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Penn College prof is the ‘CAD Whisperer’

J.D. Mather

In 22 years of teaching at Pennsylvania College of Technology, J.D. Mather has accumulated many titles. Assistant professor of engineering design technology. Master Teacher. Autodesk Inventor Certified Expert. Certified SolidWorks Professional.

And now … “CAD Whisperer.”

Like the other labels, “CAD Whisperer” reflects Mather’s expertise. But it promises to eclipse the other titles because it’s shared with the widest audience.

Mather has created a YouTube Channel, dubbed the “The CAD Whisperer,” to impart his vast knowledge in computer-aided design and engineering. The channel’s 120-plus videos are a hit with current students and an audience that extends far beyond his classroom.

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February 5, 2021
Electronics & Computer Engineering Technology Engineering Technologies Faculty & Staff STEM Students Workforce Development

New majors ‘power’ electronics lab at Penn College

Electronics students at Pennsylvania College of Technology finish installing a conveyer unit in a new lab at the college’s Center for Business & Workforce Development. The addition of two automation engineering technology baccalaureate degrees prompted the creation of the electronics lab. Besides the conveyer system, the space features 16 programmable logic controller stations and four Kuka industrial robots. About 60 students per semester are using the lab.

The addition of two automation degrees is powering a new electronics lab at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Located in the Center for Business & Workforce Development, the 906-square-foot space is accommodating about 60 students per semester who are seeking an automation engineering technology baccalaureate degree in either mechatronics or robotics.

“Industry was telling us that they liked what our students were doing, but they were looking for more because of the growth of automation in industry,” said Stacey C. Hampton, assistant dean of industrial and computer technologies. “We looked at what we already had and how we could expand on that. When we expanded the program, we needed to expand the space. Now that we put stuff in there, I don’t know if it’s big enough!”

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Electronics & Computer Engineering Technology Engineering Technologies General Information STEM Students Workforce Development

Automation degrees power new Penn College electronics lab

The addition of two automation engineering technology baccalaureate degrees is powering a new electronics laboratory at Penn College. The lab is equipped with 16 student-installed Programmable Logic Controller stations (featuring both Allen-Bradley and Siemens PLCs), four Kuka industrial robots and a conveyer system. “We recruited the whole class that came in now, these freshmen, without having that lab,” said Stacey C. Hampton, assistant dean of industrial and computer technologies. “So having that lab now is just going to add another layer of excitement. They can see all the learning stations. They can see the robots. They can see the conveyer system.” The lab is for the “tomorrow makers” seeking an automation degree in either mechatronics or robotics.

November 24, 2020
Automated Manufacturing & Machining College Relations Engineering Technologies Faculty & Staff STEM Students

College partners with Sodick for new instructional equipment

Students and faculty in the machine tool technology, automated manufacturing technology and manufacturing engineering technology majors at Pennsylvania College of Technology will benefit from high-tech EDM (electrical discharge machine) units acquired through a partnership with Sodick, a global EDM manufacturing leader.

A partnership with Sodick, a global EDM manufacturing leader, is supporting Pennsylvania College of Technology’s acquisition of innovative electrical discharge machines for instructional purposes.

Through the collaboration, Sodick, a Japanese company with North American headquarters in Schaumburg, Illinois, is providing four VL400Q High Performance Linear Motor Drive Wire Cut EDM units for use in the college’s Larry A. Ward Machining Technologies Center.

Penn College students and faculty in the machine tool technology, automated manufacturing technology and manufacturing engineering technology majors will benefit from the new high-tech equipment.

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Alumni Automated Manufacturing & Machining College Relations Engineering Technologies Faculty & Staff STEM Students

Alumni gift ‘manufactures’ updated machining lab

A $1 million-plus donation from alumnus Larry A. Ward financed the recent renovation of the machining lab at Pennsylvania College of Technology. Ward studied engineering drafting technology at a Penn College predecessor, Williamsport Technical Institute, in the mid-1960s before embarking on a successful career in industry. Ward is the founder of Packaging Progressions Inc., which today is the world’s leader in high-speed interleaving and stacking machinery for the food packaging industry.

The largest alumni gift in the history of Pennsylvania College of Technology has manufactured a new machining lab that will benefit students for generations.

A $1 million-plus donation from alumnus Larry Ward financed the revamping of the 14,299-square-foot facility, one of the oldest instructional spaces on campus. The lab features fresh lighting, flooring, fixtures and, most importantly, new equipment in the recently christened Larry A. Ward Machining Technologies Center.

“I have done very well, so I want to give it back for the next generation,” said Ward, a 1966 graduate. “A lot of people helped me over the years, and I just feel I’m paying it forward.”

