylvania College of Technology physics professor David S. Richards uses visual aids to talk about past U.S. space missions during a previous Science Festival at the college.

Hands-on science fun is the focus of an evening designed for local families on Thursday, Feb. 16, in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Field House.

The college will team up with Lycoming College and the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce to offer the city’s sixth annual Science Festival from 5 to 8 p.m.

The event features hands-on activities geared toward elementary and middle school students and their families, presented by local businesses and organizations, including school and college-affiliated groups. The event is intended to make learning fun and to stimulate children’s interest in math, science and exciting careers in related fields.

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Penn College Plastics Student Awarded Scholarship

Logan A. Tate

A Pennsylvania College of Technology student is one of seven nationwide recipients of a scholarship from the Plastics Pioneers Association.

The nonprofit, membership organization awarded a $3,000 scholarship to Logan A. Tate, of Williamsport, for his commitment to becoming a hands-on professional in the plastics industry as a technician or engineer.

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Foundation’s Generosity Endows Scholarship, Creates Opportunity

A significant grant from the Tamaqua-based John E. Morgan Foundation will allow students from that area to enroll in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s distinctive “degrees that work.”

The nonprofit foundation’s $500,000 contribution establishes the John E. Morgan Scholarship, which will give 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.”

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‘bots Do Battle in ‘Fall Brawl’

There's a lot of serious work before the fun begins!

Nearly 30 battle-ready robots – painstakingly designed, fabricated and tested by Pennsylvania College of Technology students – squared off in the recent “Fall Brawl 2016” robotic design competition in the college’s Field House. Sponsored by the Student Wildcats of Robotic Design, the knockout tournament pitted “beetleweight” robots (weighing 1 to 3 pounds) against one another before a campus and community audience. “The event was a resounding success, with enough robots to keep the action going for the whole day,” said S.W.O.R.D.’s Timothy R. Thompson, an electronics and computer engineering technology major from Stephens City, Virginia. “The students are currently improving their robots, and the next event will be even more ‘destructive.’ As the event gains recognition, more and more outside people will be in attendance to test our members’ designs.” Winners in the 3-pound category were Don Doerfler, “Circuit Breaker,” first; Nate Franklin, “Thunder Child,” second; and William Hayden, “Wildcat1,” third. Placing in the 1-pound category were Franklin, “Slim Pickens,” first; Stanley Bohenek, “Discharge,” second; and David Probst, “Ready or Not,” third. Organizers said the event will definitely become an annual one, with another open competition to be scheduled in the spring.

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