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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
Admissions Dining Services Events Faculty & Staff STEM Students

Explore, discover and define your future at March 28 open house

Madigan Library (left) and Bush Campus Center will welcome visitors to Pennsylvania College of Technology during Spring Open House, set for Saturday, March 28. Prospective students can tour campus and explore 100-plus academic majors emphasizing hands-on learning for high-demand STEM and related careers.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Due to the global coronavirus outbreak, Spring Open House was canceled.)

When it comes to choosing a college, seeing is believing. And there’s a lot to see at Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Spring Open House!

From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 28, members of the Penn College community will welcome thousands of potential enrollees and their families, opening wide the doors to a landmark institution that has helped tomorrow makers fulfill their destinies for more than a century.

“Open House provides a unique way for prospective students to explore our campus,” said Jen M. Cullin-Hetrick, coordinator of admissions events/communications. “With no set agenda to follow, guests can take the day to explore what matters most to them. Whether that is seeing as many labs as possible, checking out the residence halls, connecting with current students, or all of the above.”

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February 26, 2020
College Transitions Events STEM

Community invited to Science Festival on March 4

On Wednesday, March 4, the Field House at Pennsylvania College of Technology will be filled with hands-on activities to spark the interests of elementary and middle school students. The public is invited to the annual Science Festival, scheduled from 5 to 8 p.m.

Pennsylvania College of Technology, Lycoming College and the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce invite area elementary and middle schools and their families to a hands-on Science Festival in the Penn College Field House on Wednesday, March 4.

The festival, scheduled 5 to 8 p.m., is intended to make learning fun and features activities designed to spark excitement about science, math, engineering and technology.

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February 20, 2020
Events Faculty & Staff STEM Students

Annual Scouting event meshes well with college curriculum

Connie J. Plankenhorn, a physician assistant studies major and an EMT in College Health Services, provides a lifesaving demo.
Connie J. Plankenhorn, a physician assistant studies major and an EMT in College Health Services, provides a lifesaving demo.
Scouts bundle up to survey the landscape under the day's brisk sunshine.
Scouts bundle up to survey the landscape under the day’s brisk sunshine.
Electronics instructor Ken J. Kinley shares his quarter-century-plus experience.
Electronics instructor Ken J. Kinley shares his quarter-century-plus experience.
Going green: Carl J. Bower Jr., assistant professor of horticulture, takes his young audience outside to explore the well-landscaped main campus.
Going green: Carl J. Bower Jr., assistant professor of horticulture, takes his young audience outside to explore the well-landscaped main campus.
Kyle P. Amon (in red shirt), an engineering design technology student from Lafayette Hill, supervises a hands-on lab exercise.
Kyle P. Amon (in red shirt), an engineering design technology student from Lafayette Hill, supervises a hands-on lab exercise.

State-of-the-art instructional facilities and experienced faculty/staff enabled 164 Scouts from four states (Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania) to earn up to three merit badges during Saturday’s fifth annual Merit Badge College on campus. “Penn College offered five of the 10 least-earned badges across all of Scouting (landscape architecture, composite materials, drafting, American labor and surveying),” noted Bradley M. Webb, dean of industrial, computing and engineering technologies. “Each of these badges links strongly to an academic program at the college. Since we are able to offer these ‘rare’ badges, our event – in coordination with the Susquehanna Council – is becoming a “go-to” event for Scouts throughout the U.S.”
Photos by Juvy A. Orillaza, student photographer

February 18, 2020
Alumni Faculty & Staff Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies STEM Students Welding

Penn College welding expansion sparks opportunities

Penn College’s expanded and enhanced welding lab, unveiled in dedication ceremonies on Feb. 6, is featured in a new video on the college’s YouTube channel. At 55,000-plus square feet, it is believed to be the largest such facility in higher education nationwide. Thanks, in part, to $2.5 million in corporate support, the lab includes an electron beam welder, CNC plasma cutters, laser welding, automation and robotics, and 124 individual welding booths. “It’s really important for us to take this opportunity to come alongside a school like Penn College in a way that enables the educators to do what they do best, and that’s to really teach and inspire these kids,” said Miller Electric’s Dave Lambert. “And when you feel and see that kind of commitment and dedication to the future of the industry and the future of trades, it’s easy to want to be involved.” The college enrolls about 300 welding students, and graduates of the program have nearly a 100% placement rate.

February 11, 2020
Alumni College Relations Collision Repair & Restoration Events Faculty & Staff Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies President STEM Students Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies Welding

College celebrates expanded welding lab, industry partners

Pennsylvania College of Technology President Davie Jane Gilmour deftly wields a plasma cutter to sever a metal ribbon during a dedication ceremony for a greatly expanded welding facility at the college.

An expanded and enhanced welding lab – at 55,000-plus square feet, believed to be the largest such facility in higher education nationwide – was dedicated on Feb. 6 at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

The Welding Expansion Project, funded in part by a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, added 35,000 square feet of instructional space to the lab in the college’s Lycoming Engines Metal Trades Center, allowing for enrollment of up to 60 more welding students annually – more than 300 in total.

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