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November 9, 2020
Alumni Automated Manufacturing & Machining College Relations Engineering Technologies Faculty & Staff STEM Students

Alum’s gift transforms Penn College’s machining lab

Students majoring in one of five manufacturing-related degrees are benefiting from a gift to Pennsylvania College of Technology, featured in a YouTube video. Larry A. Ward, founder of Packaging Progressions Inc., made a donation exceeding $1 million to revamp the college’s machining lab – the largest alumni gift in the college’s history. Ward’s generosity has resulted in fresh paint, lighting, fixtures and 50 new machines for the 14,299-square-foot instructional space. “It’s just completely transformed the entire lab,” says Dakota C. Harrison, a manufacturing engineering technology major from Lewisberry. “And we really couldn’t have done it without Mr. Ward.”

 

October 13, 2020
Alumni Engineering Technologies Plastics & Polymer STEM

Penn College grad ‘shoots for the moon’ with Google

Pennsylvania College of Technology graduate Fletcher Ewing, a native of Selinsgrove, is a senior mechanical engineer for X, The Moonshot Factory in Silicon Valley. Formerly known as Google X, the company’s objective is to build and launch “technologies that aim to improve the lives of millions, even billions of people.” Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ewing is mostly working from his home office for X’s Everyday Robot Project. (Photo provided by Ewing.)

Curiosity drives Fletcher Ewing.

As a kid, it drove him to build and race Soap Box Derby cars. As a college student, it led him to study plastics. As a professional, it inspires him to “shoot for the moon.”

The 1998 Pennsylvania College of Technology graduate and Selinsgrove native is a senior mechanical engineer in Silicon Valley for X, The Moonshot Factory. Formerly known as Google X, the company consists of inventors, engineers and entrepreneurs whose expectations defy gravity. Their objective is to build and launch “technologies that aim to improve the lives of millions, even billions of people.”

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September 21, 2020
Architecture & Sustainable Design Building Construction Civil Engineering & Surveying Engineering Technologies Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning Scholarships STEM Students

Ten first-year students chosen as ‘BE Scholars’ at Penn College

Ten students embarking on their first semester at Pennsylvania College of Technology have been chosen as Built Environment Scholars in a program that rewards academic talent in science, technology, engineering and mathematics-related career fields.

Each was awarded a scholarship ranging from $4,250 to $7,000, funded through a $1 million National Science Foundation grant to increase retention, graduation and workforce preparedness for students in many of Penn College’s STEM-focused construction and engineering majors.

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August 13, 2020
Automated Manufacturing & Machining Engineering Technologies Events Faculty & Staff Skills Gap STEM

Penn College ‘manufactures’ educational experience for teachers

Emily Wagner, a counselor at South Williamsport Area Junior/Senior High School, works on building a robotic arm during the recent Manufacturing Externship Camp at Pennsylvania College of Technology. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the camp exposed high school educators to various aspects of manufacturing, so they can communicate the promising career possibilities in that sector to their students.

With support from the National Science Foundation, Pennsylvania College of Technology recently “manufactured” a weeklong educational experience for 13 high school teachers and school counselors from throughout the state.

The Manufacturing Externship Camp revealed to educators the promising realities of manufacturing careers through several activities, including a robot-building exercise that they can replicate at their home schools. The camp is one of several Penn College initiatives – funded by a grant from the NSF’s Advanced Technological Education program – dedicated to growing the manufacturing workforce.

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Automated Manufacturing & Machining Engineering Design Technology Engineering Technologies Industrial Design STEM Students

Penn College students earn industry certifications

Several programs within the School of Engineering Technologies at Pennsylvania College of Technology employ SolidWorks for computer-aided design. Recently, 13 Penn College students earned various levels of SolidWorks certifications.

Pennsylvania College of Technology students proved their workforce acumen by earning industry certifications related to computer-aided design.

The students – representing three majors from the School of Engineering Technologies – passed exams dedicated to SolidWorks, a prominent 3D CAD software tool. The tests require candidates to meet several hands-on challenges, representing various aspects of the software.

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June 1, 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
College Transitions Faculty & Staff STEM Students

Science Festival ignites youngsters’ STEM-related curiosity

A youngster eyes a possible future in medical imaging at a display hosted by Penn College’s radiography major.

More than 1,500 fifth-graders from local and regional school districts took part in Wednesday’s ninth annual Science Festival at Penn College, encouraged by presenters, sponsors and vendors to dive hands-first into a sea of possibility. Inquisitive girls and boys witnessed a variety of campus demonstrations in Klump Academic Center, Bardo Gymnasium and the Field House during the day, exploring the fertile fields of science, technology, engineering and math. In addition to enlightening the youngsters in attendance, the event – a precursor to an evening session for families – generated front-page coverage in Thursday’s Williamsport Sun-Gazette.

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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